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India Smart Cities Fellowship Program

India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program was launched by the Hon'ble Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) on 9th July 2018. The objective was to select a cohort of promising young professionals who have the potential to contribute to the innovation ecosystem that is fast developing around the SCM. They provide necessary support to the Office of Mission Director, Smart Cities in MoHUA and/or CEOs of selected Smart Cities in terms of analytics, research, documentation, etc. The first batch of the India Smart Cities Fellows was inducted in February 2019 through a first-of-its-kind selection process. The fellows worked on 12 marquee projects and were involved in developing innovative products. 11 fellows had their fellowship extended on the merit of their projects and are presently working on converting their projects into functional products, which MoHUA hopes to make available in an open-source format to Smart Cities across the Country. A new cohort of 46 Smart City fellows were inducted on 12 March 2020 under SCM, that is now working on various assigned projects.
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India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC)

India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) was launched to reward the cities, projects and innovative ideas promoting 'smart; development in cities. All the Smart Cities' SPVs are eligible to submit their nominations for the ISAC. The second edition of the awards, i.e. ISAC 2019 was announced on 31 January 2019, through a video conference. Smart Cities. ISAC 2019 was a two-stage submission process: first stage or 'Qualifying Stage' involves overall assessment of the city's performance and second stage or 'Proposal Stage' requires smart cities to submit their nominations for two categories viz. Project Award and Innovative Idea Award. Winners of India Smart Cities Awards Contest 2019 under various categories are given in Annexure III. The third edition of awards, ISAC 2020 was announced on 25 August 2020. All 100 smart cities participated in this edition of ISAC. In this edition, a special award 'COVID Innovation Award' was introduced to recognize the cities on the work done in prevention of COVID-19. The jury is currently evaluating the proposals and the results will be declared in the last week of January 2021.
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Ease of Living Index (EoI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI)

The assessment framework on 'Ease of Living' (EoL) Index for cities was launched in June 2017 with the objective of framing an index to enable a shift to data driven approach in urban planning and management and promote healthy competition among cities. The first Liveability Report was published in August 2018. The current edition of The Ease of Living Index 2019-20, which has been improved from the earlier version, is more focused on outcomes. The Ease of Living Index, 2019 aims to assess the ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability and Sustainability which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.

The Municipal Performance Index, 2019 is a first of its kind initiative by the Ministry which seeks to examine the sectoral performance of Municipalities across a set of 5 verticals namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance. These 5 verticals have been further divided into 20 sectors which will be evaluated across 100 indicators. These indices will help build a mature data ecosystem with a common baseline data that can be leveraged by States and cities as an instrument for urban planning and management. It will facilitate a competitive environment among cities and enhance avenues of investment.

The Ease of Living indicators are strongly linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and this exercise will help the Country to track and achieve SDGs. Citizen Participation was included in the EOL 2019 exercise that will contribute 30% towards the scoring for the Ease of Living Index. The EOL 2019-20 was expanded to 114 cities in the country and more than 32 lakh citizens participated in the Citizen survey which was carried out during February to March 2020
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ClimateSmart Cities

ClimateSMART Cities Assessment Framework was launched for the 100 Smart cities in order to incentivize a holistic, climate responsive development. This is a first-of-its-kind Assessment Framework for cities, aimed at creating a green mind-set in cities while they plan and undertake various developmental projects. The Framework includes various air and climate relevant parameters that shall guide the cities and help them to assess their own preparedness to tackle the menace of climate change and degrading air quality. The Ministry announced the individual city readiness report of the first cycle of ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework during the 3rd Smart City CEO Conference held at Visakhapatnam on Jan 24-25, 2020. The cities can view their scores, performance report and recommendation for further improvement on the SmartNet portal. The concluded phase of assessment did not intend to rank the cities but to help them understand their status regarding climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • Climate Centre for Cities

The Ministry announced a Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube) to drive climate action in Indian cities under the aegis of NIUA. The Centre will act as one stop shop for climate informed actions in Urban India. The Centre will act as a secretariat for initiatives like ClimateSmart Cities Alliance and also implement ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework 2.0.
  • ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework 2.0

After successful cycle-I of assessment, the Ministry has evolved the ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework 2.0 (CSCAF 2.0) with revised indicators. CSCAF 2.0 technical document is made available to the cities through a dedicated Micro-site hosted on SmartNet. A dedicated PMU team and portal for data uploading is ready. Further, ClimateSmart Cities-Self Assessment tool has been developed to assist cities to assess the results of potential GHG mitigation due to the recommended action envisaged/ implemented under ClimateSmart Cities Assessment. This second round of assessment is based on an integrated scoring system to evaluate 100 Smart cities across various sectors and intend to rank them in order of their performance. The submission of entries for CSCAF 2.0 has recently concluded and all the participating cities submitted their proposals.
  • ClimateSmart Cities Alliance

Ministry has envisaged a ClimateSmart Cities Alliance to further mainstream climate actions in Urban India. These strategic partnerships will bring together the diverse skills, strengths and resources for implementing projects, sharing knowledge & good practices, and scaling up transformative action to address the increasing climate risks in Indian cities. A mapping of alliance members, their area of expertise and interest for cities to work with has been conducted. The Climate Centre for Cities is mandated to act as an alliance secretariat. As of now, 31 organizations have provided concurrence to be members of the alliance including 100 Smart Cities in India.
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DataSmart Cities Strategy, Assessment Framework and Open Data, India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX) Portals

The need for the City governments to pursue 'digital leadership' has become more pronounced than ever before. The mission has launched a suite of measures to make cities 'Data Smart' so that they can realize the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
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Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF)

To catalyse the adoption of data-centric governance, Smart Cities Mission has conceptualized 'DataSmart Cities'-Strategy to leverage the potential of data to address complex urban challenges in 100 Mission Cities. In the path towards creation of culture of Data in cities the Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF) has been framed. The intent of DMAF is to provide a comprehensive set of indicators under its 2 pillars – Systemic and Sectoral which will help assess each city's readiness towards data. Through different cycles of the DMAF, both these pillars will gain different weightages to ensure a gradual and smooth movement of a city towards implementation of DataSmart Cities Strategy from both a policy advocacy as well as practical execution perspective. The First cycle of DMAF was conducted between May – August 2019 in which 99 cities participated. It was based on the systemic pillar only so that all cities can reach a common minimum threshold of data maturity before assessing them on their maturity on sectoral data readiness. Based on the successful completion of the first cycle of DMAF; the learnings, progress and feedback from cities have been incorporated to formulate the framework for the DMAF Second cycle, which was launched in November 2020 and assessment is underway.
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Smart Cities Open Data initiative

A dedicated and separate Open Government Data (OGD) Instance has been created by NIC for Smart Cities Mission and portal was launched during the Second Apex Conference for Smart City CEOs. The portal is designed to host open datasets of 100 Smart Cities of India and more than 2,600 datasets from 95 Smart Cities are already uploaded on the portal for free access to the public. This initiative is in line with the Open Government Data (OGD) Platform India ( developed by NIC as per the mandate given in the NDSAP Policy wherein Government departments are publishing their shareable datasets in open format through this platform.
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India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX)

IUDX is an open source software platform that will facilitate secure and authenticated exchange of data amongst various data platforms, 3rd party applications, data producers and consumers, both within a city to begin with, and scaled up across cities eventually at a national level, in a uniform & seamless way. The platform will provide full control to the data owners as to what data to expose and to whom. Built-in accounting mechanisms will enable it to connect with payment gateways which will form the foundation for a data marketplace. The whole platform will be developer friendly, via definitions of open APIs and data schema templates (formats for interpreting data), so that a whole new application ecosystem gets created.
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National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS)

NUIS aims to catalyse transformative collaboration in the urban ecosystem through establishing a shared digital public good. NUIS will strengthen the capacity of the urban ecosystem to solve complex programs quickly and at scale by unlocking the power of urban data, build capacity among all actors of the quadruple helix, driving discoverability and collaboration between urban stakeholders, and enabling responsive and data driven governance.
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India Urban Observatory (IUO)

A state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory has become operational: as cities begin to implement ‘smart’ solutions, data is becoming a significant asset and an enabler for data driven governance, leading to urban transformation. The Observatory will plug into various sources of data from cities both from real-time and archival sources for generating insights through analytics for cities, academia, industry and governments. The Mission has set up the IUO at the Ministry office in New Delhi. The Observatory is at the heart of all the technology initiatives and plug into the different sources of data from the cities, both from real-time and archival sources.

The Observatory is designed to provide an interactive showcase of collective insights on cities over various parameters using data through various sensors, devices, third party sources including citizens and social media. The IUO website ( was launched on 9th March 2020. With this step, the Ministry aims to disseminate knowledge in the form of insights / trends generated at the IUO as well as provide a platform for citizen engagement in the urban ecosystem. The website will also act as a repository of visual resources and urban data collected through multiple sources. It will also enable users to plot data on GIS map and generate insights.

Capacity Building Frameworks on the National Urban Learning Platform (NULP)

The National Urban Learning Platform is a content neutral, scalable and multi-channel platform which can be used for producing and delivering capacity through a 360 degree approach. NULP is envisioned as a means of digitally consolidating key skills and knowledge required by urban stakeholders and making these available to all actors on the channel of their choice. NULP includes tools to enable and streamline content creation, content organization and management, course building, course management, assessment and certification.

These tools enable the ecosystem of training institutions, urban experts and academia to rapidly digitize their existing course materials while creating new interactive and engaging types of content as well. This learning platform enables the creation of multilingual content to ensure that language does not form a barrier to learning. NULP actively engages with and enrolls training institutions, schools, civil society and other knowledge creators in India and abroad to ensure that there is a variety of content on a wide range of topics available on demand. The NULP team also works closely with these stakeholders to help align their programs with and scale their reach.
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Consultation Paper on City GDP Measurement Framework

Measuring city GDP enables cities to do better socio-economic and infrastructural planning. However, there is no standardized methodology for estimating city level GDP. To develop a framework to estimate city level GDP for Indian cities, a consultation paper on framework for city GDP has been brought out by the Ministry for city GDP estimation.

City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Challenge

CITIIS (Cities Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustain) Challenge was launched in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Union, to extend a loan of EUR 100 million for implementation of upto 15 innovative projects selected through an All-India Challenge in four sectors- sustainable mobility, public open spaces, urban governance & ICT and social and organizational innovation in low-income settlements. The CITIIS program was launched on July 9, 2018. The entire set of activities including organisation of preparatory Workshop, handholding of cities to enable submission of proposals by them, evaluation of proposals by the jury leading up to selection of 12 projects and signing of tripartite agreements with the concerned cities and States was completed in record time. The 12 projects are currently under implementation in the cities of Agartala, Amaravati, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Dehradun, Hubbali-Dharwad, Kochi, Puducherry, Surat, Ujjain and Visakhapatnam. The design framework for CITIIS 2.0 is being conceptualized by AFD in consultation with SCM and MoHUA.
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Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge

The Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge was launched in the first week of November 2020. It is a 3-year initiative hosted by the Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and WRI India. The Challenge enables Indian cities to adopt an early childhood lens in designing neighbourhood-level improvements that promote the health and well-being of young children and their caregivers. Through the Challenge, selected cities will receive technical assistance and capacity-building to improve public spaces, mobility, neighbourhood planning, early childhood services and data management. The first stage (November 2020 – January 2021) is an open call for applications from Government agencies in all Smart Cities, Capitals of States and UTs, and other cities with a population greater than 5 lakhs. Starting in 2021, a cohort of up to 20 cities will be selected to receive technical support over a period of 6 months to implement pilot projects in neighbourhoods. In the next phase, based on the strength of their proposal, readiness, and commitment, up to 10 winning cities will be selected by an independent jury to receive further technical support, capacity-building, and scale-up support over two years.
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India Cycles for Change (IC4C) Challenge

The India Cycles4Change Challenge launched in June 2020 is an initiative to inspire and support the cities to implement cycling friendly initiative, to encourage cities to experiment cycling and build confidence for a city-level scale-up with the goal to learn, rather than plan to perfection. The challenge will prepare cities to implement cycling friendly initiatives in response to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown.

The challenge was open to all cities with over 5 lakh population, capital cities and all smart cities. For Smart Cities, the interventions are a pan-city initiative and not limited to the ABD area only. A total of 107 cities registered for the challenge. The India Cycles4Change Challenge will have two stages. (1) Pilot intervention and conceptual scale-up plan - the aim of stage 1 is to encourage cities to initiate and implement quick interventions and promotional activities to encourage cycling and further develop a conceptual scale-up strategy, and (2) Scaling up pilot interventions - the aim of stage 2 is for the shortlisted cities to further develop and commence the implementation of the concept scale-up plan submitted in stage 1 with inputs from National and International experts.
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Streets for People Challenge

The Streets for People Challenge, launched in the first week of November 2020, is an initiative to inspire cities to create walking-friendly streets through quick measures, in response to COVID-19. The Challenge will support cities across the country to develop a unified vision of streets for people in consultation with stakeholders and citizens. The Challenge requires each city to test at least one flagship walking project and enhance liveability in one neighbourhood. Streets and public spaces around transit hubs, heritage zones, commercial streets, market areas, recreational corridors or any high footfall zones can be considered as potential locations for the flagship project. For cities under the Smart Cities Mission, the interventions will be a pan-city initiative and not limited to the ABD area only.

The Streets for People Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UT's and cities with a population of over 5 lakh population. For the Smart Cities, the interventions are a pan-city initiative and not limited to the ABD area only. A total of 113 cities have registered for the challenge. In the first Stage proposals are invited for Pilot intervention and conceptual scale-up plan. The better performing cities as per the implementation reports will be selected for the Stage 2 of the Challenge and will be assisted for Scaling up the transformation and strategizing measures for long-term impact.
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ICT Standards for Smart Cities

Preliminary Draft ICT Standards: The 12th Meeting of Smart Infrastructure Sectional Committee, LITD 28 was held on 22 May 2019 at the office of Bureau of Indian Standards. Feedback and comments were solicited from the members and invitees on the circulated draft standards while it was informed that BIS will be receiving updates from the conveners. The team is in the final phase of putting together the IT standards for creating Unified, Resilient, and Secure & Sustainable Smart Infrastructure – ICT Reference Architecture (USI-ICT RA). This Indian Standard will be adopted by Bureau of Indian Standards, after the draft is finalized by the Smart infrastructure Sectional Committee, LITD 28 and after the approval of the Electronics and Information Technology Division Council. Regular industry consultation took place during the year to expedite the work including re-organization of the LITD 28 committee with change in the leadership. The Draft ICT standards have been finalized based on feedback from Smart Cities.

The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)

India has a substantial pool of technical graduates for whom exposure to real world project implementation and planning is essential for professional development. ‘ULBs and Smart Cities, with their complex and large operations provide a promising environment for real world learning for young minds. It is with this objective that MoHUA and MHRD launched 'The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)'' to match opportunities in ULBs and Smart Cities with learning needs of recent graduates. The program intends to fulfil the twin goals of providing hands-on learning experience to recent graduates as well as benefiting States, ULBs and Smart Cities with infusion of fresh energy and ideas to solve critical challenges. TULIP envisions to create synergies between advancing functional skills in students and harnessing their energy and ideas to co-create solutions for the future of our cities. All 100 Smart Cities have registered on the TULIP portal. Till date, nearly 284 Smart Cities/ ULBs have participated in the TULIP Programme and have posted more than 13,000 internships and more than 100 interns have successfully completed their internships.
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COVID-19 Response in Smart Cities

Smart Cities Mission (SCM) is actively providing support for rapid response in COVID 19 management. The Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) set up under the mission in various Smart Cities including Bangalore, Pune, Agra and Vadodara to name a few have been transformed into war rooms for real time monitoring and effective management of the pandemic using technology. The mission collated best practices across Smart Cities in fighting COVID 19. These practices were around gathering information, rapid communication, active management of COVID infected areas and people and take proactive steps in avoiding spread of the pandemic. These have been documented and shared with all the Smart City CEOs and Municipal Commissioners and can be replicated in other cities. SCM has collated information on food and shelter provision with location and contact details of food distribution, shelter homes and kitchens that exist or newly started across the Smart Cities. This information has been shared across the city stakeholders and is accessible via Google maps. COVID Response in Smart Cities can be classified in four quadrants, viz., Information, Communication, Management and Preparedness.
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