Smart Cities – Shaping India’s Future

ICT serves as the key driving force for making full and efficient use of the limited resources on the earth and establishing a new, sustainable and efficient infrastructure that ensures people can live equally

By: Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC India

Looking ahead to the year of 2050, according to the United Nations, the global population is forecasted to increase form 7 bn to 8 bn in 2025 and to 9.6 bn in 2015. With this, the urban population is expected to grow by 1.8 times to 6.3 bn alone. If the world’s population continues to grow and concentrate into urban areas, it is constantly going to boost the demand for energy, food, water, resources outgrowing the population itself. This means that if today’s urban lifestyle persists, in 2050 we will need twice the resources that the whole Earth can supply and the current social infrastructure will no longer be able to support people’s daily lives. In this way, emerging social issues will require the social infrastructure be safer, secure, efficient, and equal in the future.

To address these issues, it is very important that we understand the power of technology and innovation to realize a new standard of intuitive, integrated ICT—one that makes possible the society of tomorrow. ICT serves as the key driving force for making full and efficient use of the limited resources on the earth and establishing a new, sustainable and efficient infrastructure that ensures people can live equally. It can be effectively used for enhancing the social infrastructure in order to ensure the safety, security, efficiency, and equality of society and enable people to live abundant lives.

Smart Infrastructure in India

Mahatma Gandhi was asked in 1946 to describe the independent India he wished to see. He said he wanted ‘not a pyramid but an oceanic circle’ of complete equality.

It was his greatest desire that India should continue to support and uplift her agrarian economy and the millions who depended on it. True to his vision, India has grown by leaps and bounds in nearly the seven decades that have passed since then.

The Challenges of Urbanisation

While this rapid urbanisation is needed to support India’s swiftly growing economy, it has also become a cause for concern. Urban centres are facing increasing security complexities and threats. Individual services working in isolation are not able to ensure a safe city. National and local governments are collectively responsible for ensuring different security services such as:

  1. Counter Terrorism

  2. Cyber Security

  3. Organised Crime (curbing and prevention of)

  4. Citizen Safety (especially for women and children)

  5. Emergency Services (relating to man-made/natural disasters)

  6. Technology Collaboration (to ensure effective implementation of Strategy)

Recent international enterprises like the UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative shed light on how widespread and deep-rooted such problems are.

The need is therefore to plan and build cities that effectively deal with all these issues. But the government is incapable of doing all that alone and collaboration with the private sector is of paramount importance.

Smart Cities

There are many reasons why the concept of Smart Cities is latching onto the imaginations of emerging economies and developed economies alike. As citizens, we all dream of a world where our families are safe, our homes are secure, and our businesses are protected. At the root of creating a world without worry is transforming our cities to become safer, greener, more efficient, and more liveable.

Building “Safer Cities” requires key enabling technologies to promote information sharing and open communication among public safety agencies. Safety is best achieved by preventing crime and catching perpetrators.

The most important of them are:

  1. Seamless (and instantaneous) sharing of information

  2. Less intrusive (no physical contact)

  3. Short processing time/high reaction time

It is very important that safety lies at the core of the concept of smart cities with best-in-class security systems in India which are not just efficient but sustainable at the same time. From energy to transportation, from human capital to raw information, the solutions must be adept and flexible enough to respond to challenges during each stage of development.

One such solution that is a key component of a smart city is biometric recognition technologies such as face recognition will serve an important role in providing services that are highly secure and convenient.

Face Recognition System

Implementing a biometric solution such as a Face Recognition System (FRS) provides a wide array of applications ranging from surveillance, transportation, forensics to even visitor and employee management and access control. FRS is primarily available as three variants, each optimised for achieving a specific functional excellence. They are:

  1. NeoFace Watch – Designed for operational security users.

  2. NeoFace Reveal – Dedicated for forensic application.

  3. NeoFace Track – Attendance Marking System for organisations with large employee base.

As one of the industry player, our ultimate goal is to build end-to-end collaboration infrastructure that uses cutting edge technology to provide the most secure, most reliable solution architecture to the citizens of modern India. In the process, the aim must be to reduce human intervention and deploy more intelligent tools of security that make fiscal as well as functional sense.

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