Restricting Access to VAHAN Database – National Register e-Services

Restricting Access to VAHAN Database – National Register e-Services

The Ministry of Road Transportation has put an end to the free access of data from the Ministry’s VAHAN big data database.

In-Detail:

  • The Ministry has now put a restriction on accessing data from VAHAN – A Vehicle Database.
  • Company accessing the data for big-data analytics must be a registered company in India and is at least 50% Indian owned.
  • All the data thus accessed must be stored on Indian servers.
  • Such servers must be monitored by security auditors for preventing data theft – A security report from Cert-In must be submitted.
  • Annually, Rs. 3 crore has to be paid by the company for accessing the data.
  • The data will be transferred to the entity in an encrypted form.
  • They cannot sell the raw data further but can sell the analysis.
  • For education institutions, there is a relaxation.
  • If the data is for research purposes, they can avail the data for Rs. 5 lakh.

About VAHAN:

  • The VAHAN database has vehicular registration details from across the country for 28 types of vehicles.
  • All the information from the State Registers will flow into the VAHAN Database.
  • The information stored in the databased include:
    1. Registration No either full or partial
    2. Chassis No
    3. Engine No
    4. Body Type
    5. Fuel Type
    6. Color
    7. Name of Manufacturer
    8. Make/Model etc.
  • Digitisation of such data allows both the state and central departments to keep track of the vehicles, aids police in their investigations, will come handy at the inter-state check posts and other G2C services.
  • It will also help the public and industry in various ways.
  • For example, a paint manufacturer can know from the data which colour automobile is in demand and increase the production of paint of that colour.
  • In such a scenario, the Ministry has devised the policy for data sharing.

The National Data Sharing And Accessibility Policy (NDSAP)-2012:

  • The policy was approved by the Cabinet in 2012 with an objective to facilitate access to government owned data in both human readable and machine readable formats.
  • Various non-sensitive data generated by the Ministries/Departments/Subordinate Offices/Organisations/Agencies of Government of India will be available for access due to the policy.

Benefits of the Policy:

  • Use of valuable public data for the benefit of the community.
  • It avoids the need for collecting data separately by other entities.
  • By adopting common standards for the collection and transfer of data, ingtegration of individual data sets may be feasible.
  • Helps the users identify the owners of the data and implementers of prioritised data collection programs.
  • Enables taking important decisions with the support of data.

Open Government Data Platform:

  • After the notification of NDSAP, the government has launched Open Government Data Platform India in 2012.
  • It provides access to collated resources on a single platform.

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 Conclusion:

  • Though the Transport Ministry’s move appears to be in contravention to NDSAP, the Ministry is only looking to protect the data from the misuse of foreign entities.
  • Also, with clearly laid out policy, those accessing the data will act responsibly in using the data.
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