Democratise information for development: Sam Pitroda

Mumbai, Apr 1 (IANS) There is an urgent need to open up government data for the public and create a public information infrastructure for democratizing information, technocrat Sam Pitroda said here Monday.

To create a public information infrastructure, the government is spending a staggering Rs.10,000 crore, but there is huge resistance to opening up the (information) system, said Pitroda, the prime minister’s advisor on public information infrastructure and innovation.

Pitroda, also the chairman of the National Innovation Council, was speaking at the 10th Kilachand Memorial Lecture at Indian Merchants Chamber here.

He said that though the world was “changing very fast, we are not equipped for change as yet. The most important issue today is not brain drain, but the change in our mindset.”

Pitroda said that the government was building a national knowledge network at a cost of Rs.15,000 crore to connect all universities and research laboratories in the country.

He added how a silent revolution was being brought about in the countryside by connecting 250,000 village panchayats through optical fibres.

“However, connecting networks is not an end in itself. We need to create platforms for delivery of services. Nandan Nilekani’s Unique Identity Card project is one such example,” Pitroda said.

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