Kerala can embrace open data concepts: KPMG India head

Kochi, Mar 23: Kerala should consider embracing open data concepts which will allow citizens to review, analyze, visualise and use data effectively, KPMG India Chairman and CEO Arun Kumar said here today.

“Obama government’s policies on open data literally hosted entrepreneurial opportunities for new businesses that grew up based on such data,” he said, while delivering a keynote address at Kerala’s first-ever two-day Global Digital Summit, #FUTURE, which concluded at Le Meridien hotel this evening.   

“Open data policies can help the government in many ways like building a centralised big data management system by consolidating data from various government agencies. It ensures that the benefits of government policies reach to those who deserve it,” Mr. Kumar noted.

“Kerala should adopt a proactive approach towards leveraging new age technology for providing transparent and effective governance. The policy framework for digital transformation must enable the state to use the latest technologies, including the cloud, to develop and deploy on government platforms. A thorough survey must be made on the technologies which have potential to transform the economy,” he pointed out. 

Mr. Kumar observed that the ‘Digital India’ initiative has the potential to impact infrastructure across the country ranging from healthcare system to education to online banking and the state should take full advantage of Digital India programmes.  

“The e-governance as a whole has not been able to make the desired impact in the country and fulfil its objectives. So Kerala can take a lead in this area,” he observed. 

“We would advocate an approach that looks at three areas. They are related to one another. To be a leader in citizen-centric services and governance, foster an ecosystem that promotes digital industry and deploy technology to build on Kerala’s traditional areas of strength. These ideas are already embedded in various forms in Kerala’s IT policy. The M-Keralam app is an excellent example of info and service delivery that is citizen-centric,” he noted.  

Mr. Kumar said the ecosystem in Kerala should connect to clusters outside the state. “For instance, developing a Kochi-Bengaluru digital and technological corridor can further boost economic activity through exchange of knowledge and talent. Promoting connectivity between the two cities and linkage between businesses will help Bengaluru-based businesses to spill over into Kochi and boost employment here,” he explained.

According to him, collaboration of academia with tech companies can scale up Kerala’s R&D ecosystem. Entrepreneurs can deploy technology in Kerala’s traditional areas of strength like healthcare, education and tourism.

Commenting on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, he suggested that the potential to build technology-enabled businesses leveraging Kerala’s traditional art forms is significant. “The market ability of Kerala’s cultural heritage can be powered by augmented in virtual reality technologies,” he argued.

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