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Private players can access data on farmers and students in Karnataka for a price

The state government’s open API is expected to act as a facilitator but data sharing protocols are yet to be put in place.

Private firms will now be able to procure data on students and farmers in Karnataka for a fee facilitated under the e-Sahamati framework, according to a report in the Times of India. The data will be provided with the consent of the concerned parties for Rs. 50,000 paid once, the report added.

Government departments and universities will authenticate these datasets to keep middlemen out of the process. A digital signature will be used to avoid fake certification, TOI reported.

Private companies will need to obtain a licence from the state for controlled access to the data. The government is in the process of drafting rules and regulations currently, the newspaper revealed.

It may be interesting to see how this data sharing mechanism unfolds in real time and the challenges it faces in its operations because a consent-based data sharing mechanism facilitated by the government may spring new use cases in sectors such as healthcare.

What do we know about the e-Sahamati platform?

e-Sahamati is a mobile app designed to help farmers sell their produce directly to retail chains such as BigBasket, Reliance Fresh, among many others, according to Economic Times. The app will obtain consent from farmers and then share data with interested retailers who may contact these farmers to negotiate a deal for their produce, ET added.

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The e-governance department of the Karnataka government developed this platform with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC). It is an open API (Application Programming Interface) in which a retailer can access details such as a farmer’s name, crop, landholding, location, etc. The e-governance department has built a database with details of seven million farmers in the state including their names, landholding, place, and type of crop, ET wrote in its report.

The app will also help companies selling seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and bank loans to offer their produce or services to consenting farmers, state bureaucrats told ET.

Procuring data of students

The Karnataka government has also introduced a scheme of digital verification of documents for employment and education purposes recently through which it has data of 2.8 crore students’ education details, including marksheets from 80 educational institutions in the state for 2019-20 and 2020-21, as revealed in a report by the Times of India.

These include secondary school leaving certificate (SSLC), pre-university course (PUC), professional courses like BE and MBBS, and pure science, commerce and arts courses, the report elaborated.

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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