Union Government Shortlists 20 Cities Under Smart Cities Mission

The Union Ministry of Urban Development, on January 28, 2016 announced 20 cities from 11 States and National Capital Territory of Delhi in the list of first batch of Smart Cities Mission. These shortlisted cities were selected from Smart City Challenge competitiop in which 98 cities and towns had participated from 23 States and UTs. These first 20 smart cities will be receiving the fund for the development of first 20 smart cities across India. It was the most ambitious

Union Minister for Urban Development Mr. Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the list of 20 smart cities on January 28, 2016.

project of PM Mr. Narendra Modi’s flagship 100 Smart City Mission. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively. Among the shortlisted 20 Smart Cities, 3 are from Madhya Pradesh, 2 each are from Maharashtra, Rajasthan Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and 1 each from Odisha, Kerala, Delhi (NCT), Assam and Punjab. 20 shortlisted smart cities (Rank-wise) are—Bhubaneswar, Odisha; Pune, Maharashtra; Jaipur, Rajasthan; Surat, Gujarat; Kochi, Kerala; Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh; Solapur, Maharashtra; Davangere, Karnataka; Indore, Madhya Pradesh; New Delhi Municipal Corporation; Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh; Belagavi, Karnataka; Udaipur, Rajasthan; Guwahati, Assam; Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Ludhiana, Punjab; and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

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 principal-infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents. There are many technological
platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres. Some of the parameters on the basis of which the decision was taken are feasibility, result orientation, citizen participation, smartness of proposals etc. These 20 smart cities will get the funds first to kick-start their development process. With a per-city allocation of Rs. 100 crore for each of the five years of the mission period, the Central assistance to the mission is around Rs 50,000 crore. These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. Of the 98 cities and towns that five years down will graduate into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are culture and tourism-influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health-care hubs.

PM Narendra Modi Launches
Start-up India Initiative

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on January 16, 2016 launched Start-up India initiative to augment start-up ecosystem in the country. The initiative was launched in New Delhi. On this occasion, the Prime Minister also unveiled Start-up India, Stand-up India Action Plan which contained a slew of financial, policy and regulatory measures aimed at giving impetus to innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. The Prime Minister visited a virtual exhibition and interacted with Start-up entrepreneurs. The PM said that successful start-ups were usually created by those who were driven by an idea, or an urge to solve a problem that people face. He said that he wished to turn the youth of India from job-seekers to job- creators. Under Start-up India, Stand- up India Action Plan, a separate fund will be created with Rs. 10,000 crore corpus for development and growth of innovation-driven enterprises. It will be Rs. 2,500 crore a year for four years.

The Atal Innovation Mission was announced with a focus on strengthening incubation facilities for start-ups. Under the mission, among other things, pre-incubation training will be offered to willing entrepreneurs. Under the mission, 35 new incubators, 7 new research parks, 31 innovation centres will be set up at the premier technology institutes under the public- private partnership mode. 500 sector specific incubators, including 5 new Bio­clusters will be established across the country. An innovation programme will be launched in 5 lakh schools across
the country to nurture innovation amom 10 lakh children. Profits of Start-m units will be made tax-free for 3 year and there will be a moratorium o: labour inspections for the first 3 year; of operations. Capital gains tax is to lx exempted for venture capita investments. However, the exemptio: will be applicable only when tht proceeds are invested in another start­up. New scheme will be launched tc provide Intellectual Property Right protection to start-ups and new firm; Liberalised Fast-track mechanism will h . evolved to process start-up pater: applications under IPR protection wit: 80 percent reduction in registration fee Self-certification-based complianc: regime will be followed in relation tc labour and environmental laws. A nee mobile app to enable start-ups to register themselves within a day and a portal t: apply for clearances online will b; operational from April 1, 2016. It als: provides easier exits for failed venture with a provision for winding them u: within 90 days under the Bankruptr and Insolvency Bill, 2015.