Government needs to address many challenges while utilising the potential offered by Big data analytics for better governance and policy formulation. Comment.

Demand of the Question:
Introduction : Define Big Data Analytics
Body: Discuss opportunities offered by Big data Analytics for better governance and policy formulation
Mention challenges in harnessing these opportunities
Conclusion: Conclude on an optimistic note
MODEL ANSWER: Big data analytics is the process of examining large and varied data sets called big data to uncover useful information — such as hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends and customer preferences. With the explosion of data due to the spread of Internet, rise of e-governance, social media and realisation of internet of things , government all over the world are embracing Big data for policy formulation. Big

data analytics, which then merges into fields like deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), has tremendous possibilities especially in areas, such as solving traffic problems in cities; targeting healthcare delivery; efficient supply chain management; preventive steps for environmental protection; providing a personalized educational experience for students; enabling security to individuals and society at large; and informed policymaking. Several countries, such as the UK, US and European Union (EU) member countries, have started big data government programmes.
OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED BY BIG DATA: 1. Transport and urban planning: Remote sensing, mobile phone data and machine learning can provide planners better understanding of urban mobility and change in land usage pattern. Further data from smart transport could aid in traffic management in real time 2. Healthcare: Big Data Analytics can help authorities monitor results and feedback in real-time, and improve performance and outcomes in health care. For e.g.Sanitation , vaccination , drug management, disease outbreak analytics and lifestyle analytics can offer insights in various domains of healthcare. Further Use of data driven predictive models and statistical tools is improving the clinical trial success.Developed countries are using Big Data to tackle the problem of overdose or misuse of opioids. Cancer Moonshot Programme in the US is a good example of big data use to find cure for cancer. 3. Education: Data related to exams can be used to monitor student performance and better understanding of teaching practices over a period of time. Also tailored training modules will help job seekers upgrade their skills. 4. Public utilities: Data from ground-based sensors can be used to monitor the provision and quality of public utilities such as water and energy. Ex: The India Night lights platform uses night light data from satellite images to monitor electricity provision over time to all 600,000 villages in India. 5. Land administration: High-resolution imagery from satellites and UAVs coupled with geotagging can revolutionize land registration processes. 6. Environmental policy: Environmental and climate data analytics is helping studying climate change and its impacts and required interventions at regional, national and global levels.
CHALLENGES TO BE ADDRESSED TO HARNESS THESE OPPORTUNITIES: 1. Keeping pace with growing amount of unstructured data: Data volumes are doubling in size every two years. Government needs to find new ways to effectively store and use it. Further large amount of data is still undigitised and unstructured. 2. Privacy and security: Use of big data will introduce an additional complexity in terms of management of information security risks with regard to privacy individuals. Further unfriendly state and non-state actors can extract sensitive information from the database causing a possible breach of security. 3. High Cost of Technology: Use of data analytics will require up gradation of technological infrastructure which requires substantial funding and coordination of multiple stakeholders. 4. Lack of data scientists and workforce: Being a niche sector, there is a shortage of technocrats and skilled professionals. 5. Lack of common standards and interoperability: No proper standards are in place to store, manage and access data using analytical techniques.
With adequate cyber-security framework and privacy laws and public investment in data centres, India should move ahead in transforming the way government is using sophisticated information technologies to frame policies and deliver citizen centric services.

VALUE ADDITION: BIG DATA ANALYTICS USE CASES IN INDIA: Project Insight: As reported earlier, the Indian Government launched a project called Project insight in 2017, to catch tax evaders. Goods Flow: To see the flow of goods and how the trade is carried out in India, it had leveraged the GST network. Water supply: The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) of the Government of Kerala is using IBM’s Analytics and Mobility solutions to analyse, monitor and manage water distribution in its capital – Thiruvananthapuram. Geotagging: The Government is going to make use of big data to shell companies. The data consisting of coordinates of the registered companies will act as a key input for mining data in the ministry’s IT infrastructure called MCA21, to zero in on companies with a common address, common contact numbers, common directors and things like that Banking: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made an announcement that it is going to set up an analytics lab for its in-house analytics in December this year. Transport: Andhra Pradesh is employing big data and analytics to launch a real-time monitoring system to monitor the performance of each department in its government. Studying Migration pattern in India using IRCTC ticket booking data Poverty: Odisha government is banking on data analytics technology to ensure that the least served areas can benefit from Government Welfare schemes. Policies: Rajasthan is also going to enable a 360 degree citizens’ view by unifying multiple databases. Urbanisation : Night time Satellite imagery to identify extent of urbanisation Crime and Fraud detection : Using CCTNS data base to study crime pattern and identify hotspots

Why does India need supercomputers? Discuss the success achieved by India in establishing domestic supercomputing ecosystem. What more can be done to achieve self-sufficiency?

Demand of the Question:
Introduction : Briefly introduce supercomputers
Body: Write its applications
Provide the overview of India’s supercomputer ecosystem
Conclusion: Suggest way forward
A supercomputer is a computer that performs at the highest operational rate for computers. It has architecture, resources and components to achieve massive computing powers. Traditionally, supercomputers have been used for scientific and engineering applications that must handle very large databases or do a great amount of computation (or both). A nation that aspires to lead the world in the field of research and development, India needs supercomputers to perform computationally intensive tasks fields such as quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, molecular modelling and physical simulations.


  1. Exploring and drilling for new energy resources: Using seismic imaging through supercomputers improves the chances of drilling a successful well, but requires colossal amounts of processing power to analyse the acoustic signals.
  2. Healthcare -Understanding ageing process and their relationship to disease, Digital simulation has become a vital tool and involves scanning several thousand molecules to predict the interactions between them and precisely estimate their collective behaviour.
  3. Neural simulation: To understand nerve patterning and signal conduction in humans to better understand brain functioning and associated disorders.
  4. Aerodynamics, rocket science, space and communication research deploys supercomputers.
  5. Developing training models for Artificial Intelligence and robotics
  6. Simulation of nuclear test, Engineering simulator such as fluid dynamics calculation on automobiles etc
  7. Supercomputers have a significant role in National Security defence applications, cyber security, disaster management, big data analytics and material science
    Considering the importance of supercomputers, India launched its first supercomputer named PARAM 8000 in 1991. As of now, India has four supercomputers in list of top 500 world’s supercomputers with Pratyush and Mihir being fastest in India.
    FOLLOWING INITIATIVES WERE TAKEN: ● Launched National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) in 2015 to create a cluster of seventy supercomputers connecting various academic and research institutions across India. ● Establishing the centre for Development of Advanced computing(C-DAC) to develop indigenous supercomputers after denial of imports by the developed nations in the 1980s ● Recently PARAM Shivaay, first supercomputer built under NSM by C-DAC was launched at IIT BHU ● Collaboration among top science centres in the country like ISRO, IISc and IITs to develop supercomputers ● International collaboration : Agreement with Atos, French company to supply BullSequenna that will be assembled in India ● Currently, under Shakti Project at IIT-Madras, RISE group is working on Para -SHAKTI project to reduce import dependency
    To achieve self-sufficiency in supercomputers development, there is a need to tackle the issues of low funding, limited manufacturing capability, weak hardware research ecosystem and brain drain, therefore following steps need to be taken:
  8. Increase its foothold in design, manufacture and assembly of hardware component to cut down import cost and develop application tailored to address India specific problems
  9. Adequate funding, better coordination between departments and clear leadership
  10. Synergise efforts with Make in India program
  11. Efficient use of technological expertise available with global network of Indian and Indian origin scientist and engineers
  12. Favourable Intellectual property regime to incentivise private sector involvement
  13. India should take a lead in computing race as in future supercomputers will play an important role in addressing the next industrial, scientific and societal challenges from nanoscience, genomics, climatology, aeronautics and energy. Therefore, a synergised approach to leverage its software and personnel base to develop new application and simultaneous focus on new frontier of computing such as supercomputer, quantum computers and optical computers is need of the hour.

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