Data Team Gets Results From – The Economic Times – 26-Nov-2014

November 27, 2014 - Uncategorized

The Prime Minister’s Office is using Big Data techniques to process ideas thrown up by citizens on its crowdsourcing platform mygov. in, place them in context of the popular mood as reflected in trends on social media, and generate actionable reports for ministries and departments to consider and implement.

The Modi government has roped in global consulting firm PwC to assist in the data mining exercise, and now wants to elevate platform from a one-way flow of citizens’ ideas to a dialogue where the government keeps them abreast of some of the actions that emerge from their brainstorming.

“There is a large professional data analytics team working behind the scenes to process and filter key points emerging from debates on, gauge popular mood about particular issues from social media sites likeTwitter and Facebook,” said a senior official aware of the development, adding that these are collated into special reports about possible action points that are shared with the PMO and line ministries. Ministries are being asked to revert with an action taken report on these ideas and policy suggestions currently being generated on 19 different policy challenges such as expenditure reforms, job creation, energy conservation, skill development and government initiatives such as Clean India, Digital India and Clean Ganga.

With the PM inviting Indian communities in America and Australia to join the online platform, which he has termed a ‘mass movement towards Surajya’, the traffic handling capacity of is being scaled up consistently, the official said.

PwC executive director Neel Ratan said that the firm is ‘helping the government’ process the citizen inputs coming through on Mygov. in in.

“There is a science and art behind it. We have people constantly looking at all ideas coming up, filtering them and after a lot of analysis, correlating it to sentiments coming through on the rest of social media,” he said, stressing this is throwing up interesting trends and action points, being relayed to ministries. “It’s turning out to be fairly action-oriented. I think it is distinctly possible that 30-50 million people would be actively contributing to over the next year and a half, given its current pace of growth,” Ratan said.

PwC’s global leader in government and public services Jan Sturesson told ET the participative governance model being adopted through could become a model for the developed world.

“The biggest issue for governments today is how to be relevant. If all citizens are treated with dignity and invited to collaborate, it can be easier for administrations to have a direct finger on the pulse of the nation rather than lose it in transmission through multiple layers of bureaucracy,” he said, not ruling out the possibility of using the for quick referendums on contemporary policy dilemmas in a couple of years.

“The problem in the West has been that the US, Australia and UK follow a public management philosophy that treats citizens as consumers. That’s ridiculous, because a consumer pays the bill and complains, while a citizen engages differently and takes responsibility,” said Sturesson.


The Economic Times

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