Designed to reflect the ethos of minimum government and maximum governance, the Mission’s guiding principles are actioned to drive citizen-centric governance.
1. Ecosystem Driven
The NUDM will foster a vibrant ecosystem of urban actors and respond to their needs by enabling effective collaboration for the purpose of devising solutions that are relevant to the contexts of each urban challenge.
2. Interoperability through Open APIs and Open Standards
Interoperability is essential for NUDM to be able to support a large number of diverse use cases. NUDM must be built using open standards and avoid dependence on specific platforms or software frameworks that become a barrier to the participation of any actor in the ecosystem. In addition, the components of the stack would be loosely coupled using open interfaces (APIs). Adoption of open and vendor-neutral APIs and open standards and, wherever appropriate, choosing open source frameworks and components over proprietary ones, will help achieve the goal of interoperability. NUDM will integrate with all relevant open platforms of the government including Aadhaar, GSTN, UPI, BBPS, and BharatQR.
The design is aimed at ensuring that all segments of citizens can benefit from NUDM. Different instances of NUDM should be able to configure, extend or customize applications to cater to their specific needs. In addition, it can be leveraged across multiple channels – both digital and physical to engage and serve citizens effectively.
The goal of the stack is to enable relevant solutions; hence it is important that the stack remains minimal and allows innovative solutions to emerge rather than forcing a particular type of solution. It may provide reference implementations to seed the imagination of the ecosystem, but should remain minimalistic to allow actors to respond to context and complexity.
5. Privacy and Security by Design
Managing security and privacy of data is crucial to building and maintaining trust between ecosystem participants and thus will be a critical design principle. All data access must be through API calls to ensure appropriate security controls. NUDM will provide standards and certification for data privacy and security. Except for open data, direct access to data will be prohibited and use of APIs will be mandated. NUDM will ensure privacy, data encryption, and data integrity and will disseminate data only to authenticated and authorized stakeholders (both internal and external) through data fiduciaries.
Platforms achieve scale and flexibility by unbundling complex challenges into micro solutions and services and subsequently allowing their re-bundling in specific contexts. These layers rise from context-neutral bottom layers to more context-sensitive layers — similar to LEGO™ building blocks. Unbundling promotes reusability, lowers the barrier for new solutions and enhances participation by abstracting complexity under simple interfaces.
7. Designing for Evolvability and Scale
The NUDM will need to keep pace with India’s urban challenges as they evolve over the years. It will have an architecture that can easily accommodate new capabilities that will be needed as the ecosystem evolves and to incorporate new technologies as they emerge. The stack will be able to scale horizontally to hundreds of millions of users in the urban ecosystem and to handle trillions of data records. All components, including computer, network and storage resources, must be capable of scaling horizontally. Being cloud-ready and using commodity hardware will ensure that capital investments on the stack will be minimal. This will also give a choice of infrastructure to the actors and users and enable systems to evolve heterogeneously.
8. Transparency and Accountability through Data
The verified registry of all the entities and the non-repudiable transaction trails shall lead to higher trust and stronger accountability. NUDM will be data-driven and will use data generated through transactions for reporting and analysis. Public Open Data shall be made available via APIs for transparency. The access to open data will ensure high-quality analytics, accurate fraud detection, shorter cycles for system improvement and, most importantly, high responsiveness to user needs.
The stack would enable the verifiability of data and its provenance and thereby ensure trust and accountability within the ecosystem. All data would be non-repudiable and verifiable In order to energize the ecosystem for collaboration and interaction between actors.
10. Domain Modeling
Since NUDM must balance between abstraction, for wider adaptability, and context-specific solutions, the data specifications would remain generic without making concrete assumptions about the purpose for which the data is used. The data specifications would be extensible, allowing programs to model their own domain by adding new data attributes on top of available specifications.
11. Federated Architecture
To resolve for scale and ensure agency, the ability to solve must be distributed, empowering stakeholders to overcome the challenges they face. Hence the NUDM will have a federated architecture enabling actors to retain agency and choice in solutions.
12. Ensuring extensibility through the use of layered design
The design of NUDM will be modular, with clear separation of data storage, software services and APIs. Components will be minimalistic, independently replaceable and extensible. This will allow different components to be loosely coupled when building applications, thereby enabling application diversity. Different instances of the stack will be able to customize and create contextual solutions to serve their specific purpose.
13. Multi-Channel Access
With the rapid growth of net connectivity and the variety of electronic devices available in the market, it is important that the end user’s access points and access interfaces are kept in mind while enabling access channels — Citizen Service Centres, PCs, Tablets, Smartphones, local kiosks and doorstep delivery — and ensuring an engaging user experience on all of these channels to enable rapid adoption and ease of operation by the end users. This will enable cities to effectively respond to the needs of all citizens including digitally excluded sections of the society.
NUDM be implemented with the following governance principles:
- Placing the citizen at the heart of urban governance and development
- Accessible for the long tail of small cities (Shehri Bharat)
- Collaborating with startups and MSMEs in urban India to contribute towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat
- Building shared trust in the ecosystem
- Driving the efficient use of data, knowledge, and technology resources
- Catalysing collaboration through peer-to-peer learning, best practices, and fostering innovation