With the simultaneous launch of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Housing for All and the coveted Smart Cities Mission (SCM) on June 25, 2015, it was a landmark day in the evolution of India’s urban agenda. The message of convergence emerging from the common launch of all three programmes will hopefully be sustained in the future while implementing them.The Smart City guidelines seek the convergence of different schemes like AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Digital India, Skill Development, Housing for All, construction of Museums funded by the culture department and other programmes connected with social infrastructure such as health, education and culture. SCM, with an outlay of Rs.48,000 crore ($7.5 billion), is expected to enhance the quality of life in 100 cities, which will be identified over the next few months. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceSince the initial declaration of building Smart Cities in the BJP’s election manifesto in early 2014, the Modi government’s plans on this front have been taking shape slowly, and will need time to evolve. The SCM guidelines highlight the need for a holistic approach to urban development. This will require an integration of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. Thus emerges the need for a strategically articulated framework to address a city’s urban challenges, which will greatly aid this process of integration. This framework should focus on a more process-oriented path than a Also Read – Turning a blind eyesimple project-oriented path.The guidelines provided by the government do not mention a specific definition of Smart City. There are, however, four key imperatives that emerge from the guidelines along with various other perspectives on smart cities obtained from both academic literature and deliberations in India over the last 15 months. The first imperative is that a city needs to be sustainable in order to be smart. This will mean that the interventions under the Smart Cities Mission need to align their goals, objectives and processes to the overarching principle of sustainability. The Draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released by the United Nations can be a useful and handy reference. The key principles emerging from SDGs include ensuring well-being, equity, efficiency, and embedding foresight in all plans and actions. Adhering to these principles at all stages of all programmes will ensure consistency in the outcomes achieved and thus enable the much-intended convergence of programmes sought by the Smart Cities Mission Guidelines.The second imperative that emerges is the importance of imbibing the characteristics of good governance for achieving sustainability. For example, transparency, accountability, participation and consensus-building are some of the key characteristics of good governance, which form the foundation for ensuring equity.The third imperative is to understand the role and use of technology in urban development. There needs to be a departure in the way technology is being portrayed as the panacea of all urban ills. It is, in fact, an important enabler, which can yield the desired results only when applied in a context-specific manner. Collective vision, supportive policy instruments and domestic stability are equally important in achieving smartness in a city through technology.The fourth and a frequently discussed imperative is that urban institutions, especially the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) need the capacity to work towards the three imperatives mentioned so far. This gains additional significance as the prime minister himself has said that ULBs will be key instruments in implementing the Smart Cities Mission.The four imperatives mentioned above suggest that India needs to formulate concrete Terms of Reference (ToR) to realise the Mission’s objectives, drawing from the initial ideas proposed in the Guideline. A reference framework based on a set of guiding principles is needed to enable state and city governments to implement different schemes, understand the complementarity of schemes and maintain consistency. This Smart City Reference Framework (SCRF) for India can be envisaged to be the point of departure from other urban development initiatives. The Smart Cities Mission needs to initiate this to gain both short-term (such as meaningful utilisation of investments under various schemes) and long-term benefits (such as initiating important structural reforms in urban planning and management processes, empowered by technology). The Reference Framework should be the overarching and all-encompassing umbrella that will guide all urban development and related schemes to achieve sustainable urban development in India. Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a Bengaluru-based Think Tank, has been working on reconceptualising various notions associated with smart cities in India. The culmination of this study is a set of ToR, which is also being referred to as the Smart City Reference Framework(SCRF). The final report of this study will be released in mid-July, under the aegis of NITI Aayog.The positioning of SCM can be seized as an opportunity to address the challenges discussed in this article and achieve the larger goals of urbanisation featured in the national development agenda. The complementarity of the schemes presents the biggest opportunity in this trajectory of urban development. It could also be the biggest challenge! Streamlining the efforts of various organisations by ensuring that various aspects of sustainable urban development are addressed will be a critical factor in taking this Mission forward “smartly”.
<< Previous PostNext Post >> LE BOURGET, France — The chief salesman for Airbus says his company already has the technology to fly passenger planes without pilots at all – and is working on winning over regulators and travellers to the idea.Christian Scherer also said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that Airbus hopes to be selling hybrid or electric passenger jets by around 2035.While the company is still far from ready to churn out battery-operated jumbo jets, Scherer said Airbus already has “the technology for autonomous flying” and for planes flown by just one pilot.“This is not a matter of technology – it’s a matter of interaction with the regulators, the perception in the travelling public,” he told The Associated Press.“When can we introduce it in large commercial aircraft? That is a matter we are discussing with regulators and customers, but technology-wise, we don’t see a hurdle.”Several manufacturers are presenting unmanned aircraft at the Paris Air Show, primarily for military purposes – and some are also proposing pilotless “air taxis” of the future.When it comes to autonomous passenger jets, safety is an obvious concern. It’s an issue that is on many minds after two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max jet that have implicated problematic anti-stall software.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongScherer said the crashes “highlighted and underlined the need for absolute, uncompromising safety in this industry, whether from Airbus, Boeing or any other plane.”While he said Airbus’ sales strategy hasn’t changed as a result of the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, “there is a capacity need that materialized as a result of this, and naturally you have airlines that are frustrated over capacity, that are looking for answers.”Airbus announced several orders Monday as the air show kicked off, while Boeing had an anemic day as it works to win back trust from customers.Scherer forecast continued growth in the aviation industry after several boom years, predicting the world will need at least 37,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years, especially in Asia – and that eventually the whole industry will stop creating emissions and “decarbonize.” Tags: Airbus Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Share Airbus is ready for pilotless jets – but are you? By: The Associated Press