What makes a city smart?
Smart Cities- Smart Education
In April 2015 the Indian Cabinet approved Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan for establishing a 100 Smart Cities in India. Further, the Ministry of Urban Development has identified almost all the locations where they will be developed as well as existing cities that are to be remodeled on these lines.
The 22 states where the program will be implemented are to send detailed project reports so a final blueprint can be outlined.
What makes a city smart?
Smart cities have differing definitions but in essence smart cities can be said to be thoughtfully designed new urban centres that makes heavy use of technology to establish physical, social, economic infrastructure all sustainably centered around the inhabitants. There are other metrics that would make a city smart and which include governance, mobility, healthcare, recreational facilities and energy supply.
The infrastructure of a smart city should be equipped with systems aimed at better management of energy resources, water, transport and traffic, safety and security. Information and communication technology (ICT) forms the backbone of such cities.
However, for such smart cities to function there is a need for smart citizens educated with smart education. A Smart City prerequisite is a Smarter Citizen!
What is Smart Education?
Smart education prepares students for life as contributors, achievers and over all persons who are laced with skills and talent plus the discretion to how to use it to the advantage of the all stakeholders including – themselves, society taken in a wide sense and the planet. Thus smart education needs to meet the
• Emphasis on STEM areas – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
• For education to be smart it needs to be relevant to today’s industry and career needs. It should cater to the constraints and challenges of the times in the industry.
• There should be a focus on the intangibles of EQ Emotional Quotient,
personality, structure, thought process, discretion, and similar finer yet crucial aspects of grooming which make individuals effective contributors
• There is a need to not just provide the individual with knowledge and skills but also imbibe in them a team spirit so as to adjust and work better in a corporate environment. There has to be a people connect in these times of networking.
• An awakening of social responsibility and conscious encouragement of the
spirit of nation building are equally important.
Smart education enables the holistic development of an individual molding them into effective, productive and well-adjusted units of the society at every
conceivable level – locally, nationally and globally. Thus, in one line smart education makes a person productive, effective and in sync with times.
Smartening Up the System
Education industry needs to revamp itself to meet the modern day issues,
challenges and constraints. Education has the primary functions of keeping the talent supply on and an equally significant role is strengthening the social fabric.
Moreover, education needs to move out of cities and into the hinterlands. The
smart cities need to, along with infrastructure, also develop educational institutions that are on par with those cities which are seen as ‘educational centres’. For instance Pune University attracts many students from the places like Sholapur, Nagpur etc, this in is a sense is a drain of manpower resources from these areas.
India as a country has huge aspirational goals when it comes to becoming a major economic player in the global scenario. To achieve these goals it needs to not only to look to manufacturing and attracting global majors to its shores but also ensure that it can provide the requisite skilled manpower. Education is the key and indeed the catalyst of this exponential growth which will then serve to realize the Prime Minister’s vision of Smart Cities in India.