Last week at GeoBLR we discussed the issues around PIN codes. The most important questions were around the processes the postal system and also what are the issues around the availability of reliable spatial data.
Couple of weeks back, Nisha and I started putting together several questions that we would like to get insights on. We used that as the starting point for the discussions. The meat of the problem really is that nobody knows what the processes are and how to get that information.
Prior to GeoBLR, we met some people who are interested in the same issue and clarified a lot of things – for instance, we are now sure that some times a single post office can deal with more than one PIN code.
To get a sense how people felt about the PIN codes issues, we asked around. Some people don’t bother to use PIN codes for any substantial service other than sending post cards. As long as we are not able to tie PIN codes to geographic locations reliably, it’s not so useful. Everybody agrees that it has immense potential just because it’s the only part of the address that everybody gets right (most of the time).
A few weeks ago The Hindu’s Data Blog had a three part series looking at Data on rape cases in Delhi. It was a powerful story that had a lot of people talking and a good example of what can be done with data available. Rukmini S has written a piece detailing how she combed through the data to get the story.
Below is an excerpt.
How we put together the statistics that went into our investigation
“Delhi is better than most Indian cities for legal data journalism because it puts all district court judgements online – and promptly – and these can be text-searched. Ideally, I should have been able to scrape all judgements for ‘376’, the IPC section related to rape. However, I encountered a ton of issues that would have rendered a scraping tool useless (as far as I know – if you think there was a way I could have done it, do leave me a comment).
For one, while rape cases are sessions-triable, and so should show up as ‘sessions case” in the nomenclature, for some judges the cases were inexplicably classified as “criminal cases”. Then, while a simple text-search for ‘376’ should have been enough to get me all cases, the text-search function inexplicably collapsed around March 2014. With elections coming up, I had limited time to work on this and had to essentially open every single sessions court judgement and search for ‘376’ in each one. Luckily, the search function revived after two months.”
Taruvai Subayya Krishnamurthy (born 1941) was the Chief Election Commissioner (C.E.C) of India (February 2004 – May 2005). His main assignment as C.E.C was to oversee the 2004 elections to the Lok Sabha. He was known for his integrity and a polite yet firm fist with which he handled all sensitive assignments throughout his career.He had earlier served in the Election Commission of India as a commissioner since January 2000.