Bengaluru, Tuesday, July 30, 2019: To enhance transparency, accountability and collaboration between municipal, state and central bodies and citizens, Tata Trusts released Guidelines on Open Data at the Tech4Transformation 3.0 (T4T) conclave to develop protocols around publishing city level data. The annual conclave by the Trusts brings together sector experts, policymakers, philanthropists and social innovators to discuss the role of technology in creating future ready cities and its efficacy in improving citizen’s life.
To aid cross learning and share best practices on urban governance, Tata Trusts also released reports elaborating efficient adoption of technology for municipal administration, mass transportation, air quality and solid waste management among others undertaken in Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chennai and Pune.
The case studies and Open Data Guidelines were as a result of the Trusts’ work in Data Driven Governance in these cities.
The Trusts also released the ‘Stories of Change – A Journey to Global Goals’, a report by the philanthropy on various initiatives undertaken across geographies and sectors as its commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals.
“Tata Trusts’ is a legacy of collaborative growth and of developing solutions that has for decades, complemented the Central and State Governments policies. Many of the interventions support and help efficient execution of Central and State run programmes including the recent Swachha Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. ‘Journey to the Global Goals’ encapsulates successful examples of Tata Trusts’ grassroots interventions and strategic partnerships. This publication that maps the contributions and impacts of these interventions against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will further help India’s efforts to measure and manage the progress towards Global Goals,” said Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, in a preface published in the report.
The urban case studies include the Pune City Data Officer initiative, where a City Data Officer was appointed in a municipal corporation for the first time in India. Other instances include, the successful use of Internet of Things (IoT) for Intelligent Bus Transportation Management system and use of data and technology in solid waste management in Ahmedabad. The report also documents the unique simulation undertaken to assess the vulnerabilities of Chennai, especially from those related to water, and use of Smart Poles to measure air quality parameters in Bhopal.
A discussion on Smart Cities Mission and best practices was hosted by Ms. Poornima Dore, Head, Data Driven Governance, Tata Trusts with Mr. Rahul Kapoor, Director (Smart Cities Mission), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
In a video message, Mr. Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India said, “With growing communities and urban areas, it is important to keep people connected and technology plays a vital role in connecting people. Technology helps us reimagine and innovate solutions in areas that affect citizens. We are extremely happy that Tata Trusts is contributing immensely to our National Urban Innovations Stack, Data Driven Governance and Data Smart Cities programme.”
Ms. Poornima Dore, Head, Data Driven Governance, Tata Trusts said, "We have formulated a set of Open Data Guidelines and Case Studies to help cities share and use data for planning and execution, based on the experiences of the Tata Trusts Data Driven Governance work across multiple domains and cities. We are very glad to launch these with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and hope these reports can act as a reference point for several cities as they move along their data journey. The cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Bhopal and Chennai with whom the Trusts have partnered, serve as interesting use cases of municipal initiatives to use data and technology to design and plan better solutions and address need gaps faced by citizens.”
To bring forth ideas on technology and future urban spaces, a panel discussion titled ‘Challenges of a future ready city – Technology to the rescue?’, moderated by Ms. Shikha Srivastava, Head, Urban Poverty Alleviation, Tata Trusts was held. The panelists included Mr. Charlie Palmer, Architect, Architecture, Design and Technology Unit, Norman Foster Foundation, Mr. Manas Rath, Sr. Advisor BORDA, Ms. Nalini Shekar, Co-Founder, Hasiru Dala and Mr. Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director, UDRI.
The panel discussed the role of technology to address top three challenges in urban spaces: sanitation and waste management, housing and urban governance. The panelists spoke about digitisation of data for development plan, fecal sludge management, use of drones in health care and service delivery in Odisha’s urban slum, pressures of migration and role of citizens.
Ms. Shikha Srivastava, Head, Urban Poverty Alleviation, Tata Trusts said, “Our work in urban habitat to transform urban slums has been a learning process, especially since it has helped us in understanding the involvement of communities, including men, women and children in planning their habitat. We believe that cities, towns and urban areas within the country and beyond need to have a vision of inclusivity, sustainability and livability. All these factors are centered around citizens, and technology can play the role of an enabler to achieve this vision.”
Another panel discussion ‘New Age Technology - A mirage or elixir?’ was held with panelists including Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Planning Department Govt of Karnataka, Mr. P Anandan, CEO, Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Mr. Gaurav Sharma, Vice President, IBM India Software Labs & IBM India and South Asia Growth and Mr. Neeraj Chandra, Ex COO, Britannia and Advisor, Innoviti Payment Solutions.
Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Planning Department Govt of Karnataka said, “Karnataka has already started Open Data platform and it is being brought in public domain. This is going to facilitate lot of social innovations and government is going to act as a facilitator. This platform is open to anybody including innovators to incubate on ideas and it will help us hasten growth in the long term. This is important to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We are happy to share that Government of Karnataka has partnered with IIIT Bangalore to use AI in various data that we collect and analyse priorities. The idea is to use public money in an optimum manner and as per priorities assessed through data analysis.”
The panel discussed deployment of technology of developed markets to under-developed markets, use of technology by private vs social sector, demand creation and amplification by technology solutions, role of Artificial Intelligence (AI), investment in AI and importance of data architecture to keep pace with technology solutions to offer social benefits to the population.
About Tata Trusts
Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, energy, rural upliftment, urban poverty alleviation, and arts, craft and culture. The Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country. For more information, please visit http://tatatrusts.org/
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