Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Data and Democracy Deficits in India: Are Innovation and Accountability at Odds with Each Other?

in partnership with the South Asia Center, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC), and Data Driven Discovery Initiative

Rukmini S.
Independent Data Journalist; CASI Fall 2022 Visiting Fellow
Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 12:00
A HYBRID CASI Seminar — 12 noon EDT | 9:30pm IST Center for the Advanced Study of India Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science & Economics 133 South 36th Street, Suite 230 Philadelphia PA 19104-6215 *Masking is optional*

About the Seminar:
Over the last few years, India has seen both a rapid expansion in the availability of some government data, as well as significant restrictions in the availability of some essential data including on employment, poverty and covid mortality. How and why do the two exist simultaneously? What levers of the democratic process are necessary to push to make more vital data available for citizen participation and decision-making? Do new attempts to harness data privately represent the best of Indian innovation, or do they lower democratic pressure on governments to provide data that is the right of citizens - or is the truth somewhere between the two? How can the different pillars of democracy collaborate to fill in these deficits of both data and democracy? Rukmini S will draw on both her experience of being a data journalist in India as well as on work from her book to consider these questions.

About the Speaker:
Rukmini S. is a CASI Fall 2022 Visiting Fellow and an independent data journalist based in Chennai. Her work focuses on inequality, gender, caste, and politics. She is the author of Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India (Context, 2021). She was the National Data Editor of The Hindu and now writes independently for Indian and international publications like MintIndiaSpend, and The Guardian. Since March 2020, she has been hosting, The Moving Curve, a pandemic podcast, which won the Emergent Ventures Covid-19 India Prize in 2020.