SMART CITIES TO COME: THE NEED BEFORE THAT

Smart cities are to come into existence, or into functional mode, or into the operational domain from the public psyche of the Indians.

Now the need before that is to educate the Janata (or the Indian public) about ‘whats n hows’ of a smart city:

What is a smart city?

What are its characteristics?

What will happen to the people in a smart city who are not smart (or not smart enough)?

Are the people equipped enough to have what it takes to be the residents of a smart city?

How can they change and acclimatize?

What if a smart city doesn’t find smart users or conscious adherents, what will be the corrective measures/alternatives then?

Before unleashing the transformative power of the smart cities, the Janata needs to be educated and trained with the knowledge of the ‘knowhows’ of a smart city functioning.

The Skills Development Ministry can collaborate with the Urban Development Ministry on it.

After all, it is legitimate claim of the Janata to have a participative development of the smart cities.

Yes, infrastructure upgradation is an urgent need of India but it needs to be backed with solid feasibility and viability issues.

What will make for an Indian smart city, the clear and defined elements, need to come in the public domain soon, and hopefully, we will have that information soon.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

XI JINPING’S INDIA VISIT & CHUMAR STANDOFF: THANKFULLY, THE INDUCED BONHOMIE WORKED

India China bonhomie was in the air. It was in full throttle when the Chinese President was here earlier this month. And had a natural downslide after the visit. Even during the visit, yet another standoff on yet another Chinese incursion in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, was in full swing.

So, if the Indian hospitality in making the Chinese President Xi Jinping feel at home will be remembered, it will also be remembered for the cultural elements that enveloped the bilateral tension under the wrap of a makeshift bonhomie.

So, if it was 10%, the wrap of the cultural bonhomie made it 50%. The personal touch of Narendra Modi and the Gujarat element took it to 75% (Xi landed in Gujarat to begin his India visit). And the rest was done by the media, making it complete, taking it to the absolute figure of 100%, so much so that long discussions were held out on the possible (say proposed) $100 Billion Chinese investment in India.

No one can say from where this $100 Billion investment figure cropped up which was nowhere near to the actual $30 Billion that Chinese President agreed on while leaving the country.

The two Asian nations and neighbours fought a war in 1962 and there have been very little in the name of diplomatic ties and high-level bilateral efforts. The general perception about political and public sentiments has been of hostility, bilaterally. India has had an all-weather ally in Japan, China’s historical adversary. And China has done all to prop Pakistan against India, India’s backstabbing neighbour.

But times are changing and economic compulsions are rewriting the global equations. And economic compulsions forced the two most populous nations, and thus the larger markets, to looks for options to explore the avenues of enhanced economic cooperation. A strong trade tie between the two nations has the potential to rewrite the world economic order and can offer a great leverage in bringing their populations to the level of a dignified quality of life.

Though China is much ahead, both India and China have been growing strongly and at higher pace than the world average. The markets in the both the nations need investors and buyers now and two big and mature markets sharing a long territorial border can throw a wonderful opportunity.

The border that has been the main bone of contention between the two nations inciting a war and numerous incidents of incursions and standoffs.

And one of such prolonged standoffs was in full flow while the Chinese President was on state visit to India from September 17-19.

But, thankfully, the induced bonhomie worked, at least during the visit, and the incident didn’t mar the prospects of the visit. Even MoUs for $30 Billion are practically a good deal to talk about given the patchy history between the two nations.

It will take much more than a bilateral Summit talk to bring India and China on cordial terms, and much is needed to be done. The ice will break slowly because the temperature has been frigid for decades.

For the moment, the border standoff in Ladakh, at Chumar, has been resolved and the troops will be withdrawn completely by September 30.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/