DailyPost 2726

The leading bank in the country by one single act brought the data, information, banking, law, judicial direction, justice, free and fair elections and by a rational stretch of logic, democracy itself in the dock. What happens on a regular basis in government decision making / enforcement and in legislative business inclusive of law making is a game of data / information and process, which is played in favor of the powers that be. They will give wide and varied interpretation of it, from offbeat to the wild and you are supposed to digest it.

The same game was tried in case of electoral bonds, where Supreme declared the SBI stance foul. If any investigative agency needed the same data post haste in a terror funding case involving a few shell companies, electoral funding and the likely involved of a few politicians, what would have been the response of SBI? Could it possibly have asked the investigative agency to wait on the wings for four months? Would have they waited? Who knows few more incidents could have taken place in the interregnum? Privacy / anonymity does not come in way of national security / criminal investigation and judicial proceedings. If we all knew the story of data, data lifecycle and timelines or lack of requirement of any time, this whole drama would not have played out in the first place.

The world runs on data and process and presumably everything in India too. The purpose of data, data points (what data), the creation of data, the storage /compute / processing, output based on purpose and business logic. This is known as the data lifecycle, which is facilitated by technology and operated under the law of the land and other operative rules, structures and procedures. This is the process, what we can term it as management process or administrative process, on which the system runs. What core banking software is to make banks / banking to be data wise, the details of which should be made known to the world, and whether there are exemptions to it, under what law and for what purpose?

When laws can be enacted and amended at whims and fancy for vested purposes, the self-created anonymity of the type being narrated, would not be bought by anyone, even totally devoid of knowledge of both banking and technology. What a pity we have to run helter- skelter to the FAQ section of the bank website to prove that they were lying. Data is the new oil, artificial intelligence the new electricity and process is the engine. We have to work on these principles and every organization’s data points / data cycle / data analytics and management /process MRI should be public domain. Is it not the job of the Reporters’ Collective to do forced painstaking research? Public data is public property. And why anonymity? It we don’t change our approach to data and process, every institution would be put on wild goose chase by vested interests and vested agenda stakeholders.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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