India Data Portal releases ‘Nightlight Data’

India Data Portal releases ‘Nightlight Data’

Kolkata: India Data Portal (IDP), from the Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) recently released the ‘Night Lights’ data for Uttarakhand, available at Assembly Constituency level from 2015 to 2019, says a press release from India Data Portal.

Nightlights have become a reasonable indicator for GDP with a very high level of spatial granularity. The data released captures the comparison of the economic activity over the past 5 years covering 2015-2019. The data will help in analysing not just overall development but also the role of economic development.

The report presents data and visualisations for the state of Uttarakhand, and provides pertinent insights from illustrations on the level and change in economic activity for all of its 70 assembly constituencies. The three nightlight variables highlighted here include total radiance, change in total number of lit pixels and percentage change in lit pixels.

An increasing number of lit pixels suggest that economic activity is expanding to new areas, as previously dark pixels begin to show radiance in satellite images. On the other hand, total radiance denotes increasing economic activity without saying anything about its distribution over space.

Prof. Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director – BIPP, Indian School of Business, said, “Nightlights are a better representation of economic activity in manufacturing and services, than agriculture. An increase in luminosity indicates the essence of a country’s development indicators, for example – access to electricity, reliable power supply, increased electricity consumption, industrial production, and urban growth. These are highly correlated with economic growth in a region and are easily captured in real-time through nightlights data.”

The data is available with Bharti Institute for Public Policy for research and will further help to assess and track the development and progress with respect to various indicators, as mentioned below. Detailed indicator level descriptions:

Night Lights: The variables are available Assembly constituency-wise. This reflects which areas have benefitted from development. These are indications for population, employment, per-capita consumption, and electrification. The variables here to mention some are:

Total number of lit pixels: this indicates the distribution of night lights in the assembly constituency area. This value over six years shows the growth or decline of economic activity in more detail than the total radiance. It will give an idea of how much area in the assembly constituency is lit. Percentage of lit pixels: This is the percentage of the lit pixels with respect to total pixel. Total radiance: Total night light radiance in that assembly constituency.

About India Data Portal-IDP: The ideation behind building “India Data Portal” came from creating a one-stop open-access portal for journalists and simultaneously aiding the researchers, students, policymakers with the access, interaction, visualisation of the complex data related to agriculture and financial inclusion Food and Agriculture, Economy, Union Budget, Socio-Economic, Rural Development and General domain. The IndiaPulse@ISB is an initiative to track the economic recovery process in post-Covid-19 situation through high-frequency indicators in eight sectors – Industrial activity, GDP, CPI, Google Mobility, employment, Money Market, health and much more.

The portal currently hosts 49 datasets, including agriculture, financial inclusion, rural development, socio-economic data, NSSO rounds etc., including the recent Budget Data. More data on other sectors, such as education, health, crime and assembly elections, will be made available soon on the portal.

The portal also offers data in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Odia and Telugu.

Salient features of India Data Portal: Easy access to complex data, dynamic Search Bar, Instant data-visualisations with a single click of a button, flexibility to select indicators for individual content requirement, datasets and indicators on the portal communicate with each other, can be selected to create new insights and choices of the colour pallet. Create your own indicator: By using mathematical operations, users can create their own indicators that can be visualized. Comparing Variables across Datasets: India Data Portal provides the unique functionality of comparing variables across different datasets. More details at:

About Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) at Indian School of Business: Indian School of Business is a world-class business school committed to creating young leaders through its innovative programmes, outstanding faculty and thought leadership. Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP), Indian School of Business (ISB), focuses on research and education in the domain of public policy. The institute works on policy challenges across diverse domains, primarily Agriculture and Food, Environment, Education, Finance, Governance and Digital Identity. The flagship programme of the institute is the Advanced Management Programme in Public Policy (AMPPP), which caters to mid and senior-level professionals both from the public and private sectors.

The Press Release has been provided by India Data Portal. The Reporting Today is not responsible in any way for the content of this article.

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