How can policymakers improve the management of Indian cities? Kadambari Shah, Harsh Vardhan Pachisia and Harshita Agrawal discuss the need to collect and maintain city-level data to make informed policies. They conclude that a decadal plan would address structural issues of urban governance and capacities of local governments. Excerpts below:
"India’s data problem isn’t confined to macroeconomic indicators. Indian cities — which generated up to 70% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the past decade — face a similar issue. Their massive growth potential is undercut by poor infrastructure and inadequate service delivery. Effective public policy solutions require quality, granular city-level data. There is a large gap here. Collecting, organising and publishing such data should be a top priority for policymakers in the new decade.
For spotting and analysing trends, the bedrock of efficient governance, we need information on the number of people coming into cities, their contribution to economic activity, the number of jobs cities create, the demand for housing and transport and so on. This is especially relevant in light of the fact that the past decade has seen urban population grow from 380 million in 2010 to about 450 million in 2017."
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