The government should actively share data with the public in a transparent manner to improve policy decisions, said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, on Monday.
“…The government needs to actively share standardised data with transparency of definitions…that is the only way we will be able to take the right policy decisions,” Kant said.
He was speaking during a panel discussion on ‘Data in Coronavirus Times’ hosted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
According to Kant, constraints in data availability was affecting the work of Indian researchers leading to discrepancies in projections. “There is a challenge in data availability. Most of the modelling being done by researchers in India uses data from international aggregators or crowdsourced platforms. This leads to a difference in projections.”
Emphasising on the importance of real-time data during the Covid-19 outbreak, Kant commended the state governments of Kerala and Karnataka for putting out accurate real time data quickly.
“Even during Covid-19 I have seen Karnataka share contact tracing information. Kerala shared demographic information. This has made it easier to target vulnerable populations and plan containment strategies,” he said.

With the help of the Arogya Setu app, which was developed by the NITI Aayog, the government was able to detect hotspots and device containment strategy, Kant said, adding that today over half of the fresh Covid-19 cases came from five cities and 63% came from 15 districts.
Going forward, the government think tank was undertaking data initiatives through the public-private partnership model, Kant said. “We are working on a unified logistic interface platform where data analytics and AI will be used for smart routing and forecasting of shipments and to bring down the cost of logistics in India.”


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