Top Indian tech institutes including the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) have teamed up with Bengaluru-based technology company Semantic Web India to upgrade the crucial digital infrastructure and data centre.
The top premier institutes plan to upgrade their website collating critical Covid-19 data and providing a standardised format for the benefit of people and researchers studying the pandemic.
With the new tech backup, the researchers will automate the process of data collection from central and state government websites and collate them, providing historical data as well as analyses on cases, recoveries, and vaccination levels.
The website www.covid19india.org offered a comprehensive view of the pandemic across India by providing data on confirmed cases, active and recovered cases, tests, and fatalities.
The portal also recently started showing vaccination administration status for single-dose and fully vaccinated. The new public repository is being hosted at www.incovid19.org. The collaboration will host a new website further upgrading the data.
Explaining this initiative, V Kamakoti, Associate Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, said, “The portal was providing a valuable service by making this data publicly available at one place, which is important to understand the pandemic.”
Kamakoti said the website, which till now was run by volunteers based on a crowd-sourcing model, provided valuable data to the public as well as researchers studying the pandemic. The organisers recently announced that they would stop their operations beyond 31st October 2021.
“The data on COVID-19 is being put out in the public domain by various government entities. This initiative collates all this data and provides a one-stop-shop in a standardised format for the benefit of researchers and the general public,” said Kamakotii.
Speaking about this initiative, Siva Athreya, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Bengaluru, said, “covid19india.org has been available since the pandemic started and has tracked the pandemic across geographies in India. It has been a valuable contribution. While the website will remain active, they would not be updating the data. IIT Madras, IISc, and ISI have joined hands with Semantic Web India to continue updating the data and making it available at a new public repository hosted at www.incovid19.org.”
Athreya said the new initiative would ensure the availability of data on COVID-19 pertaining to confirmed cases, active, recovered, deceased, and tested for all the 36 states and Union Territories in an automated and robust manner until March 2022.