Recently, we heard a news report from the Ministry of Electronics and IT, which Ravi Shankar Prasad heads, that they are considering rules for social media and online companies like Facebook and Google. This report claims that the rules would force these companies that have accumulated a massive volume of data from Indian users, and to provide this data to several other companies without any cost.
Now, the Indian govt wants to create data refineries in India. Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT minister, yesterday in an event hosted by NIC (National Informatics Centre) pass on his comments saying that he wanted to see India become a leader in Data Analytics.
Although he didn’t speak much on the topic, his statement was clear that he wants India to be a top place for ‘Data Refinery.’
The question arises – “What Data Refinery?”
How come data refinery in India, everyone at the event was null. What he’s talking about! Yes, he didn’t make his thoughts clear what actually he wanted by saying the term ‘Data Refinery.’
But we can assume two things in this scenario:
- First, it could be the plans of the Indian govt to commercialize the data generated by Indians
- Second, maybe Prasad wants India to become a global leader in Data Analytics that companies like Google and Facebook do in Silicon Valley
Furthermore, the courtesy to this news comes from the tweet posted from the Minister’s Twitter account saying – “It is my great ambition that India should become a big Centre of Data Analytics, Data Cleaning, and Data anonymization. I foresee India becoming a big centre of Data Refinery.”
Here’s the tweet:
It is my great ambition that India should become a big Centre of Data Analytics, Data Cleaning and Data anonymization. I foresee India becoming a big centre of Data Refinery. #NICTechConclave2020 pic.twitter.com/OG2fi1jlqP
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) January 21, 2020
What India Today says-
There are signs — and reports — that the Indian government wants to commercialize data generated by Indians for various purposes, including for commercial gains to the people who generate this data. The idea is that “data is the new oil” and that the data generated by people in a country can be used as a national resource.
The idea, something that Nandan Nilekani, the architect of the Aadhaar project, highlighted well a few years ago is that people should have the ability to sell or barter their data. In 2018, at a tech conference in Kerala, Nilekani had said that in India, poor people should be able to sell their data for monetary benefits.
For example, in return for giving access to their location data, which could be used for targeted advertisements, people should be able to get discounts from a restaurant or a shop. Similarly, in return for sharing some vital data that a user had created, he or she could be given hospital treatment at a lower cost, or an insurance policy with better coverage, Nilekani had suggested.