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26 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog


Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, launched the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme, with a focus on holistic development of heritage cities. The scheme aims to preserve and revitalize soul of the heritage city to reflect the city’s unique character by encouraging aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment.

HRIDAY strategizes its efforts like planning, development, implementation and management for ensuring the sustainable growth of selected heritage cities in partnership with State Governments. It offers a paradigm shift in India’s approach to city development, bringing together urban planning/economic growth and heritage conservation in an inclusive and integrated manner with special attention on livelihoods, skills, cleanliness, security, accessibility and service delivery. The scheme will work through a partnership of Government (Central/State/Local), private sector, academic institutions and local community, combining affordable technologies.

Identified cities/towns will be required to prepare Heritage Management Plan (HMP) for the city/town and develop and execute Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for identified projects (after consultation with all stakeholders) for availing assistance under the scheme, through either empaneled agencies, state para-states, Public Sector Undertakings, Special purpose vehicles et al.

HRIDAY is a central sector scheme, where 100% funding will be provided by Government of India. The duration of this scheme is four years i.e. from December 2014 to March 2018. The scheme would be implemented in a mission mode.


The scheme will broadly focus on four theme areas for reviving and revitalizing the soul of Heritage City:

  • Physical Infrastructure
  • Institutional Infrastructure
  • Economic Infrastructure
  • Social Infrastructure

“Preserve and revitalise soul of the heritage city to reflect the city’s unique character by encouraging aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment. To undertake strategic and planned development of heritage cities aiming at improvement in overall quality of life with specific focus on sanitation, security, tourism, heritage revitalization and livelihoods retaining the city’s cultural identity.”


The main objective of HRIDAY is to preserve character of the soul of heritage city and facilitate inclusive heritage linked urban development by exploring various avenues including involving private sector. Specific objectives are:

  • Planning, development and implementation of heritage sensitive infrastructure.
  • Service delivery and infrastructure provisioning in historic city core areas.
  • Preserve and revitalize heritage wherein tourists can connect directly with city’s unique character.
  • Develop and document a heritage asset inventory of cities – natural, cultural, living and built heritage as a basis for urban planning, growth and service provision & delivery.
  • Implementation and enhancement of basic services delivery with focus on sanitation services like public conveniences, toilets, water taps, street lights with use of latest technologies in improving tourist facilities/amenities.
  • Local capacity enhancement for inclusive heritage-based industry.
  • Create effective linkages between tourism and cultural facilities and also the conservation of natural and built heritage.
  • Urban heritage adaptive rehabilitation and maintenance, including appropriate technologies for historic buildings retrofitting.
  • Establish and manage effective public private partnership for adaptive urban rehabilitation.
  • Development and promotion of core tangible economic activities to enhance avenues of livelihoods amongst stakeholders. This would also include necessary skill development amongst them including making public spaces accessible and developing cultural spaces.
  • Making cities informative with use of modern ICT tools and making cities secure with modern surveillance and security apparatus like CCTV etc.
  • Increase accessibility i.e. physical access (roads as well as universal design) and intellectual access (i.e. digital heritage and GIS mapping of historical locations/ tourist maps and routes).


Twelve cities have been selected under the scheme in the first phase, namely;

  • Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Gaya (Bihar)
  • Dwarka (Gujarat)
  • Badami(Karnataka)
  • Puri (Odisha)
  • Amritsar (Punjab)
  • Ajmer(Rajasthan)
  • Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)
  • Vellankani (Tamil Nadu)
  • Warangal (Telangana)
  • Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). 


The Scheme is structured for planning and implementation through the following institutional structures:


  • HNEC provides overall sanction, approval, guidance and advice to the Scheme. Following are its broad roles and responsibilities:
  • Approve all operations and fund release, review and monitor the overall performance of the scheme.
  • Approve establishment of City Level Committees and agencies such as CLAMC, HRIDAY City Anchors and City Mission Directorate
  • Ensure that there is no duplication in the sanctioning of project/ works/activities/ under HRIDAY and those eligible/sanctioned under other schemes of GOI
  • Recommend mid-course correction in the implementation tools as & when required.


19 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog


The 'Make in India' programme aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. The 'Make in India' initiative does not target manufacturing sector alone, but also aims at promoting entrepreneurship in the country. The initiative is further aimed at creating a conducive environment for investment, modern and efficient infrastructure, opening up new sectors for foreign investment and forging a partnership between government and industry through positive mindset.


  • India has already marked its presence as one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
  • The country is expected to rank amongst the world's top three growth economies and amongst the top three manufacturing destinations by 2020.
  • Favorable demographic dividends for the next 2-3 decades. Sustained availability of quality workforce.
  • The cost of manpower is relatively low as compared to other countries.
  • Responsible business houses operating with credibility and professionalism.
  • Strong consumerismin the domestic market.
  • Strong technical and engineering capabilities backed by top-notch scientific and technical institutes.
  • Well-regulated and stable financial markets open to foreign investors


The following 25 sectors have been identified under the 'Make in India' initiative :

  • Auto Components
  • Automobiles
  • Aviation
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemicals
  • Construction
  • Defence Manufacturing
  • Electrical Machinery
  • Electronic System Design and Manufacturing
  • Food Processing
  • IT and BPM
  • Leather
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Ports
  • Railways
  • Roads and Highways
  • Renewable Energy
  • Space
  • Textiles
  • Thermal Power
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Wellness


  • Five industrial corridor projects have been identified, planned and launched by the Government of India in the Union Budget of 2014-2015, to provide an impetus to industrialisation and planned urbanisation. In each of these corridors, manufacturing will be a key economic driver and these projects are seen as critical in raising the share of manufacturing in India's Gross Domestic Product from the current levels of 15% to 25% by 2022.
  • Along these corridors, the development of 100 Smart Cities has also been envisaged in the Union Budget of 2014-2015. These cities are being developed to integrate the new workforce that will power manufacturing along the industrial corridors and to decongest India's urban housing scenario.
  • A National Industrial Corridor Development Authority (NICDA) is being established to converge and integrate the development of all industrial corridors.


  • Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
  • Bengaluru- Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC)
  • Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
  • Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC)
  • Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC).


  • New Initiatives: The Make in India program includes major new initiatives designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, protect intellectual property, and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure.
  • Foreign Direct Investments: India has already marked its presence as one of the fastest growing economies of the world. It has been ranked among the top 3 attractive destinations for inbound investments. Since 1991, the regulatory environment in terms of foreign investment has been consistently eased to make it investor-friendly.
  • Intellectual Property: The Indian government has taken several initiatives to create a conducive environment for the protection of intellectual property rights of innovators and creators by bringing about changes at legislative and policy level. In addition, specific focus has been placed on improved service delivery by upgrading infrastructure, building capacity and using state-of-the-art technology in the functioning of intellectual property offices in the country. This measure has resulted in sweeping changes in IP administration within the country.
  • National Manufacturing: The need to raise the global competitiveness of the Indian manufacturing sector is imperative for the country's long term-growth. The National Manufacturing Policy is by far the most comprehensive and significant policy initiative taken by the Government. The policy is the first of its kind for the manufacturing sector as it addresses areas of regulation, infrastructure, skill development, technology, availability of finance, exit mechanism and other pertinent factors related to the growth of the sector.


1. Central Government Initiatives

  • Unified online portal (Shram Suvidha)
  • Online portals for Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)
  • Simplified forms
  • Eliminate requirement of minimum paid-up capital and common seal
  • Integrate processes for obtaining PAN, TAN, ESIC and EPFO registration with incorporation of company
  • Single-window clearance for import and export

2. State Government Initiatives

  • Online consent system for Pollution Control Board (Gujarat)
  • Unified process with single ID for VAT and Professional Tax registration (Maharashtra)
  • Creation of Invest Punjab, as a one-stop clearance system for investment projects (Punjab)
  • Online application portal for residential and industrial building permits (Delhi)
  • Green industries exempted from inspection by Pollution Control Committee (Puducherry)
  • Online portal for the grant of construction permits (Mumbai)
12 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog


International Solar Alliance (ISA) is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. It is also called as the International Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (IASTA). It aims to spread cheap solar technology across the globe with pooled policy knowledge. The alliance includes around 120 countries that support the “Declaration on the occasion to launch the international solar alliance of countries dedicated to the promotion of solar energy”.

The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies.


ISA’s Mission and Vision is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilizing of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner


The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.

ISA will work with partner countries in the identification of national opportunities to accelerate development and deployment of existing clean solar energy technologies, the potential for which largely remains untapped. The increased deployment of solar technologies will benefit the countries in terms of direct and indirect employment opportunities generated and the economic activity that will be triggered through electricity and solar appliance access to predominantly rural households


To achieve the objectives, ISA, by way of supplementing the national efforts of the countries, through appropriate means will undertake following activities:

  • Collaborations for joint research, development and demonstration, sharing information and knowledge, capacity building, supporting technology hubs and creating networks;
  • Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries;
  • Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols;
  • Creation of partnerships among country specific technology centers for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access;
  • Exchange of officials/technology specialists for participation in the training programs on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
  • Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures;
  • Sharing of solar energy development experiences, analysis on short- and longer-term issues in key energy supply, financing practices, business models particularly for decentralized applications and off-grid applications, including creation of local platforms focusing on implementation solutions and grass root participation;
  • Establish new financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital in the renewable energy sector and innovative financing to develop; and
  • Collaborate with other multilateral bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership(REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN), United Nations bodies; bilateral organizations; Corporates, industry, and other stakeholders can contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in ISA member countries.


To achieve the objectives, ISA will have five key focus areas:

  • Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment
  • Formulate projects and programs to promote solar applications
  • Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital
  • Build a common Knowledge e-Portal
  • Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries.

These focus areas will cater to:

  • Grid connected solar power (Solar parks, Solar thermal projects, Rooftop solar projects, Canal top projects, Solar on water bodies, Farmers and unemployed youths as generators)
  • Off-grid and decentralized applications (Village electrification and mini-grids, Solar lanterns, Mobile chargers, Solar powered telecom towers, Milk chilling centers, Potters wheels, Solar spinner for weavers, street lights, Solar pumps, Solar heating/cooling, etc.).


ISA is proposed to be a multi country partnership organization with membership from solar resource rich countries between the two tropics.

ISA’s proposed governance structure would consist of:

  • An Assembly
  • A Council
  • A Secretariat


To achieve the goals and objectives, and subject to mutual deliberations, following action points have been identified as short term priorities, to be taken up by ISA:-

  • Assisting member countries in drafting solar policies;
  • E-Portal to offer 24/7 real time suggestions for solar projects;
  • Work with ISA member countries to strive for universal access to solar lighting;
  • Preparation of Detailed Project Reports and sharing of best-practices and successful case studies;
  • Exchange best practices and work with member countries in designing financing instruments to mitigate risk and catalyse partnerships to boost investment;
  • Share perspectives on developing electricity systems;
  • Development of standards, specifications and test protocols for solar energy systems;
  • Generate and diffuse key learning on new technologies;
  • Encourage collaboration in solar resource mapping in member countries and in deployment of suitable technologies;
  • Facilitate preparation of plans for solar energy development and deployment;
  • Encourage industry cooperation among ISA member countries;
  • Forge cooperative linkages on development of Centre of Excellence for R&D in ISA member countries; and
  • Designing training programs for students/engineers/ policy makers, etc. and organizing workshops, focused meetings and conferences.


  • People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Republic of Angola
  • Argentina Republic
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Commonwealth of Bahamas
  • Peoples Republic of Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Republic of Benin
  • Pluri’National State of Bolivia
  • Republic of Botswana.
  • Federal Republic of Brazil
  • Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
  • Burkina Faso
  • Republic of Burundi
  • Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Republic of Cameroon
  • Republic of Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Republic of Chad
  • Republic of Chile
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Republic of Colombia
  • Union of Comoros
  • Congo – Democratic Republic of
  • Congo - Republic of
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Costa Rica
  • Republic of Cote d’ivoire
  • 31. Republic of Cuba
  • Republic of Djibouti
  • Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Republic of Ecuador
  • Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • State of Eritrea
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Republic of Fiji
  • France
  • Gabonese Republic
  • Republic of The Gambia
  • Republic of Ghana
  • Republic of Grenada
  • Republic of Guatemala
  • Republic of Guinea
  • Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  • Republic of Guyana
  • Republic of Haiti
  • Republic of Honduras
  • Republic of India
  • Republic of Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Republic of Kenya
  • Republic of Kiribati
  • Laos People’s Democratic Republic
  • Republic of Liberia
  • Libya
  • Republic of Madagascar
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Federation of Malaysia
  • Republic of Maldives
  • Republic of Mali
  • Republic of Marshall Islands
  • Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • United Mexican State
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Myanmar
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of Nauru
  • The Netherlands
  • Republic of Nicaragua
  • Republic of Niger
  • Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Republic of Palau
  • Republic of Panama
  • Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  • Republic of Paraguay
  • Republic of Peru
  • Republic of Philippines
  • Republic of Rwanda
  • St. Lucia
  • Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Independent State of Samoa
  • Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Republic of Senegal
  • Republic of Seychelles
  • Republic of Sierra Leone
  • Republic of Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Federal Republic of Somalia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • Democratic Socialist Republic of Srilanka
  • Republic of Sudan
  • Republic of Suriname
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Kingdom of Thailand
  • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
  • Togolese Republic
  • Kingdom of Tonga
  • Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Republic of Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Republic of Vanuatu
  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Republic of Yemen
  • Republic of Zambia
  • Republic of Zimbabwe


The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/193 in 1981 underlined the need for cooperation among developing countries and mobilization of financial resources for new and renewable sources of energy. After 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, many advocacy organizations were set up, primarily to disseminate knowledge about renewable energy. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 7.1, 7.2, 7.a and 7.b clearly state that renewable energy must be given priority in the future agenda of all countries. These read as follows:

SDG- 7 : “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programs of support.


  • India plans to revamp up its domestic solar energy production capacity from 4 gigawatts (in 2015) to 100 gigawatts by 2022.
  • 1 GW is enough to power 700,000 and 750,000 western homes.
  • ISA is to function from the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon, India. The Government will provide $30 million to form a secretariat for the Alliance and also support it for five years.
09 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog



  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilize the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.

The Scheme shall be implemented through a multi-agency framework by selected insurance companies under the overall guidance & control of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) (under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GOI)) and the concerned State.

3. FARMERS TO BE COVERED: All farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season who have insurable interest in the crop are eligible.

3.1. COMPULSORY COVERAGE: The enrolment under the scheme, subject to possession of insurable interest on the cultivation of the notified crop in the notified area, shall be compulsory for following categories of farmers:

3.1.1. Farmers in the notified area who possess a Crop Loan account/KCC account (called as Loanee Farmers) to whom credit limit is sanctioned/renewed for the notified crop during the crop season.

3.1.2. Such other farmers whom the Government may decide to include from time to time.

3.2. VOLUNTARY COVERAGE: Voluntary coverage may be obtained by all farmers not covered in 3.1 above, including Crop KCC/Crop Loan Account holders whose credit limit is not renewed.

4.1. RISKS: Following risks leading to crop loss are to be covered under the scheme:

4.1.1. YIELD LOSSES (standing crops, on notified area basis): Comprehensive risk insurance is provided to cover yield losses due to non-preventable risks, such as

  • Natural Fire and Lightning
  • Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado etc.
  • Flood, Inundation and Landslide
  • Drought, Dry spells
  • Pests/ Diseases etc.

4.1.2. PREVENTED SOWING (on notified area basis): In cases where majority of the insured farmers of a notified area, having intent to sow/plant and incurred expenditure for the purpose, are prevented from sowing/planting the insured crop due to adverse weather conditions, shall be eligible for indemnity claims upto a maximum of 25% of the sum-insured.

4.1.3. POST-HARVEST LOSSES (individual farm basis): Coverage is available upto a maximum period of 14 days from harvesting for those crops which are kept in “cut & spread” condition to dry in the field after harvesting, against specific perils of cyclone / cyclonic rains, unseasonal rains throughout the country.

4.1.4. LOCALISED CALAMITIES (individual farm basis): Loss / damage resulting from occurrence of identified localized risks i.e. hailstorm, landslide, and Inundation affecting isolated farms in the notified area.

4.2. EXCLUSIONS: Risks and Losses arising out of following perils shall be excluded: War & kindred perils, nuclear risks, riots, malicious damage, theft, act of enmity, grazed and/or destroyed by domestic and/or wild animals. In case of Post–Harvest losses the harvested crop bundled and heaped at a place before threshing, other preventable risks.


In case of Loanee farmers under Compulsory Component, the Sum Insured would be equal to Scale of Finance for that crop as fixed by District Level Technical Committee (DLTC) which may extend up to the value of the threshold yield of the insured crop at the option of insured farmer. Where value of the threshold yield is lower than the Scale of Finance, higher amount shall be the Sum Insured. Multiplying the Notional Threshold Yield with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the current year arrives at the value of sum insured. Wherever Current year’s MSP is not available, MSP of previous year shall be adopted. The crops for which, MSP is not declared, farm gate price established by the marketing department / board shall be adopted.

Further, in case of Loanee farmers, the Insurance Charges payable by the farmers shall be financed by loan disbursing office of the Bank, and will be treated as additional component to the Scale of Finance for the purpose of obtaining loan.

For farmers covered on voluntary basis the sum-insured is upto the value of Threshold yield i.e threshold yield x (MSP or gate price) of the insured crop.

The rate of Insurance Charges payable by the farmer will be as per the following table:


Risk will be shared by IA and the Government as follows:

The liability of the Insurance companies in case of catastrophic losses computed at the National level for an agricultural crop season, shall be upto 350% of total premium collected (farmer share plus Govt. subsidy) or 35% of total Sum Insured (SI), of all the Insurance Companies combined, whichever is higher. The losses at the National level in a crop season beyond this ceiling shall be met by equal contribution (i.e. on 50:50 basis) from the Central Government and the concerned State Governments.

7. Salient Features and Benefits:

  • The farmers package policy will be underwritten by the General Insurance Companies empanelled by DAC&FW under crop insurance programmes and/or designated by this Department or through GIC Companies having tie-up with concerned F.I./Banks for non-crop sections of the policy.
  • The policy contains 7 Sections. Crop Insurance is mandatory. However, farmers have to choose at least two other sections also to avail the applicable subsidy under crop insurance section.
  • In case of crop insurance, applicable Farmer’s share of premium ranging between 1.5% to 5% based on their insured crops is payable by farmer & in case Actuarial premium is more, the Government will provide subsidy equivalent to the difference between Actuarial premium and premium paid by farmer. The crop insurance is based on area approach whereas all other sections are on individual basis.
  • If the farmers already availed any insurance policy of similar nature and sum insured not less than as mentioned in the policy than they would be exempted from taking such section(s). However, details of such policy would be provided in their proposal form.
  • The rates above are indicative & subject to the concurrence of the insurers.
  • Sum Insured and premium rates are provisionally taken and may change according to the risk(s).
  • The above premium rates are without service tax which is likely to be exempted.

8. The new Crop Insurance Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings/weaknesses have been removed. Comparison of various Agricultural Insurance Schemes is given below:

9. Other facts

  • ICAR celebrated ‘Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan’ Week from 23 December to 29 December 2015 on the birth anniversary of former Prime Ministers Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Late Shri Chaudhary Charan Singh. The celebration was organized keeping in view their immense contribution for promoting use of science for the welfare of farmers.
  • UN declared 2015 as the Year of Soils
  • The UN General Assembly has declared 2016 as the international Year of Pulses
05 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog


The conceptualization of Smart City varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents. To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizens, urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of comprehensive development -institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure. In the approach of the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of 'Smart' Solutions. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use technology, information and data to improve infrastructure and services. Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, leading to inclusive Cities. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act like a light house to other aspiring cities.

The core infrastructure elements in a smart city would include:

  • adequate water supply
  • assured electricity supply
  • sanitation, including solid waste management
  • efficient urban mobility and public transport
  • affordable housing, especially for the poor
  • robust IT connectivity and digitalization
  • good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
  • sustainable environment
  • safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
  • health and education.

Some typical features of comprehensive development in Smart Cities are described below:

  • Promoting mixed land use in area based developments
  • Housing and inclusiveness - expand housing opportunities for all
  • Creating walkable localities –reduce congestion, air pollution and resource depletion, boost local economy, promote interactions and ensure security.
  • Preserving and developing open spaces.
  • Promoting a variety of transport options - Transit Oriented Development (TOD), public transport and last mile para-transport connectivity
  • Making governance citizen-friendly and cost effective
  • Giving an identity to the city - based on its main economic activity, such as local cuisine, health, education, arts and craft, culture, sports goods, furniture, hosiery, textile, dairy, etc;
  • Applying Smart Solutions to infrastructure and services in area-based development in order to make them better. For example, making Areas less vulnerable to disasters, using fewer resources, and providing cheaper services.

The strategic components of area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.


Only the capable cities will be chosen under the Smart Cities Mission through a two-stage competition. In the Stage-1 of City Challenge Competition, each State and Union Territory will score all their cities based on a set of criteria and nominate the top scorers as per the indicated number of potential smart cities for participation in the Stage-2 of competition.

The evaluation criteria for Stage-1 of competition within the State/UT is as below:

1.Existing Service Levels (25 points): This includes Increase in service levels over Census 2011, an operational Online Grievance Redressal System, publication of at least first monthly e-newsletter and online publication of municipal budget expenditure details for the last two financial years on website.

2.Institutional Systems and Capacities (15 points): This covers imposition of penalties for delays in service delivery and improvement in internal resource generation over the last three years.

3.Self-financing (30 points): This would be reflected in payment of salaries by urban local bodies up to last month, auditing of accounts up to FY 2012-13, contribution of internal revenues to the Budget for 2014-15 and percentage of establishment and maintenance cost of water supply met through user charges during 2014-15.

4.Past track record (30 points): Percentage of JNNURM projects completed which were sanctioned till 2012, Percentage of City level reforms achieved under JNNURM and extent of capital expenditure met from internal resources.

The 100 potential smart cities nominated by all the States and UTs based on Stage-1 criteria will prepare Smart City Plans which will be rigorously evaluated in the Stage-2 of the competition for prioritizing cities for financing. In the first round of this stage, 20 top scorers will be chosen for financing during this financial year. The remaining would be asked to make up the deficiencies identified by the Apex Committee in the Ministry of Urban Development for participation in the next two rounds of competition. 40 cities each will be selected for financing during the next rounds of competition.

Stage-2 criteria for evaluation of Smart City Plans is as below:


1.Credibility of implementation: This encompasses improvement in operational efficiency over the last three years as reflected in average time taken to give building plan approvals, increase in property tax assessment and collection, collection of user charges for water, improvement in power supply, easing of traffic congestion, online accessing of statutory documents through adoption of IT etc.

2.City Vision and Strategy: As reflected in the degree of correlation with the needs and aspirations of the residents, use of ICT to improve public service delivery, impact on core economic activity and inclusiveness.


3.Impact of proposal: To what extent the proposal is inclusive in terms of benefits to the poor and disadvantaged, Extent of employment generation, Articulation of quantifiable outcomes based on citizen consultations, Impact on environment etc.

4.Cost effectiveness of Smart City Plan: Application of smart solutions for doing more with less of resources, Alternatives considered to enhance cost effectiveness of the proposal, firming up of resources required from various sources, Provision for Operation & Maintenance Costs, IT interventions to improve public service delivery.

5.Innovation and Scalability: Extent of adoption of best practices in consultation with citizens, Applicability of project to the entire city, Adoption of smart solutions and Pan-city developments.

6.Processes followed: Extent of citizen consultations, vulnerable sections like the differently abled, children, elderly etc., ward committees and area sabhas and important citizen groups, Extent of use of social media and mobile governance during citizen consultations and Accommodation of contrary voices in the strategy and planning.


  • Smart leadership and vision at this level and ability to act decisively will be important factors determining the success of the Mission.
  • Understanding the concepts of retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield development by the policy makers, implementers and other stakeholders at different levels will require capacity assistance.
  • Major investments in time and resources will have to be made during the planning phase prior to participation in the Challenge. This is different from the conventional DPR-driven approach.
  • The Smart Cities Mission requires smart people who actively participate in governance and reforms. Citizen involvement is much more than a ceremonial participation in governance. The participation of smart people will be enabled by the SPV through increasing use of ICT, especially mobile based tools.


S.No. Name of State/UT No. of cities shortlisted Names of selected cities Population of Cities
1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands 1 Port Blair 1,40,572
2. Andhra Pradesh 3 1. Vishakhapatnam/ 2. Tirupati/ 3. Kakinada 1.18,78,980/ 2. 3,74,260/ 3. 3,50,968/
3. Arunachal Pradesh 1 Pasighat 26,656
4. Assam 1 Guwahati 9,62,334
5. Bihar 3 1. Muzaffarpur/ 2. Bhagalpur/ 3. Biharsharif 1. 3,93,724/ 2. 4,10,210/ 3. 2,96,889
6. Chandigarh 1 Chandigarh 10,55,450
7. Chhattisgarh 2 1. Raipur/ 2. Bilaspur 1. 10,47,389/ 2. 3,65,579
8. Daman and Diu 1 Diu 23,991
9. Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1 Silvassa 98,032
10. Delhi 1 New Delhi Muncipal Council 2,49,998
11. Goa 1 Panaji 1,00,000
12. Gujarat 6 1. Gandhinagar/ 2. Ahmedabad/ 3. Surat/ 4. Vadodara/ 5. Rajkot/ 6. Dahod 1. 2,92,797/ 2. 55,77,940/ 3. 44,67,797/ 4. 17,52,371/ 5. 13,23,363/ 6. 1,30,530
13. Haryana 2 1. Karnal/ 2. Faridabad 1. 3,02,140/ 2. 14,14,050
14. Himachal Pradesh 1 Dharamshala 22,580
15. Jharkhand 1 Ranchi 10,73,427
16. Karnataka 6 1. Mangaluru/ 2. Belagavi/ 3. Shivamogga/ 4. Hubbali - Dharwad/ 5. Tumakuru/ 6. Davanagere 1. 4,84,785/ 2. 4,88,292/ 3. 3,22,428/ 4. 9,43,857/ 5. 3,05,821/ 6. 4,35,128
17. Kerala 1 Kochi 6,01,574
18. Lakshwadweep 1 Kavaratti 11,210
19. Madhya Pradesh 7 1. Bhopal/ 2. Indore/ 3. Jabalpul/ 4. Gwalior/ 5. Sagar/ 6. Satna/ 7. Ujjain 1. 19,22,130/ 2. 21,95,274/ 3. 12,16,445/ 4. 11,59,032/ 5. 2,73,296/ 6. 2,80,222/ 7. 5,15,215
20. Maharashtra 10 1. Navi Mumbai/ 2. Nashik/ 3. Thane/ 4. Greater Mumbai/ 5. Amravati/ 6. Solapur/ 7. Nagpur/ 8. Kalyan-Dombivilli/ 9. Aurangabad/ 10. Pune 1. 11, 19, 000/ 2. 14,86,000/ 3. 18,41,000/ 4. 1,24,00,000/ 5. 7,45,000/ 6. 9,52,000/ 7. 24,60,000/ 8. 15,18,000/ 9. 11,65,000/ 10. 31,24,000/
21. Manipur 1 Imphal 2,68,243
22. Meghalaya 1 Shillong 3,54,325
23. Mizoram 1 Aizwal 2,91,000
24. Nagaland 1 Kohima 1,07,000
25. Odisha 2 1. Bhubaneshwar/ 2. Raurkela 1. 8,40,834/
26. Puducherry 1 Oulgaret 3.00,104
27. Punjab 3 1. Ludhiana/ 2. Jalandhar/ 3. Amritsar 1. 16,18,874/ 2. 8,68,181/ 3. 11,55,664
28. Rajasthan 4 1. Jaipur/ 2. Udaipur/ 3. Kota/ 4. Ajmer 1. 30,73,350/ 2. 4,75,150 3. 10,01,365/ 4. 5,51,360
29. Sikkim 1 Namchi 12,190
30. Tamil Nadu 12 1. Tiruchurapalli/ 2. Tirunelveli/ 3. Dindigul/ 4. Thanjavur/ 5. Tiruppur/ 6. Salem/ 7. Vellore/ 8. Coimbatore/ 9. Madurai/ 10. Erode/ 11. Thoothukudi/ 12. Chennai 1. 9,19,974/ 2. 4,74,838/ 3. 2,07,327/ 4. 2,22,943/ 5. 8,77,778/ 6. 8,31,038/ 7. 5,04,079/ 8. 16,01,438/ 9. 15,61,129/ 10. 4,98,129/ 11. 3,70,896/ 12. 67,27,000
31. Telangana 2 1. Greater Hyderabad 2. Greater Warangal 1. 67,31,790/ 2. 8,19,406
32. Tripura 1 Agartala 4,00,004
33. Uttar Pradesh** 12 1. Moradabad/ 2. Aligarh/ 3. Shaharanpur/ 4. Bareilly/ 5. Jhansi/ 6. Kanpur/ 7. Allahabad/ 8. Lucknow/ 9. Varanasi/ 10. Ghaziabad/ 11. Agra/ 12. Rampur 1. 8,87,871/ 2. 8,74,408/ 3. 7,05,478/ 4. 9,03,668/ 5. 5,05,693/ 6. 27,65,348/ 7. 11,12,544/ 8. 28,17,105/ 9. 11,98,491/ 10. 16,48,643/ 11. 15,85,704/ 12. 3,35,313
34. Uttarakhand 1 Dehradun 5,83,971
35. West Bengal 4 1. New Town Kolkata/ 2. Bidhannagar/ 3. Duragapur/ 4. Haldia 1. 36,541/ 2. 6,33,704/ 3. 5,71,000/ 4. 2,72,000

*Jammu and Kashmir has asked for more time to decide on the potential Smart City.

** 12 cities have been shortlisted from Uttar Pradesh against 13 cities allocated to the State.

The success of the government’s Smart City Mission is largely dependent upon the finance generation at the State-level as well as private investments. The Centre has set aside Rs. 48,000 crore for the mission and the money will be released to urban local bodies at frequent intervals in the next five years. The Centre has asked the State governments to generate the rest of the Rs. 48,000 crore as the grand total of the mission is estimated at Rs.96,000 crore.