The two-day India Advantage Summit 2017 (TIA 2017) co-hosted by the Department of IT/BT, Government of Karnataka and KBITS drew to a close today. The conference aimed to bring together key industry leaders working in the domain of “SMART Cities” to bring innovative practices, best case studies and globally tried and tested frameworks to India. Organised by Integro Infotech and Consulting, the focus of the TIA 2017 is on Global Partnerships for Building Smart Cities in India.
Dr. A. Ravindra, IAS (Retd.) Chairman Smart Cities India Foundation said, “The aim of the India Advantage Summit 2017 is to address the challenges that arise due to urbanisation. We aim to come up with smart city solutions which involve the use of technology. Our focus is to get the basic structure of a smart city implemented as soon as possible which includes guaranteed water, electricity supply, hygienic sanitation and solid waste management, well-organized mobility and public transport, strong information technology connectivity, safety of citizens, reducing carbon footprint and having intelligent traffic management systems”
One of the key challenges in the domain of ‘SMART Cities’ is providing an integrated, complete and holistic solution to challenges in Indian cities. Saurav R. Lenka- Business Head, SMART City Projects, Quess Corp Limited said, “Quess through it's well spread operations cutting across multiple sectors, has developed strong operational and program management capabilities to execute the strategic Digital infrastructure initiatives of the Government of India. Quess as a Master System Integrator(MSI) plays a pivotal role stitching together complete solution which includes cutting edge hardware and software components along with strong execution methodology.”
"There is strong need to revisit the funding pattern of the strategic initiatives like smart cities. Current funding methods are counter-productive to the strategic initiatives as it increases the working capital requirements for MSI. This in turn leads to increasing the cost of capital, which ultimately drives MSI to reduce the overall cost of project by compromising on technology" he further added.
Dr. A. Ravindra, encouraged the participants at the summit to jointly pass a summit declaration, to strengthen the overall progress towards the goal of ‘smart cities’ in India.
The summit declaration approved and passed is as below:
We, the assembled city representatives, key government representatives, industry leaders, bankers, global experts, city planners, architects, builders and university professors - who work in the domain of 'SMART Cities' commit to take the following measures in the best of our capacity:
1. Support and engage in smart city initiatives, to complement the efforts of Govt. of India’s Smart Cities Mission.
2. Develop new and innovative models with the help of financial institutions to facilitate/contribute to/invest in smart urban infrastructure projects and initiatives
3. Build the capacities of stakeholders and impart skills to young people on specific training courses that create jobs for managing smart infrastructure/s.
4. Facilitate site visits/smart city Labs to develop a greater understanding of how smart solutions are put into practice.
5. Disseminate, share and exchange information, make new collaborations by regularly holding workshops/conferences with the aim of improving inter-city cooperation.
Chief guest for the closing ceremony was the Advocate Rakhi Ravikumar, deputy mayor of Trivandrum city Corporation, who also participated in both days of the summit complimented the organizers for bringing together various ‘Smart city’ stakeholders in one common and collaborative platform. She also welcomed the various companies that were present to participate in the upcoming ‘SMARCT City’ tenders for Trivandrum corporation.
Guruprasad Srinivasan, President – Shared Services & Logistics - Quess Corp Limited, who was the thematic speaker for the closing ceremony & guest of honour highlighted the importance of execution,quality of service delivery and the need for efficiencyin scaling up operations, especially in the context of smart cities and delivery of citizen services. Drawing a parallel with the stellar growth of Quess corp Limited, he underlined the importance of retaining the DNA of ‘innovation’ even as growth and scale bring new challenges.
While the summit had great corporate speakers from Quess Corp Limited, Bosch, Shapoorji Paloonji, Schneider and others there were an array of startups and special participation from the BRIGADE Reap accelerator. Other key inspirational speakers at the TIA Summit 2017 were Margit Hellwig-Bötte,Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany;Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Jürgen Lehmann, President of Hof University, Germany; Wiebke Dörfler, Managing Director - Bavarian-Indian Centre for Business and University Cooperation – BayIND. The 2-day summit brought together on a common platform stakeholders including decision makers from the declared SMART cities of India, global and Indian firms in the domain of SMART Cities development, developers of Indian ‘SMART’ Township projects and University professors and academicians involved in SMART City initiatives to share, discuss, ideate and partner with each other.