Mumbai, Jan 20:  Emphasising on the importance of data collection, Tata Group interim Chairman Ratan Tata today said this will be crucial for development of cities especially at a time when the country is aspiring to become a part of the global network. “We are now recognising the importance of data for developing our cities. If we go back in time, data have always been important. But very often we intend to discard it because we become selective in their adoption,” Tata said while launching the City Data for India Initiative. The initiative, being spearhead by the Tata Trusts in partnership with the World Council on City Data, focuses on building high calibre data for cities. The noted industrialist is also the lifetime Chairman of Tata Trusts that controls Tata Sons, the holding company of the diversified Group.

“We are going beyond age of looking at coloured data, selected data to non-discretionary collection and capture of the data, setting goals, evaluating ourselves against global peers. This is important mainly because we are becoming a part of the global network,” Tata said. At the event, Pune, Surat, and Jamshedpur were awarded WCCD ISO 37120 certification by the World Council on City Data (WCCD). “These three cities are making the start to share their city data. It will enable people in both public and private sector to set civic goals, evaluate outreach and impact of policy and initiatives.

This is an exceedingly important move in the long term,” Tata added. Addressing the event, WCCD President Patricia McCarney said this initiative has proved cities have the potential to drive a culture of data that will help in decision-making, investments and providing transparent governance. She said the data collected by cities has the power to serve as a catalyst to create truly smart, sustainable, inclusive and prosperous cities of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) said it will be organizing a three-day conference, co-hosted by the Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry, Tata Trusts and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, to drive opinion and implementable action in providing universal healthcare in the country.

The event, being held as part of TMC’s platinum jubilee year (2016-17) will bring together international and national health experts. It will be held from January 27 to 29.

Tata Trusts has been a part of the 75-year old journey of TMC, a world-class facility for cancer research and treatment.