India wants all government organizations to develop open APIs

Medianama: “The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) is looking to frame a policy (pdf) for adopting and developing open application programming interfaces (APIs) in government organizations to promote software interoperability for all e-governance applications & systems. The policy shall be applicable to all central government organizations and to those state governments that choose to adopt the policy.

DeitY also said that all information and data of a government organisation shall be made available by open APIs, as per the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy and adhere to National Cyber Security Policy.

Policy points

– Each published API of a Government organization shall be provided free of charge whenever possible to other government organizations and public.

– Each published API shall be properly documented with sample code and sufficient information for developers to make use of the API.

– The life-cycle of the open API shall be made available by the API publishing Government organisation. The API shall be backward compatible with at least two earlier versions.

– Government organizations may use an authentication mechanism to enable service interoperability and single sign-on.

– All Open API systems built and data provided shall adhere to GoI security policies and guidelines.

…. This would allow anyone to build a website or an application and pull government information into the public domain. Everyone knows navigating a government website can be nightmarish. For example, Indian Railways provides open APIs which enabled the development of applications such as RailYatri. Through the eRail APIs, the application pulls info which includes list of stations, trains between stations, route of a train, Train Fares, PNR Status, Live train status, seat availability, cancelled, rescheduled or diverted train information and current running status of the train. …(More)”

See also “Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Government of India