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India and USA Relationship on Smart Cities, Comment

A family decides to go to a cinema let's see how it works in two different scenarios...
Previously, a family needs to take their own vehicle and start to the movie atleast an hour before. During the evenings there will be lot of traffic. Finally after a tough journey they will reach the Cinema palace. They will have to join the queue in front of the ticket counter for atleast few minutes to take the ticket. To get entertained for couple of hours we used to tire for a couple of hours.

But Now!!!!! Things have been changing and improving even in a complicated pace of life. Shall we go to a movie…Yes, surely let me check the tickets availability on online; sure, and then how about the friends book a cab online for them. How about the dinner? No issues, we shall book the Dinner online before the movie completes. There is a huge traffic on the way to cinemas, let's take a Metro Rail.
Yes there is an increase in facilities from previous decade, but with these facilities can we call our cities "Smart Cities". No our cities are not yet smart; we need to make them Smart, Smarter and Smartest.
What is a Smart City? A city which widely uses the digital technologies to enhance the performance and well being of the citizens. So, what should be made smart? Some sectors like transport, energy, health care, water, recycling waste etc., needs to be taken care of.

There are several countries in the west which have already developed smart cities. Some examples of smart cities are Boston, Chicago, Barcelona, Stockholm and Shanghai. Whooping figures of USD 400 Billions is expected to be the global market of smart urban services by 2020. The current developments in technical arena like Cloud based technologies, Sensory based systems, and in the era of Internet of Things (IoT) we can expect more and more smart cities emerging. Better late than never, In India the project of smart cities is on board because of the vision of current Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Development of smart city is a major step towards development by the Government of India in the phase of rapid urbanization. It is expected that the world population is likely to be doubled by 2050; it means that we are adding 7 times of the Delhi population to the planet every single year. The current expenditure on fuel, energy etc., will be slashed down by a significant percentage in long run. The scare resources can be used optimally to satisfy the wants of the society. However, as smart cities are barren without technology and technology sometimes even carries a negative signal, we should accept that smart cities are also prone to disadvantages. As it is also said that the first ever murder will be committed through internet in the near future of IoT (An anti social element can control the computer based/sensory based ventilators running on wifi and kill the patient on ventilator). As we are in the development phase and also the cons of smart city can be controlled with high security levels, finally with the collaboration of USA, we took the step forward...

Following Mr. Obama's Republic day visit, United States of America has extended hands of support, both financially as well as strategically, to India in the recent scenario. Besides many they have also promised to support three smart cities development. The three smart cities are Ajmer , this city has been chosen due to the larger Muslim population, supporting the minorities is the likely motive; Allahabad, chosen because it is a Hindu Pilgrimage Centre and Vishakapatnam, major city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, severely affected due to the recent Hudhud Storm.
As a beginning to this project, MoU's has been signed between the US Government and three State Governments of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Already each state has been assigned a task force team with representatives from central government, state government and US Trade and Development Agency. Action plan will be based on the final report of the Task Force Teams.
However the current actions of Government like lowering the allocated funds for the smart city projects creates a sense of confusion. But other proposals of 17000 Bio Toilets in its recent rail budget and also the increase in allocation of funds for Infrastructural development in its Union Finance Budget improve the chances of having a smart city down the line.
In my view, smart city is a sign of development but as ours is basically an agrarian economy; Government of India must approach for a balance between ultra urbanization by providing stabilized rural conditions. This is important because we cannot hit our self sufficiency targeting the skies.

G.V.D.S Krishna Sai

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