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East meets West: the U.S.-India open government dialogue

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OSS

Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed members of the Indian parliament and announced a U.S.-India Open Government Dialogue. Addressing a rare joint session of the Indian Parliament that brought together the two different houses -- the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha -- Obama said that as the world's largest democracy and the world's oldest one, India and the U.S. will work together on the initiative.

The Obama administration said it will contribute $1 million toward efforts to share best practices in working toward improved services and democratic accountability. Sam Pitroda, Innovation Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, and Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer, will jointly lead the initiative.

Both countries have taken very different trajectories on Open Government. On his first day in office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, calling for unprecedented transparency, participation, and collaboration as a hallmark of his Administration. In 2005, India enacted the Right to Information Act.

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