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ULBs across India have different terminologies and vocabularies for Municipal Governance. This is due to the federal structure of governance in India, state specific laws and different eGovernance system implementations. Non-standardised interfaces and storage also lead to data interpretation and interoperability issues. Hence, when municipal performance is measured, there are glaring inconsistencies, not merely city to city but also from state to state, with respect to through which ways such performance may be measured. The municipal governance standards are being designed to have minimum base elements common across ULBs to ensure interoperability, harmonisation and data driven governance.

These can then be adopted and built upon by ULBs with higher process complexities. The creation of Standards for municipal governance is one of the key initiatives of the Centre for Digital Governance. These Standards are being designed to respond to the need for uniform systems through consultations with experts in an ecosystem driven process. These Standards will conform to National Urban Innovation Stack guiding principles, and will help stakeholders collaborate for a smooth functioning of their platforms and processes.

These standards will be created through specifications, certifications and best practices in the contexts of people (for example, policy standards and working methodologies), processes (for example process standards and compliance certificates) and the underlying digital platforms (for example, Reference architecture, Taxonomies, APIs and reference applications).

The standards will be responsive to a need in the market, based on expert opinion, developed through an ecosystem-driven and consensus-based process.

In order to facilitate this, CDG will focus on developing the following key building blocks:


Municipal Governance Reference Architecture (to serve as a blueprint for deploying a proven architecture to meet common business use cases).


Taxonomies (to ensure semantic and syntactic (content) interoperability)


Data Models and API Specifications (to ensure technical interoperability)


Data Privacy and Security standards (including requirements specified by national and local law)

These building blocks may implement, augment, or replace the more context-invariant building blocks developed by the NUIS platforms.

The proposed Domain Working Groups under the CDG are synchronous with the initial set of municipal governance services recommended as a part of the National Urban Governance Platform. These are -

Property Tax


Municipal Grievance Redressal


Building Plan Approval


Trade License


Water and Sewerage


No Objection Certificates


Birth and Death Certificates


User Charges


NMAM Compliant Municipal Accounting and Finance

Of these, the standard formulation for Municipal Governance Reference Architecture and Property Tax Taxonomy is completed. These standards are published and available for download on the BIS portal.

Standards: Benefits to Ecosystem

As collections of minimal requirements and definitions, Standards can be used in the context of every innovative solution to

Standards: Benefits to Stakeholders


Helps government in implementing data driven governance and improved policy implementations.


Helps cities by preventing vendor lock-in, reduced costs of operations and increase innovation by implementing new applications across data silos.

Software, Hardware vendors and system Integrators

Helps in gaining larger market opportunity and lower cost of development because of standardized interface.

Application Developers

Helps in reduced cost/ speed of development and improved portability of developed applications


Improved delivery of government services and increased transparency and user experience.

Associated Agencies


Work with us

The Centre for Digital Governance is constituting Working Groups for specific domains, who will be responsible for designing the draft Knowledge and Technology Standards. We invite participation from experts, practitioners and professionals from civil society, industry, academia, city administrators working in urban governance to contribute as experts. This includes an engagement of approximately 15-20 hours each month towards the creation of standards and related activities. We invite you to participate in the formulation of Municipal Governance standards to bring transformation in urban governance.

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