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IITians launch Netapedia

group of former and current students of IIT Mumbai have launched Netapedia, a database about Indian politicians modelled on online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Named netapedia, the site has information about the politicians' education, legal history, votes cast in their favour, assets, both moveable and immoveable, the complete record of work done in their constituencies and the expenditure borne by the government on a politician.

Premjeet Kumar, an ex-IITian and one of the founders, told The Sunday Guardian that the basic purpose behind starting the portal is to lower the distance between the voter and politicians. "We usually don't know much about our politicians. Voters who have elected them know even less. Though there are different portals that disseminate information about India politicians, there is no comprehensive sing le online platform. This is where our effort is focused — a single online information bank which provides us all we seek to know about our Parliamentarians, Members of Legislative Assemblies and election candidates," said Premjeet.

Premjeet said that his group, which included three former and five current IITians, had started the project in October last year and they are evolving it every day.

"We plan to give it a thorough professional look. It's an unregistered entity right now, but we'll get it registered as a non-profiting NGO," he said.

When asked whether there are legal hassles involved in displaying information about politicians online, he said, "We are only showcasing what is already in the public domain and comes under the right of information of the common people. We have gathered information about these politicians through RTI and sources like Parliament and Secretariats."

He added that the site will soon have new features about politicians and the team will also rope in volunteers and readers to help with the research and the shape of the site.

He said that the site is gaining gradual popularity and gets more than a hundred hits a day.

"Most popular politicians on our site are Sonia Gandhi, Kapil Sibal, Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Priya Sunil Dutt, Asaduddin Owaisi and Kamal Nath," he said.

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