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India Urban Observatory

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    19th Mar, 2019

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), aligned with its mission to help cities across India become more productive, innovative and livable, in partnership with Cisco, Quantela Inc, ESRI and AWS announced the inauguration of a state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory in New Delhi.

Context

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), aligned with its mission to help cities across India become more productive, innovative and livable, in partnership with Cisco, Quantela Inc, ESRI and AWS announced the inauguration of a state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory in New Delhi.

About

  • The Observatory will help in getting reliable, up-to-date information on a meaningful set of indicators over various domains such as transport, health, environment, water, finance and so on, which will further assist in developing best practices, future strategies and policy interventions as and when required.
  • The first-of-its-kind observatory will leverage data analytics to optimize city operations, improve governance and enhance economic performance of cities across the country. The conceptualization of this Observatory recognizes the value of enhancing engagement among all four stakeholders of the ‘quadruple-helix’ model— Government, citizens, academia, and industry, along with improvements in the internal workflow and decision-making processes of city Governments.
  • The India Urban Observatory will progressively become the chief data analysis and Management Hub of the Ministry and would enable evidence-based policy formulation, capacity building of ecosystem partners on data-driven governance, foster innovation through development of newer and better use cases thereby enabling solutions at scale and speed.
  • It will further provide scientific response to the complex challenges to urbanization through use of state-of-the-art technologies and collaborations.
  • The India Urban Observatory is an important component of the recently launched DataSmart Cities strategy that envisions to create a ‘Culture of Data’ in cities, for intelligent use of data in addressing complex urban challenges. The strategy aims to lay down the basic premise, three foundational pillars People, Process, Platform, and a suggested roadmap for cities to improve their readiness for intelligent use of data. Making cities ‘DataSmart’ is key to realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
  • The DataSmart Cities Strategy also presents a Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF) that measures the readiness and evolution of cities in their efforts to implementing the Data strategy. The assessment of cities as per the DMAF will foster a culture of data and drive innovation in India’s Smart Cities through a spirit of collaboration and healthy competition.
  • The concept of Urban Observatories was formally initiated at the UN Habitat-II Conference in 1997 in Istanbul.
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