In 2005, India legislated one of the best ‘Right to Information’ laws in the world which changed the public information landscape and accessibility in the country. It was the first step towards transparency and accountability of governance. In 2012, India came up with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), popularly known as the ‘Open Data policy’ of the Government of India. In spite of these systems in place, data and information remain in complex and overwhelming formats in the country. Some of the data that is meant for the public does not even exist in the public domain. Factly was born to create supporting platforms and infrastructure to bridge this gap and strengthen democracy through engagement. Factly strives to cultivate civic participation and engaging citizens in accessing, understanding and using high-value government records at the centre, state and local body levels.
Counting India (CI) is an initiative of Factly. CI makes data related to the States/Districts in India more accessible and understandable. The primary source of data for CI is the Census of India 2011. In CI, one can compare any two States/Districts side by side. One can also embed, access or download the data. We envision that every person who is interested in using data in their sphere of work will value CI’s platform. CI will also be a reliable resource for policymakers, journalists and researchers to explore and discover stories of public interest in India.
In June 2018, Project Tech4Dev came across the CI platform and was impressed with the work done and came forward to fund the expansion of the tool to include more data sets and visualizations. The 2nd phase of the project took off towards the end of September 2018 and over the next 6 months, we have included about 50 high-value data sets and included more visualizations.
CI provides a user-friendly interface to access census data by navigating through the India map and clicking on any state or district to get the data one wants to access. One can also compare data of any two places up to the district level.
One can also search various census data sets through Search Datasets option and can access the data of any place by searching for it.
Currently, a few front-end changes are being made to make the whole experience better. In the future, many other datasets relating to granular data will be added.