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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you collect your data?

Please see our methodology for more information on how we collect data.

How accurate is your data?

Our data relies on union budget documents and reflects what has been reported. We source the raw data from the Open Budgets India platform. The links to all raw datasets are available in this sheet.

What do the explorers do?

The explorers are used to visualise the time series budget data collected for different departments or ministries, scheme categories and schemes. The data points can be visualised in the form of a line graph, a bar graph or can be arranged in a tabular format. Other features of the explorers are as follows:

  1. The budget data can be disaggregated by the type of budget e.g. revenue or capital or aggregated as a sum of revenue and capital. The aggregated budget is referred to as the Total (sum of capital and revenue budgets)
  2. The explorers can visualise only one indicator at a time. The indicators can be selected from the left sidebar. Please refer to the data guidebook to learn more about the indicators.
  3. There are a couple of ways to view the datasheet that is used for visualizations:
  • All datasets are uploaded on the Justice Hub platform. The links to the datasets are available below the explorers
  • You can download the data package which includes the datasheets, data codebook and the data guidebook.

How do you define the law and justice sector in India?

For the purpose of this initiative we have defined the law and justice sector to include details on police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid which can be considered as the four pillars of justice. To understand the budgetary allocations and expenditures for law and justice, we have identified certain schemes (might not be exhaustive) across these four pillars and collected budget data for these schemes since the financial year 2016-17. In addition we have also included a few schemes that are crucial to women and child protection.

What is Demand for Grants?

During the preparation of the budget, every ministry is required to submit to the finance ministry its proposal regarding the amount it plans to spend and the corresponding items on which it intends to spend the funds. The expenditure also needs to be divided into voted and charged expenditures. These documents are called Demands for Grants. The document presented in the budget as Summary of Demand for Grants gives the total amount for each ministry along with breakup into voted and charged. You can refer to the Budget Basics page on Open Budgets India to know more.

How is the budget for the Ministry of Law and Justice structured?

The budget for the ministry of law and justice is divided across three demands for grants namely law and justice, election commission and supreme court of India. The budget allocations under each are as follows:

The Law and Justice grant contains budgetary allocations for Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange, Issue of Identity Card to voters, Normal election expenses, National Tax Tribunal, Fast track courts, Special courts, National Judicial Academy, Strengthening of Access to Justice-India (SAJI), International Centre for Alternate Dispute Redressal (ICADR), National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms, and Assistance to State Governments for establishing and operating Gram Nyayalayas.

The Election Commission grant contains budgetary allocations for establishment related expenditure of the Election Commission of India and for the expenditure to be incurred on construction of IIDEM campus. It also includes provision for purchase of computer items and maintenance thereof in the Commission and for the scheme of National Voters Awareness Campaign/ Training.

The Supreme Court grant contains budgetary allocations for administrative and other expenditure of the Supreme Court of India.

Why is the budget for the Department of Police categorised separately under ministries?

The budget for the Department of Police is part of the budget for the Ministry of Home Affairs. The entire budget of the Ministry of Home Affairs is divided across three demands for grants namely, Ministry of Home Affairs, Cabinet and Police. Police have the largest share of the budget under the Ministry of Home Affairs compared to the other two demands of grants.

The Budgets for Justice platform categorises budget data at three levels - Ministry, Categories and Schemes. The police budget is a crucial component of the entire law and justice related budget and hence it is categorised separately under ministries. The datasets for all schemes which are part of this grant are available on the platform for further research and analysis.

Where can I find details and definitions for the indicators, schemes, heads of expenditure?

You can refer to the data guidebook to know more about the datasets, the data curation process, etc.

Can we compare data between schemes or heads of expenditure?

No. This feature is not available at this time. For comparing budget datasets, you will have to download the datasets and then use a data processing/analysis tool to process and analyse them further.

Why is there no union budget data prior to 2016?

The structure of the union budget data has changed since 2016, along with the nomenclature of the majority of the expenditure heads. For example, the budget documents prior to 2016 used to give a share of plan and non-plan expenditure, and since 2016 it gives data on revenue and capital expenditure. This has made it difficult to compare data and therefore we have decided to consider data 2016 onwards for our explorers.

How often do you update your data?

The dataset updates can be defined in two ways:

  1. Updating the database by curating data for more schemes - We will be working with our partners and keep refining our database of schemes. Our objective is to keep adding budget datasets for more relevant schemes to the database with subsequent union budget cycles.
  2. Updating the dataset for a particular ministry/department, scheme category or scheme - We will update these datasets as and when new budget datasets are made available on the Open Budgets India platform. This usually happens during the budget session of the parliament.

I have access to data that I would like to contribute. How can I share it with you?

If you have access to data that can help us make the budget datasets more accessible and robust, then you can write to us at We will work with you to make those datasets available on the Justice Hub and if possible make them a part of the Budgets for Justice platform.