Grassroots democracy is likely to get a boost under the Smart City Mission in India. Federalism in its true sense will have a chance to develop in the country when lower level government and public institutions get empowered through technologies that will be ushered in under Smart City Mission.
Smart City could become a catalyst for devolution. Elected local government officials should be encouraged to take the first steps in setting up data analytic centres as they could help create smart governance.
Most city corporations and village panchayats do not use the flood of information that is generated, which when used wisely could help improve public services, optimise transport routes, and support business growth.
Many people who studied how data analytics could help develop smart governance say that date is fundamental to the success of city devolution and Smarter Cities. Yet most local governments lack the ability to join up, analyse and act upon the vast quantities of data they already have.
By establishing an office of data analytics, cities will also improve the quality and reliability of their open data, experts have said.
Many cities in the developed countries have set up their own data office manned by qualified and experience people who can analyse the enormous data that gets generated regularly.
Such an office could collect and collate information from various government departments, emergency services, voluntary organisations, mobile phone networks and payment systems.
Experts vow that devolution would provide local officials with a great opportunity to break down the data silos that exist among many public and private bodies.
It is only by rolling out large scale projects to create Smart Cities that will truly be able to make a difference to the lives of local citizens, an expert has said.
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