India asks its citizens: please digitise our files

Joshua Chambers in FutureGov: “India has asked its citizens to help digitise records so that it can move away from paper processes.

Using its crowdsourcing web site MyGov, the government wrote that “we cannot talk of Digital India and transforming India into a knowledge society if most of the transactions continue to be physical.”

It is “essential” that paper records are converted into machine readable digital versions, the government added, but “the cost of such digitisation is very large and existing budgetary constraints of government and many other organisations do not allow such lavish digitisation effort.”

Consequently, the government is asking citizens for advice on how to build a cheap content management system and tools that will allow it to crowdsource records transcriptions. Citizens would be rewarded for every word that they transcribe through a points system, which can then be recouped into cash prizes.

“The proposed platform will create earning and income generation opportunities for our literate rural and urban citizens, develop digital literacy and IT skills and include them in the making of Digital India,” the government added.

The announcement also noted the importance of privacy, suggesting that documents are split so that no portion gives any clue regarded the overall content of the document.

Instead, two people will be given the same words to transcribe, and the software will compare their statements to ensure accuracy. Only successful transcription will be rewarded with points….(More)”