Digital India initiatives play a key part in Smart City mission

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Digital India initiatives and schemes by the government like Aadhaar, digital lockers and computerisation of land records, are gaining momentum in the country and playing a major role in the smart cities mission, said PP. Chaudhary, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th edition of the Smart Cities Summit. China was the country partner at the summit. Aiming to take the government’s smart cities initiative to the next level, over 1,500 global and national policymakers, financiers and technologists, along with over 25 city and state representatives, had come together at the 4th Smart Urbanation: Convention and Expo.

The three-day summit was organised by ASAPP Info Global Group and the India-China Economic and Cultural Council in partnership with the Smart Cities Council India.

Mohammad Saqib, Secretary General, India-China Economic and Cultural Council, said, “India and China share a similar context in terms of urban population and infrastructure challenges. In order to meet these challenges, China was among the first few countries to have successfully implemented the concept of smart cities and develop the requisite infrastructure to meet the urban challenges said.”

Speaking about Chinese investment in India, Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO, Invest India, said, “From 2000 till 2015, the total investment was $1.6 billion. However, since then, it has zoomed up to $30 billion.”

Liu Jinsong, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of China emphasised on replicating the model of ancient cities that existed in India like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. According to him, the current planners or authorities must think about building medium and small cities, rather than large ones, as city management would be more effective.

The summit witnessed participation from city commissioners from over 25 cities, city CEOs, urban planning consultants, international Smart City experts from the U.S., China, Korea and senior officials from companies like Microsoft, IBM, Philips, Ola, Intel, Tata Projects, Schneider, Hikvision, Bechtel, Thomson Reuters, Mahindra Lifespaces, HCC, and Alstom, among others.