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Inviting Participation by Experts for Domain Working Groups under Urban Governance

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs released the National Urban Innovation Stack - Strategy and Approach paper on February 26, 2019, to lay out its approach to unlocking urban innovation and collaboration across the entire ecosystem via a shared digital infrastructure. The NUIS is predicated on the belief that the opportunities of Urban India can only be unlocked by a deep partnership between the actors of the Quadruple Helix, namely governments, civil society, industry and academia working in tandem.

With the goal to facilitate adoption and put technology as core of operations across the ecosystem, we need an anchor to tie the strengths of all the stakeholders together. Responding to this pressing necessity, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is instituting the Center for Digital Governance (CDG) to anchor and operationalize the NUIS Strategy and Approach.

Under the aegis of NUIS, the Citizen-Centric Smart Governance (CCSG) Program is being operationalized by the Centre for Digital Governance (CDG). The CCSG program focuses on integrated e-governance and digital delivery of municipal services through distributed and decentralized digital transformation.

A key guiding principle of the NUIS and objective of CCSG is being ecosystem driven and open. A key enabler to achieve this is creation of standards that enable diverse stakeholders to collaborate and their corresponding systems to interoperate seamlessly. This demands evolution of the necessary standards e.g.  specifications, certifications and best practices in the contexts of people (for example, policy standards and working methodologies), processes (for example process standards and compliance certificates) and the underlying digital platforms (for example, Taxonomies, APIs and reference applications).

As part of the CCSG Program Setup and Design, CDG is constituting Working Groups for specific domains/services/modules for which standards are to be developed. The Working Groups for each domain will be responsible for designing the draft standards (data reporting standards and software design standards). An initial set of domain working groups will be proposed by the Standards Program Committee in order to meet the priorities set by the Smart Cities Mission. Over time, new domain working groups would be formed based on the recommendations from existing domain working groups and the technical review committee.

Thus, the standards would need to be developed in a collaborative and consensus-driven approach, in synchronisation with the NUIS guiding principles of ecosystem-driven approach, interoperability, minimalism, unbundling, evolvable, federated architecture, and extensibility. This will expedite the creation of a new, localised and contextually appropriate local solution as per the needs of ULBs and States.

Following are the domains for which standards would be developed under the CCSG Program:

  1. Property Tax
  2. NMAM Compliance Municipal Accounting and Finance
  3. Municipal Grievance Redressal
  4. Building Plan Approval
  5. Trade License
  6. Water and Sewerage
  7. No Objection Certificates

To kick-start this exercise, CDG is inviting applications from experts and practitioners (civil society, industry, academia, city administrators) working in the urban governance domains to participate in this fundamental building block of urban digital transformation. You are requested to share your responses at ccsg@niua.org within one month from date of this publishing.