National

Ministry plans to go from open platform to eventual monetisation of cities' data

Image for representation purpose only.

Image for representation purpose only.  

Starting with an open data platform for the 100 cities that are a part of its Smart Cities Mission by 2020, the government is planning to make a wide range of data — from health, education, finances to social aspects — of all 4,041 urban local bodies public by 2024 and eventually monetising it.

Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) officials said on Monday that the open data platform for the 100 cities would be expanded to cover 500 cities by 2022 and all urban centres in the country by 2024. The India Urban Data Exchange set up by the MoHUA for its Smart Cities would be expanded , eventually leading to a “marketplace”, Smart Cities Mission Director and joint secretary in MoHUA Kunal Kumar said.

“We will start to do pilots on data marketplace. For instance, I can see anonmised data in bulk on mobility being used by advertisers to put up billboards in areas where people congregate at a particular time of the day...These are opportunities in the future. Right now, we are making sure that cities are mature in dealing with data,” he said.

So far, the open data platform has 2,783 data catalogs from 99 Smart Cities, and by 2020, all data sets for the Smart Cities would be available, officials said. This data would help cities plan their interventions better, they said. All cities would have data officers and data coordinators by 2024, Mr. Kumar said.

“Whether we like it or not, datasets are getting used by companies already. The cities should use it for funding infrastructure projects,” he said, adding that any future monetisation would be under the data privacy and other related laws.

In addition, he added that the India Urban Data Exchange was currently being built for the Smart Cities and government agencies, and would eventually function as a conduit for the safe transfer of data between urban local bodies, academia, private sector and civil society. These stakeholders would be able to sign a non-disclosure agreement among themselves.

When asked about the potential for monetisation of data, MoHUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said: “You will yourself see the business and monetisation opportunities when you see the data available.”

Under the Smart Cities Mission, which was launched in 2015, a total of 5,151 projects worth ₹2,05,018 crore were to be completed in five years from the respective date of selection of the cities under the scheme. The cities were selected in phases starting from January 2016 till June 2018.

Mr. Kumar said tenders for all projects would be issued by March 2020 and by June 2020, projects worth ₹50,000 crore would be completed. As of now, projects worth ₹19,041 crore or 9% of the total have been completed, according to data shared by the India Urban Observatory set up by the Ministry. Work orders have been issued for projects worth ₹97,151 crore or 47% of the total and tenders issued for 69% of the projects, worth a total of ₹1,41,129 crore.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 8:41:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ministry-plans-to-go-from-open-platform-to-eventual-monetisation-of-cities-data/article29385873.ece

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