E-Gov is at the Heart of the Smart Cities Vi­sion

Voice&Data - - COVER STORY -

The govern­ment is on the way to sub­stan­ti­ate a con­crete in­fra­struc­ture for eGover­nance through the Dig­i­tal In­dia pro­gram. As Dig­i­tal In­dia is cen­tered on pro­vid­ing util­ity to cit­i­zens, of­fer­ing on-de­mand ser­vices and dig­i­tal em­pow­er­ment, the pro­gram will be the nexus of pub­lic ser­vices, pub­lic ser­vice providers, and the pub­lic. On the other hand, dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy be­ing the cen­tral av­enue to ac­cess ser­vices and govern­ment ameni­ties, Dig­i­tal In­dia’s role will be con­se­quen­tial in suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of smart cities.

Ur­ban sprawl, trans­porta­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion of pub­lic ameni­ties, and waste man­age­ment have been the crit­i­cal aspects of ur­ban man­age­ment in In­dia. In­sight­ful use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy will as­sist to solve th­ese is­sues and pro­mote a healthy so­ci­ety in smart cities. Ur­ban sprawl is per­ti­nent due to lack of con­nec­tiv­ity and ser­vices in clois­tered lo­ca­tion. On the other hand, lack of mon­i­tor­ing in lo­ca­tions across cities adds to un­cer­tainty and mis­in­for­ma­tion in govern­ment data. This in re­turn, weak­ens ad­min­is­tra­tion in such ar­eas, de­priv­ing peo­ple from ameni­ties and ser­vices. Such sit­u­a­tions awake the plethora of crit­i­cal so­cial and eco­nomic prob­lems such as poverty, sub­stance abuse, and crime. Through dig­i­tal aids, con­nec­tiv­ity in such clus­ters can be en­hanced im­prov­ing mon­i­tor­ing and hence govern­ment ser­vices.

The is­sue of trans­porta­tion arises due to un­planned de­vel­op­ment of ur­ban lo­cales and un­or­ga­nized ser­vice providers. Smart cities around the world such as Copen­hagen and Am­s­ter­dam have suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented in­no­va­tive ser­vices such as bi­cy­cle as a mode of pub­lic trans­porta­tion. More­over, mo­bile apps and web-en­abled ser­vices are be­ing used for real-time up­dates about tim­ings and sched­ules of bus ser­vices. Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy can be lever­aged as the on­estop-so­lu­tion for ad­dress­ing the la­cu­nae in the dis­tri­bu­tion of pub­lic ser­vices to cit­i­zens. Here again, Dig­i­tal In­dia emerges as the plat­form that has the po­ten­tial to trans­form the en­tire ecosys­tem of pub­lic ser­vices, of­fer­ing the com­mon con­nect­ing link be­tween cit­i­zens and au­thor­i­ties. Use of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies in ad­min­is­tra­tion, regulation, fi­nanc­ing, plan­ning and op­er­a­tions at smart cities will im­prove the grip of govern­ment in gov­er­nance. Mean­while, paving the way for dig­i­tal liv­ing, it will sup­port a sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment. Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy will en­able real-time eval­u­a­tion of pub­lic life in th­ese cities, which will in­crease safety and se­cu­rity and re­duce crime. Devices such as cam­era, smart me­ters, mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, and cloud ser­vices will pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tions to solve the is­sues of ur­ban­iza­tion. Dig­i­ti­za­tion will thus play the piv­otal role to fast for­ward smart cities.

En­sur­ing Se­cure Smart Cities

A strong se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture is es­sen­tial to en­sure a healthy and se­cure ICT plat­form. The cur­rent IT land­scape of In­dia is tainted with a weak se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture and is­sues such as cy­ber­crime may grow out to be a ma­jor im­passe. The govern­ment should em­pha­size on to de­vise so­lu­tions to such enig­mas be­fore­hand.

As pro­grams such as Dig­i­tal In­dia are go­ing main­stream, it will also bring forth the threats of at­tracts, if im­ple­mented with vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. A coun­try such as In­dia is cer­tainly not in a po­si­tion to with­stand mas­sive at­tacks in the In­ter­net do­main as of now, even if the hacker’s com­mu­nity of the coun­try proves their ex­is­tence glob­ally ev­ery now and then.

In fact, dig­i­tal as­pect in smart cities is the only one among other im­per­a­tives such as re­new­able en­ergy, sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment, and the in­trin­sic cor­re­la­tion be­tween so­cial life and ur­ban plan­ning.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.