DMPQ-What are ‘Smart Cities’? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for ’Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN Mission.

A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where information technology is the principle infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents.

In recent times, the increasing burden on urban settlements raises concern related to sustainable development. To tackle these problems such as high urban poverty level, environmental degradation, inadequate basic services, relevance of Smart Cities has increased which provide smart solutions.  E-Governance and Citizen Services: It will help in making citizen centric service delivery system, which will enhance the efficiency of public authorities.

Smart Waste Management: Waste management is one of the major problems in urban settlement. Smart waste management like separation of solid waste at source level and use of eco-friendly waste disposal techniques, would avoid the problems like urban floods situation.  Smart Health: Tele-medicine would reduce the pressure on medical facilities due to use of ICT in health facilities.

Mobility system: Smart transport is also one of the main features that address the core issue in urban settlement. Many other areas such as, education, communication, electricity, renewable energy would also be addressed by the Smart Cities.  High development in urban cities and less emphasis on development in rural areas has increased the rural-urban difference because of lack of opportunities in rural areas. In such a scenerio ‘Smart villages’ concept of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission would focus on development of rural area from multi-directions.

To ensure a standard of development several components have been included in Smart Village concept such as skill development training linked to economic activities, agro-processing, storage and warehousing facilities, digital literacy, sanitation, provision of piped water supply, solid and liquid waste management etc.

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