Government launches Data Portal India in beta

4 Sep, 2012

The Indian government has launched in beta Data Portal India– a platform developed to provide single-point access to datasets, documents, services, tools and applications published by various ministries/government departments for supporting the Open Data initiative of the National Data Sharing & Accessibility Policy (NSDAP).

The portal will increase transparency in government functioning and also open up avenues for additional usage of government data.

A joint initiative between India and the US, the portal is housed on the official sites of the Indian ( and the US governments ( While the General Services Administration (GSA) team of the US developed the DMS (data management System) module, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India developed the site, its CMS (content management system) as well as the VRM (visitor relation management) module.

It is also packaged as a product and made available in open source for global implementation (the entire product is available for download at the Open Source Code Sharing Platform GitHub).

The site is routinely tested for compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) and is updated frequently to make it easily accessible.

The National Data Portal is featured on the Open Government Platform (OGPL) and includes searchable catalogues that provide access to 'raw' datasets, documents, services and various other tools. The datasets and tools available on Data Portal India are searchable by category, agency, keyword, and/or data formats.

Once in the catalogue, users can click on the 'title' (the name of the dataset or tool of interest) and they will be taken to a page with more details and metadata on that specific dataset or tool. Keep in mind that by accessing datasets or tools offered on the portal, you are, by default, agreeing to the data policy (it can be read here).

Catalogues on the site include:

Dataset Catalogue: Features a catalogue with instant view/download of platform-independent, machine-readable data (like XML, CSV, KMZ/KML or shape file formats), as well as a link to a metadata page specific to the respective dataset.

Tools Catalogue: Features a tool catalogue to provide users with simple, tools-driven access to government data with hyperlinks.

Apps Catalogue: Features an apps catalogue to provide users with application-driven access to government data. This catalogue features apps built over various datasets to provide value added services on top of raw datasets.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS): A format of data feed used to provide frequently updated content. When an agency feed is syndicated, it means an individual can subscribe to it and get auto-updated content from the aggregator of the particular feed.

As of now, we could find four apps and 9 datasets on the portal, with data from seven ministries/departments including the Ministry of Agriculture, Railways, Science and Technology and Rural Development, among others.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)