Tata Trusts

Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations. From its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of charity and introducing the concept of philanthropy to make a real difference to communities.

Since 2015, the Tata Trusts have forged working relationships and partnerships with Government departments, Members of Parliaments and International organisations working in the sphere of data to explore technology-backed models of collecting data and visualization to support evidence-based, data-driven governance and decision making (for more details on the Trusts’ work, please visit). The Trusts are now keen to create a ‘culture of data’ in cities as well through the City Data for India Initiative with the WCCD.

For more information see: www.tatatrusts.org

City Data for India Initiative

Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Trusts, addressing the CIty Data for India Roundtable in Mumbai, January 20th 2017.

Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Trusts, addressing the CIty Data for India Roundtable in Mumbai, January 20th 2017.


The Tata Trusts and the World Council on City Data (WCCD) have established a major partnership to deliver the City Data for India Initiative. The goal of the City Data for India Initiative is to contribute to improved infrastructure services, inclusive prosperity and quality of life for millions of Indian urban citizens. The Initiative empowers city leaders, decision-makers and citizens from major cities in India to make data-informed decisions to improve city planning, infrastructure investment and operational performance management using internationally standardized and comparable open city data.

Successful Pilot Phase

A pilot phase of the City Data for India Initiative was launched in 2016 with three cities – Pune, Surat and Jamshedpur – the first Indian cities to achieve WCCD ISO 37120 Certification. The pilot phase demonstrated the availability of ISO 37120 data for Indian cities, as well as the valuable opportunity for independently-verified and globally-comparable WCCD ISO 37120 data to drive city-to-city learning and solution sharing within India and with peer cities internationally. 

The success of the pilot phase was recognised at a high-profile National Roundtable in Mumbai in January 2017, convening senior representatives from cities, National and State Governments, academia, research institutes and the private sector. The Roundtable built a clear consensus on the value of scaling up the City Data for India Initiative to further build a ‘culture of data’ and accountable governance in cities throughout India, and enhance the effectiveness and impact of investments to improved city services and quality of life for citizens. The pilot cities were also showcased on the global stage at the 2017 WCCD Global Cities Summit in Dubai.

Scaling up the Initiative across India

Building on the success of the pilot phase, Tata Trusts and WCCD are scaling up the Initiative across India, working with at least 15 more cities across India over the next three years. The Initiative is already working with the next five partner cities - Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, and Vijayawada. The scope of engagement with partner cities is being broadened in Phase 2 to further intensify the impact and benefits of ISO certified comparable data, including support for a City Data Officer and a platform of best practices, and convening city-to-city roundtables, with the first cities conclave is being hosted by Jamshedpur in January 2018. 

Supporting the Government of India’s Urban Agenda

The City Data for India Initiative has been designed to be highly complementary to the successful implementation of the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), and Swachh Bharat Mission. The Initiative can also directly contribute to the priorities of NITI Aayog and State Governments, as well as other initiatives such as Digital India. The Initiative is aligned to support specific data platforms and Initiatives of the Government of India including the Mission Management Information System (MMIS) and the new City Liveability Index. As a large proportion of the 79 indicators for the calculation of the City Liveability Index are based on ISO 37120 indicators, the Initiative can directly support cities to report high calibre data for the calculation of the Index while also providing a further platform for driving measurable year-on-year improvements in liveability for Indian urban citizens.