TN unveils Data Policy for good governance

With an aim to provide good governance and improve access and quality of services offered to the people, the State government on Wednesday unveiled a new Tamil Nadu Data Policy.
Representational image
Representational image

CHENNAI: With an aim to provide good governance and improve access and quality of services offered to the people, the State government on Wednesday unveiled a new Tamil Nadu Data Policy. The key objective of the policy is to develop data capabilities covering all aspects of governance, including policy making, administration, reviewing schemes, and redesigning policies to develop data driven decision-making, a Government Order said.

Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), which will function as the repository for all data, will help departments in analysing data and drafting policies. The new policy will minimise exclusion and inclusion errors in government schemes and promote data analytics capabilities of departments. A State-level empowered data governance committee headed by chief secretary will provide strategic guidance for the State data policy framework, while a data inter-departmental committee headed by chief executive officer of TN e-governance agency, who will be the State’s chief data officer, will take operational-level decisions emanating from the policy.

Similarly, a department data officer in each department shall be responsible for collating data in the department, decisions relating to open data, storage compliance, and implementing decisions of the data interdepartmental committee.

“A data-driven, decision making culture is key to deliver efficacious governance for larger public good. By driving data integrity, governments can foster innovation, effectiveness and efficiency across all departments and schemes, and deliver higher levels of impact, inclusion and transparency. It’s heartening to note that the TN government has brought in experts from the academia and NGOs to contribute to policy making,” said Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Krea University, and former chairman and managing director, Cognizant India.

A comprehensive and mandatory Meta Data Catalogue for all departments will be prepared and updated from time to time which contains the definition of each of the citizen-centric fields and master data, including the source of truth and responsible departments or data fiduciary.

Numbers don’t lie

TN’s Data Policy is expected to minimise exclusion and inclusion errors in govt schemes

What will the policy result in

  • Launch of the Tamil Nadu Open Data Portal (
  • Collaborations with research and academic institutions
  • Creating an inter-department data exchange platform, including creation of the State Family Database (SFDB)
  • Creation of data ecosystem for data-driven decision support system (DeTN)
  • Creation of Spatial Data Infrastructure through Tamil Nadu Geographical Information System (TNGIS)
  • Creation of Population Health Registry


  • Easy access to government-owned data and related metadata; citizens and other parties like public and private institutions will be able to use this valuable public resource for the benefit of the community
  • Standardisation of user profiles will help departmental databases to become uniform and help in creating cross functional applications
  • An open and transparent data sharing policy ensures access to all bonafide users
  • TNDP will give a huge boost to digital firms, not only enabling start-ups to thrive alongside big firms but create new jobs in the field of data processing and analytics


  • Government systems capture citizens’ name in different formats
  • There are different kinds of addresses - permanent, residence & communication addresses. As such which database is the single source of correct address for a citizen is not usually defined
  • Some databases support multi-language fields or names and is not consistent along multiple databases
  • Numeric and text fields are not consistent across multiple databases

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The New Indian Express