Union Government Shortlists 20 Cities Under Smart Cities Mission – June 2016 Current Affairs

Union Government Shortlists 20 Cities Under Smart Cities Mission



The Union Ministry of Urban Development, on January 28, 2016, announced 20 cities from 11 States and National Capital Territory of Delhi in the list of the first batch of Smart Cities Mission. These shortlisted cities were selected from Smart City Challenge competition in which 98 cities and towns had participated from 23 States and UTs. These first 20 smart cities will be receiving the fund for the development of first 20 smart cities across India. It was the most ambitious

project of PM Mr. Narendra Modi’s flagship 100 Smart City Mission. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively. Among the shortlisted 20 Smart Cities, 3 are from Madhya Pradesh, 2 each is from Maharashtra, Rajasthan Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and 1 each from Odisha, Kerala, Delhi (NCT), Assam and Punjab.

20 shortlisted smart cities (Rank-wise) are—Bhubaneswar, Odisha; Pune, Maharashtra; Jaipur, Rajasthan; Surat, Gujarat; Kochi, Kerala; Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh; Solapur, Maharashtra; Davangere, Karnataka; Indore, Madhya Pradesh; New Delhi Municipal Corporation; Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh; Belagavi, Karnataka; Udaipur, Rajasthan; Guwahati, Assam; Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Ludhiana, Punjab; and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where Information Technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centers.
Some of the parameters on the basis of which the decision was taken are feasibility, result orientation, citizen participation, smartness of proposals etc. These 20 smart cities will get the funds first to kick-start their development process. With a per-city allocation of Rs. 100 crore for each of the five years of the mission period, the Central assistance to the mission is around Rs 50,000 crore.

These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructures such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance, and citizen participation. Of the 98 cities and towns that five years down will graduate into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centers, 18 are culture and tourism-influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health-care hubs.







Name Approximate area in sq km Territories
The Sahara 9,065,000 Africa. Spreads across Algeria, Chad,Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco. Embraces the Libyan Desert (1,550,000 sq km) and the Nubian Desert (260,000 sq km)
Australian Desert 1,550,000 Australia. Embraces the Great Sandy (or Warburton) (420,000 sq km), Great Victoria (325,000 sq km), Simpson (Arunta) (310,000 sq km), Gibson (220,000 sq km) and Sturt Deserts
Arabian Desert 1,300,000 Asia. Spreads across Southern Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, includes the Ar Rab’al Khali or Empty Quarter (647,500 sq km), Syrian (325,000 sq km) and An Nafud (129,500 sq km)
The Gobi 1,295,000 Asia. Embraces Mongolia and China (Inner Mongolia)
Libyan 1,165,500 Africa. Embraces Libya, SW Egypt and Sudan
Rub-al-Khali (Empty Quarter) 647,500 Southern Saudi Arabia (Asia)
Kalahari Desert 582,000 Botswana (Africa)
Chihuahuan 363,600 Texas, New Mexico (USA)
Takla Makan 362,600 Sinkiang, China
Great Sandy 338,-500 North West Australia
Great Victoria 338,500 South West Australia
Gibson 310,800 Western Australia
Namib Desert 310,000 South West Africa (Namibia)
Kara Kum 310,000 Turkmenistan, CIS
Somali Desert 260,000 Somalia (Africa)
Nubian 259,000 North East Sudan (Africa)
Syrian 259,000 North Saudi Arabia, Eastern Jordan, Southern Syria, Western Iraq (Asia)
Thar Desert 259,000 North Western India and Pakistan (Asia)
Kyzyl Kum 259,000 Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan, CIS (Asia)
Sonoran Desert 181,300 Arizona and California, USA and Mexico (North America)
Atacama Desert 181,300 Northern Chile (South America)
An Nafud 103,600 North South Arabia (Asia)
Simpson 103,600 Central Australia
Dasht-e-Kavir 77,600 Central Iran (Asia)
Dasht-e-Lut 51,800 Eastern Iran (sometimes called Iranian Desert)
Mojave Desert 38,900 Southern California (USA)
Desierto de Sechura 26,000 North West Peru (South America)
Negev 12,200 Southern Israel (Asia)
Death Valley 7,800 Eastern California, South West Nevada (USA)
Black Rock 2,600 North West Nevada (USA)
Painted Desert 320 North Arizona (USA)’
Note: Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum together are known as the Turkestan Desert.


Name Area in sq km Name V Area in sq km
Arabia 3,250,000 Labrador 1,300,000
Southern India 2,072,000 Scandinavia 800,300
Alaska 1,500,000 Iberian Peninsula 3 584,000


Island Location Area in sq km Island Location Area in sq km
Greenland North Atlantic (Denmark) 2,175,597 Luzon West mid-Pacific (Philippines) 104,688
New Guinea Southwest Pacific (Irian Jaya, 820,033 Iceland North Atlantic (Republic) 102,999
Indonesia, west part; Mindanao West mid-Pacific (Philippines) 94,631
Papua New Guinea, east part) Novaya Zemlya Arctic Ocean (Russia) 90,650
Borneo West mid-Pacific (Indonesia, Ireland West of Great Britain (Republic,
south part; British protectorate, south part; United Kingdom,
and Malaysia, north part) 743,107 north part) 84,426
Madagascar Indian Ocean (Malagasy Republic) 587,042 Hokkaido Sea of Japan—Pacific (Japan) 78,663
Baffin North Atlantic (Canada) 476,068 Hispaniola Caribbean Sea (Dominican Republic,
Sumatra Northeast Indian Ocean (Indonesia) 473,605 east part; Haiti, west part) 76,029
Honshu Sea of Japan—Pacific (Japan) 230,316 T asmania South of Australia (Australia) 67,897
Great Britain Off coast North-west Europe Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Indian Ocean (Republic) 65,610
(England, Scodand and Wales) 229,883 Sakhalin (Karafuto) North of Japan (CIS) 63,610
Ellesmere Arctic Ocean (Canada) 212,688 Banks Arctic Ocean (Canada) 60,166
Victoria Arctic Ocean (Canada) 212,199 Devon Arctic Ocean (Canada) 54,030
Celebes West mid-Pacific (Indonesia) 189,034 Tierra del Fuego Southern tip of South America
South Island South Pacific (New Zealand) 150,461 (Argentina, east part; Chile, west part) 48,187
Java Indian Ocean (Indonesia) 126,884 Kyushu Sea of Japan—Pacific (Japan) 42,018
North Island South Pacific (New Zealand) 114,688 Melville Arctic Ocean (Canada) 41,805
Cuba Caribbean Sea (Republic) 114,525 Axel Heiberg Arctic Ocean (Canada) 40,868
N ewfoundland North Atlantic (Canada) 110,681 Southampton Hudson Bay (Canada) 40,663







Official Name : Republic of India i Capital : New Delhi Nationality : Indian Area : 32,87,263 sq km (provisional as on March 31, 1982)

Population 2011 Census (Provisional Data): 1,21,01,93,422

India is the seventh largest and the second most populous nation of the world. It lies entirely in the northern hemisphere as the mainland of India extends between latitudes 8° 4′ N and 37° 6′ N. It is a country of the East with its landmass lying between longitudes 68° 7′ E and 97° 25′ E. On its northern frontiers, India is bounded by the Great Himalayas. It stretches southwards and beyond the Tropic of Cancer, it narrows down to form the Great Indian Peninsula which ends up in the Indian Ocean with Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) as its southernmost tip. On the east of the Peninsular India is the Bay of Bengal, wherein lie the Indian islands of Andaman and Nicobar; and on the west is the Arabian Sea with another group of Indian islands called the Lakshadweep. India has a land frontier of 15,200 kilometres and a coastline of 7,516.6 kilometres including the mainland’s coastline as well as that of the Indian islands.




Stretching 3,214 kilometres from north to south’between the extreme latitudes and 2,933 kilometres from east to west between the extreme longitudes, India , covers a land area of 32,87,263 square kilometres, constituting 2.42 percent of earth’s surface and only one-third of the United States in area and less than one- fifth of Russia. India has 17.5% population of the world, which lives in a variety of social, economic and geophysical conditions. The country has a long history spanning over five thousand years of human habitation, and a rich cultural heritage handed down by the native pre-Aryan, the Aryan and the invading civilisations. Her civilisation is one of the most ancient with a glorious heritage. Today, she is the largest democracy of the world with a republican constitution. The climatic contrasts, the varied landscapes and the widely divergent environmental conditions of India account for the magnificence of its flora and fauna.


The vast variety of natural resources, rich soils and rare earth deposits, have provided a base for diversified economic activities which include over two thousand years old traditional agriculture and the new saga of modern industrialisation generating numerous social, economic and cultural diversities. Predominantly a rural country, India’s total urban population exceeds the total population of most of the developing nations. Indian people live in a variety of human settlements ranging from the small hamlets to some of the world’s largest and most problematic cities. There are settlements and areas within a settlement, of both affluence as well as poverty and running through all these diversities is the thread of India’s basic unity, which makes it one great nation.


India is bounded by the Muztagh Ata, Aghil and Kunlun mountains to the north of Kashmir. It has Zaskar mountains on the east side of Himachal Pradesh and northern side of Uttarakhand. For the rest, Himalayas form the country’s boundary in the Nepal region. In the north, India is adjoined by China, Nepal and Bhutan. In the east lies Bangladesh and Myanmar. Afghanistan and Pakistan border on the north-west. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separate India from Sri Lanka in the south. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea also constitute parts of the territory of India.




The mainland consists of four well- defined regions: (i) the great mountain zone, (ii) the Indo-Gangetic plain, (iii) the desert region, and (iv) the Southern Peninsula.

The Himalayas comprise three almost parallel ranges interspersed with large plateaus and valleys some of which, like Kashmir and Kullu valleys, are • fertile, extensive and of great- scenic beauty. Some of the highest peaks in the World are to be found in these ranges. The high altitudes limit travel only to a few
passes, notably Jelep La and Nathu La on the main Indo-Tibet trade route through the Chumbi Valley, north-east of Darjeeling and Shipki La in Sudej Valley north-east of Kalpa (Kinnaur). The mountain wall extends over, a distance of about 2,400 km with a varying depth of 240 to 320 km. In the east, between India and Myanmar (formerly Burma) and India and Bangladesh, the hill ranges are much lower. The Garo, Khasi, Jaintia and Naga hills running almost east-west join the chain of the Mizo and Arakan Hills running north-south.

The Indo-Gangetic Plains, about 2,400 km long and 240 to 320 km broad, are formed by the basins of three distinct river systems: the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. They are one of world’s greatest stretches of flat alluvium and also one of the most densely populated areas on earth. There is hardly any variation in relief. Between the Yamuna river at Delhi and the Bay of Bengal, nearly 1,600 km away, there is a drop of only 200 metres in elevation.

The desert region can be divided in two parts: one, the ‘great desert’ and the other, ‘little desert’. The ‘great desert’ extends from the, edge of Rann of Kutchh, beyond the Luni river northward. The whole of Rajasthan-Sind frontier runs through this. The -little desert’ extends fr^m the Luni river between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur up to the northern waste. Between the great and little deserts lies a zone of more or less absolutely sterile countryside, consisting of rocky land cut up by limestone ridges. Due to absence of surface water and very scanty rainfall, the region is almost absolutely barren.

The Peninsular plateau is marked off from the Indo-Gangetic Plains by a mass of mountain and hill ranges varying from 460 to 1,220 metres in height. Prominent among these are the Aravalli, Vindhya, Satpura, Maikala and Ajanta. The Peninsula is flanked on one side by the Eastern Ghats, where the average elevation is about 610 metres, and on the other by the Western Ghats, where it is generally from 915 to 1,220 metres, rising in places to over2,440 metres.

On the Heritage Trail… OF WEST BENGAL

On the Heritage Trail… OF WEST BENGAL



WEST Bengal has a rich history and a heritage of many cultures. In ancient and medieval times the region was ruled by Hindu and Buddhist Kings and later on by Sultan Nawabs. The rich heritage of Bengal is visible everywhere and is reminiscent of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Vaishnava & Christian as well as tribal cultures of North Bengal and also of the western forest and hill tracts of Midna- pore, Purulia and Bankura districts.
A popular destination from Kolkata is Shanti- Niketan) literally meaning the abode of peace. Shantiniketan is the site where Rabindranath Tagore* the great poet and visionary, estab¬lished the Vishva Bharati University, a liberal arts university which aimed at promoting the best of Indian culture.Shantiniketan

The best time to visit Shantiniketan is during the annual ‘Posh Mela’, a fair held in the last week of December.
Bishnupur, 100 kilometres northwest of Kolkata is yet another exciting and hitherto less explored holiday destination. Bishnupur houses unique terracotta temples, each more beautifully embellished than the other.
Murshidabad is yet another city replete with historical monuments. The Hazarduari (palace with a thousand doors) which houses a fasci¬nating museum of old arms, curious and paint¬ings; the Jafraganj Deori or Traitors’ Gate; the Katt Gola; the Jagat Sett Palace; the Kara Mosque built by Murshid Kuli Khan; Moti Jheel Palace; Khushbagh; the Tope Khana (cannon shed) and the historical mango grove at Plassey
where Siraj-ud-daulah took his final stand against the British Forces. Murshidabad is also popular as a shopping destination.
The Cooch-Behar Palace in adjoining Cooch- Behar district is famous for its wonderful architecture and royal grandeur. The Madanmohan Temple and the beautifully planned Sagardighi area are also worth visiting.
The heritage sites in Gaur and Pandua in Malda have drawn a large number of tourists.download
Nabadwip in neighbouring Nadia district is famous for the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, founder of the Bhakti movement. Mayapur is famous for the Chandrodaya Temple and the World Head Quarters of ISKCON. Krishnanagar in the district is famous for the handicraft of wonderful clay dolls.Sri-Mayapur-iskcon-kolkata-nadia-west-bengal-mntravelog

UNTIL HOLY COWS COME HOME: YOU CALLTHIS MAXIMUM GOVERNANCE? If Modi wishes to rise as a tall reformer PM, he must call the RSS/VHP bluff now


If Modi wishes to rise as a tall reformer PM, he must call the RSS/VHP bluff now






Haryana was the last non-BJP state I to vote in a government entirely in Modi’s name. They had not bargained for an RSS khap panchayat equivalent they got instead. It is a predominantly Hindu and devout population with little history of com¬munal phobias or riots. The RSS itself is seen as a comical indulgence of the Punjabi “refugees” Partition brought to its cities. The state has a history of a strong, respected Arya Samaj movement—it elected Swamis Agnivesh and Adityavesh on secular tickets in 1977. Its Arya Samaj is puritanical but in an understated, non-intrusive way. If the RSS wants a new laboratory of pracharak-run Hindu Rashtra, it has chosen the wrong state.
Haryana is more or less a Hindu state. In fact, one thing we Haryanvis are known for is being reckless bul¬lies, not for living in fear of anybody—Muslim, Christian, American, Chinese, Pakistani, Hindu. And that is the rep-utation we hold close to our hearts. Only thing we are collectively embarrassed about is the way we treat our daughters, maintaining that shameful spot at the bottom of the male-female ratio chart. We’d love for someone to help, persuade, even coerce us to reverse that. The gov-ernment we just elected, walking out of the old dug-outs of caste and feudal loyalties, wants us to become one large gaushala instead. We haven’t seen any credible opinion polls yet, but if you have any sense of the Haryanvi pulse, this government is already spoilt goods; many are kicking themselves for voting BJP. Nobody understands this better than Yogendra Yadav. Which explains his impatience to spread AAP into Haryana. I am not sure it is ready to vote in AAP yet, but it will definitely vote the BJP out.


Modi is clever enough to know electoral waves wane. Delhi confirmed that. But even Maharashtra, Jharkhand, J&K fell way below the party’s early esti¬mates in spite of the continuing death of the Congress. Bihar, coming up next, is a realbattle. Punjab, disgusted with Akalis and the Congress, can repeat Delhi if AAP finds a good, clean chief ministerial choice like, say, Manpreet Badal. If you see dispassionately, politics, 10 months into a landslide, is beginning to look as “normal” as a year and a half after Rajiv Gandhi’s much bigger 1984 landslide.
If Modi wishes to rise as a truly tall leader he must call the RSSA’HP bluff now. Nobody any longer buys the idea of the RSSAT1P being mere fringe groups. They, in fact, are the bull that carries its own china shop in any BJP government. Vajpayee sidelined them, Modi will need to fight them.
POSTSCRIPT: The stupidest state¬ment this week was made by VHP Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain (heard his name before?). Justifying the attack on a Hisar church, he said it will go on as long as Christians convert and that 1857 was a religious war against Christians.

I’d like to present him a copy of William Dalrymple’s The Last Mughal. It’s a stirring account of an army manned by mostly upper caste Hindu ranks and led by mostly Muslim officers fighting for no more than a symbolic Mughal flag under Zafar, the titular “emperor”. I’d mark a particular passage where Eid is approach¬ing while the battle for the control of Delhi is on and rebel commanders (all Muslin) worry that incidents of cow slaughter could be used to divide their troops. They get the friendly Kotwal (police chief) to carry out pub¬lic announcements by drummers asking Muslims not to harm cows. Then, not to take chances, the Kotwal rounds up any stray animals he can find and locks them in the protection of the Kotwali (old police station that still exists) in Old Delhi. The revolt of 1857 was as secular as any war India has fought in its recent history.