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Sam Pitroda’s Twitter Conference: Data Sharing, Govt Projects & Unanswered Questions

Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Indian Prime Minister, conducted a virtual press conference via social networking site, Twitter, discussing the democratisation of information and the need for a new information model. He discussed Public Information Infrastructure (PII) and said that the government has various plans to build a robust Information Infrastructure to democratize information. I firmly believe that #Information is the 4th pillar of #democracy along with legislature, executive and judiciary #DoI — Sam Pitroda (@pitrodasam) September 25, 2012 He also talked about the National Knowledge Network (NKN) through which the government intends to connect 1,500 nodes for universities, colleges, R&D labs, Libraries, among others. He discussed the government's ambitious optical fiber connectivity project that aims to connect 250,000 village Panchayats and the government's data.gov.in platform. However, he evaded questions related to the government curtailing information and not willing to share information via RTI. Although he did mention that the idea of PII was to provide a backbone to RTI. On sharing data: On making government data public, Pitroda said that it was upto the various departments to decide what will be shared and that at first there would be some concerns, but after a while departments will be more open. He did clarify that certain sensitive information will have to be controlled by the government. He said that Panchayats can also put their data on data.gov.in directly. He mentioned that in order to build PII, the government needs multiple open platforms for Broadband, UID, GIS, Security, Applications, Payment and Portals.…

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