IoT Presents Big Opportunities For Indian Smart cities

by Wrik Sen    Sep 12, 2016


The much-touted Smart Cities could become a panacea for sustainable development across India, bringing in its wake technology enhancements that provide cleaner and greener energy, security and other forms of innovative resource management, speakers at a recent summit suggested.

The Second National Summit on 100 Smart Cities 2016 saw the confluence of industry leaders, government officials and other stakeholders on a common platform where they discussed the entire transformation required for sustainable development through the years ahead. A key point debated by the stakeholders revolved around the role of Internet of Things (IoT) at the Smart Cities towards managing their developmental dynamics.

Keynote speaker Stefan Sjöström, Vice-President Asia, Public Sector, Microsoft Operations highlighted the role of technology in the education domain. “Massive e-learning initiatives with over 2000 courses are changing lives of 30 million students across India,” he said while reiterating that IoT would touch all aspects of human life.

Praising governmental efforts in creating Smart Cities, Dr. Sumit D. Chowdhury, Founder and CEO of GAIA Smart Cities highlighted the importance of various departments coming together to discuss and plan such projects. He underscored the fact that individual projects may not help much, becoming a financial burden in the process. “So, all departments need to work in tandem,” he reiterated.

Sumit Puri, Chief Information Officer of Max Healthcare said IoT would change the way healthcare was delivered across the country. “Each year epidemics result in lots of challenges. A design needs to be in place to ensure clean metrics. In addition, the country needs to alter behavior of the talent pool available in India.”

Underscoring the importance of urban planning, Bipin Pradeep Kumar, Co-founder and Director of GAIA Smart Cities said it has direct impact on infrastructure and resource management in cities. “One needs to learn lessons from ancient cities that were build on certain principles, often with the believe that such cities helped people prepare for the next life.

On the issue of urban planning, Dr. P S N Rao, Head of Housing at the School of Planning and Architecture said key areas of focus should be on garbage disposal, water management and urban transport and infrastructure. “Five years is just a warm-up period for reworking the Indian cities. We surely need more time. And, to ensure implementation, we should have a CEO appointed for a minimum ten year period,” he said.

Indraneel Ghosh of Brillio India held the view that one cannot have all decisions being taken at the municipality level. Some need to be taken by the citizen as well. “We need to have a vision on how our cities are going to become in the next five years and later. Smart spaces need to be focused on and we have to define future-ready cities.”

However, amidst these discussions an interesting aspect came to the fore via Sharad Arora, Managing Director of Sensorise Digital Services, who spoke about the embedded SIM as a possible solution to coverage issues as well as the problems coming out of security threats.

Most devices using embedded SIMs for machine-to-machine communications need to transmit via a separate channel so that a single card can take on service subscriptions from several vendors. In case of connectivity issues, there would be options available. Moreover, it would help security agencies keep better track of users, he concluded.