Message from Mission Director-Smart Cities Mission

With the launch of the Smart Cities Mission in 2015, India started charting a new path towards urban transformation. Building cities of the future, which provide good quality of life, improved economic robustness and harmony with nature needed a paradigm shift in approach towards cities. Government of India through its Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has started work on a three-tier strategy of revitalization of its urban areas. India’s cities are changing.

The scale of effort needed is huge. The country has more than 8,000 towns and cities, and creating an impact over the entire geography and for all sections of the population would need time. However, with the right approach, impactful change at scale can be achieved in shorter periods of time and in a much more holistic way.

Building right collaboration with all actors in the quadruple helix- citizens and communities, industry and young budding entrepreneurs in particular, academia and research institutions and governments at all levels is vital for urban solutioning at scale and speed, as needed by the India of today. Harnessing cutting edge digital technologies in an appropriate manner with ‘citizen at the core’ being the guiding principle is extremely important.

Needless to say, data is at the core of this collaboration. It is at the core of innovation and at the core of technology. How we manage, exchange and use data and the insights that it helps us create will be crucial to our success in resolving highly complex problems faced by our cities today. Data has a crucial role to play in empowering our cities. It has the power to give voice to citizens, make them more engaged in day-to-day affairs of running the city. It will also play a crucial role in promoting open innovation; co-creation and eliminating siloed approach in the cities. Data driven decision-making will help us evaluate performance and take informed decisions on projects that are important to lives of the millions of people who live in Indian cities.

The collaboration with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore on “India Urban Data Exchange” (IUDX) for developing an open source digital platform for data for enabling data-exchange among various stake holders viz. citizens, city administrators, industry, service providers, start-ups etc., is a step towards unlocking true potential of data being generated in our cities. It, to my mind, is one of the most important projects going on in the Country too. Needless to say, the potential for such a platform is huge.

Governments cannot solve all problems alone and neither can any other siloed approach work. At this juncture it is vital that industry comes forward and contributes by extending key skills, knowledge , resources and experience, and all other support as needed in building the deployable software code and necessary ancillary products/ services.

I look forward to new ideas and suggestions on how we can continue to work together to make this program a reality.

Message from Director, Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru

Prof. Anurag Kumar, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Sharing of data across various subsystems is essential for the effective implementation of smart city applications. In this context, the IUDX initiative from MoHUA is very timely and important to ensure a successful transformation of our cities into future smart cities. IISc is very happy to be a knowledge partner in this vital journey.

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