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Smart Cities Mission in India: Objectives, Principles, and Characteristics

Why the scheme is in the news?

Officials announced on Monday that the deadline for the Smart Cities Mission will be extended until June 2024, as requested by some cities that require additional time to finish their ongoing projects. The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry decided to extend the existing deadline of June 2023.

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Ministry: – Union Housing and Urban Affairs

Launch Year: – June 2015

Implementing Body: – Cities had to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), led by a full-time CEO, and have representatives from the central, state, and local governments on its board to execute their smart city plans. The SPV can seek support from consulting firms and hire Project Management Consultants (PMCs) to aid in the process.

Objectives: –

  • Improve quality of life
  • Provide better infrastructure
  • Introduce better healthcare facilities
  • Improve safety and security
  • Introduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Improve government workings through direct participation

What is a Smart City?

  1. No standard definition or template of a smart city
  2. Six fundamental principles of Smart Cities in India:
  1. Community at the core of planning and implementation
  2. More from Less – generate greater outcomes with lesser resources
  3. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism – cities selected through competition, flexibility in project implementation
  4. Integration, innovation, sustainability – innovating methods, integrated and sustainable solutions
  5. Technology as means, not the goal – careful selection of relevant technology
  6. Convergence – sectorial and financial convergence

Some main characteristics of smart cities are: –

1. Artificial Intelligence
i. Introduction to ICTs
ii. IT connectivity
iii. Digitalization
2. e-Governance
i. e- Panchayat
ii. e- Chaupal
3. Good Infrastructure
i. Good water supply
ii. Electricity for all
iii. Proper Sanitation
iv. Solid waste management system
v. Urban Mobility
vi. Adequate public transportation
vii. Affordable living conditions like Housing
viii. Sustainable environment

Target of the Scheme: – 100 cities to be covered between 2019 and 2023

Beneficiaries: – Residents of the smart cities.

Funding: – Centrally Sponsored Scheme

Budget Allocation: – Rs 16,000 crore

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