Robert O. Blake, Jr.
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
New Delhi, India
March 30, 2012

Date: 03/30/2012 Description: Assistant Secretary Blake speaking at press conference. - State Dept ImageGood evening. I am delighted to join Minister Sibal, Secretary Satyana Rayana, Sam Pitroda, Dr. Gairola, and Joint Secretary Ashraf, as well my colleagues from the United States government for today’s event marking the release of the beta version of the U.S.-India Open Government Platform. Today’s launch represents an important milestone in the U.S.-India Open Government Dialogue initiated by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in November 2010, and is a shining example of how we are leveraging our two countries’ cooperation in innovation and technology to advance democracy.

This is a great project that will foster research, innovation, and government transparency. While I’ll leave the explanations of the technology behind this amazing tool to my colleagues who work in the field, I’d like to point out how symbolic the Open Government Platform is to the history, the substance, and the promise of the U.S.-India partnership. This initiative reflects our shared history of two open, accountable democracies – the world’s oldest and the world’s largest. What better symbol of this legacy than a tool to give citizens better access to the data produced with their support and taxes? This project draws on the talents and accomplishments of one of the key sectors in our business and people-to-people relationships –Indian and American software and technology innovators and developers. And our partnership to share this Platform with third countries, for free, shows the promise of the U.S.-India relationship to promote our values and our vision around the world.

For all of our Indian friend, let me say how much we look forward to continuing to partner with you to advance and scale this hugely important part of our relationship – a collaboration that has the potential to improve the lives of millions—if not billions—of people in the 21st century.

Thank you.