By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 21, 2020: The Odisha Government will soon set up a Data Policy Innovation Center (DPIC) in technical collaboration with the University of Chicago.

This was decided at a high-level meeting held here under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy on Tuesday. Principal Secretary Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Saurabh Garg outlined the utility of a DPIC for Odisha. The theme expert and South Asia Director, Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago presented different contours of DPIC with its technical and application possibilities.

the Chief Secretary directed to layout details of the proposal in convergence with existing similar systems in the departments like Planning & Convergence, General Administration, Electronics & IT and Finance. The meeting gave in-principle approval for use of ‘big data’ in the formation of innovative policies and service delivery.

Data Policy Innovation Center will serve as a center of excellence for the accumulation of ‘big data’ from different sources through cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence, analyze it using modern econometrics and statistical models and come out with required innovative policy guides. It can create a framework for collaborative work between departments and faculty of Chicago University on select policy areas to design new solutions and evaluate its field outcome. This collaboration will help in enhancing in-house capacity in the Government for the use of ‘big data’.

There is a wide scope for the use of ‘big data’ in various sectors of Governance. The principal potential areas outlined in the meeting include improving water and energy use policies, encouraging crop diversification through information on potential yield and farming technique, reducing pollution through predictive targeting models, improving learning outcomes, reducing the distributive loss of power through strategic enforcement and behavioral changes.

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