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Data protection laws will help research by making data available in reliable format: Kris Gopalakrishnan

He was speaking at the Infosys Prize 2021 event on December 2. Gopalakrishnan, who is also President, Infosys Science Foundation, said, “If you look at the non-personal data protection recommendation framework that we have created, it talks about making data sets available for research as a shared infrastructure."

December 02, 2021 / 06:48 PM IST
Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder, Infosys

Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder, Infosys


Data protection laws will help in research by making more data available in a reliable format that is useful and protect privacy, said Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder, Infosys, and head, expert committee on non-personal data governance framework.


Speaking at the Infosys Prize 2021 event on December 2, Gopalakrishnan, who is also President of Infosys Science Foundation, said, “You know, one reason why we need data protection laws is to make data available for research.”


He explained that data that is currently available for research is anonymised data, and population level data. For research, data is needed in large amounts for doing things like machine learning. “To make that data available in a reliable format that is useful for research, the data protection laws, will help,” he said. According to him, data protection laws will clarify and bring a process for making this data available.


“If you look at the non-personal data protection recommendation framework that we have created, it talks about making data sets available for research as a shared infrastructure. So, I believe that the data protection laws will make this data available for research in a manner in which that's predictable, that protects the privacy of the people and helps in research,” he said.


The Joint Parliamentary Committee submitted and adopted its final report on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 on November 22. This is expected to come up for discussion in the Winter Session of the Parliament that started on November 29.

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The Infosys Prize 2021, awarded by the Infosys Science Foundation and in its 13th edition, were given to winners across six categories on December 2. The award comprises a pure gold medal, a citation and a prize of $100,000, which is tax free in India.


The prize winners were Chandrasekhar Nair, CTO of Molbio Diagnostics in Bengaluru, under Engineering and Computer Science category, for his development and large-scale deployment of TrueNat, a new point-of-care testing platform for PCR-based medical diagnostics. Ângela Barreto Xavier for Humanities, for her research on conversation and violence during the Portuguese empire in India.


In LifeSciences, Mahesh Sankaran from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) was awarded the prize for his work on the ecology of tropical savanna ecosystems. Neeraj Kayal of Microsoft Research lab received the prize for Mathematical Sciences.

Bedangadas Mohanty from the National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar, for investigations of the nuclear force under category Physical Sciences, and Pratiksha Baxi from the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU, New Delhi, for her pioneering work on sexual violence and jurisprudence under social sciences category.

Swathi Moorthy

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