The government should actively share data with the public in a transparent manner to improve policy decisions, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog said on July 14, adding that is the only way we will be able to take the right policy decisions.
He was speaking at a panel discussion on 'Data in Coronavirus Times' hosted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). Kant said that control and constraints in data availability was affecting Indian researchers work leading to discrepancies in their 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," he said.
Highlighting the need for real-time data during the outbreak of a pandemic, NITI Aayog CEO appreciated the state governments of Kerala and Karnataka for putting out accurate real-time data.
"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.
Kant said that with the help of the Arogya Setu app, which was developed by the NITI Aayog, the government detected hotspots and device containment strategies. He also said that "today over half of the fresh COVID-19 cases came from five cities and 63% came from 15 districts".
NITI Aayog is undertaking data initiatives through the public-private partnership model, Kant informed.
"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."