PEC University of Technology hosts SCIC Workshop

A workshop on Smart City Innovation Centre (SCIC) was organized by PEC University of Technology on 22nd February 2017 at the university’s auditorium. Big names like Larsen and Tourbo, CISCO, NOKIA, IBM, Intel, Sterlite, Videocon,  Dell-EMC, SAP, ERICSSON, Wipro, Infosys  and many more associated themselves with the project and after a general review of the Centre's objectives, individual interactions among the Industrial leaders provided the golden opportunity for brainstorming and inspirational exchange of ideas.

The Smart Cities Mission of the Government is a bold and new initiative.  The objective of this mission is to provide core infrastructure and give a good quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment through application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. Infrastructure services would include Transport, Public safety, Traffic, Water, Power, Waste disposal, Lighting, Telecom, E Governance.  One of the big challenges to this critical mission has been the lack of a platform which helps to present all the potential smart city solutions for all the cities to explore, experience and validate the same before including in their respective plans.

In this background, PEC, one of the most prestigious technology institutions of India, in partnership with Chandigarh administration has proposed to build a Smart City Innovation Centre (SCIC) at Chandigarh.

The event commenced with a rousing speech by Dr. Manoj K. Arora, Director, PEC wherein he talked about the rich history of the institution, proving its acumen to be a cohort in innovation of technology in the city. He also highlighted the institute’s tireless efforts towards being a driving force in the industry moving beyond academia through endeavours like the Society of Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) and Cyber Security Research Centre(CSRC). These developments point to the transformation of PEC from an educational institution to a coherent research and entrepreneurial hub.

Honoured officials of the Chandigarh Administration including Mr. Anurag Aggarwal (Home Secretary) graced the event and expressed their admiration and essential support needed for the project. Mr. Aggarwal highlighted that Chandigarh is on a way of becoming not just a smart city but a city with a difference, as it qualifies the criterion by just the way it was planned and stands the test of smartness even today. Smart City initiative is said to be different from other schemes prevalent in the country as it forces the cities to compete with one other and in this process think about what they would want them to be perceived as - an innovation centre or a business hub in the years to come. His ambitious speech inspired everyone to align themselves towards the vision of the Prime Minister of the nation so we could all work towards a common goal.

Ms. Surbhi Malik (IAS), Additional Commissioner Ludhiana, pointed out that the definition of smart city is variable to the interpretation of its citizens. She talked about the smart city planning in Ludhiana as a good example Area based smart city development in Ludhiana includes the concept of smart roads and smart water supply. Under the project of safe city, 15000 cameras have been installed to provide safety to the residents. Garbage management system is an icing on the cake because the generated RDF is used in power generation systems. She spoke about the importance of improvisation and reinvention to plan a smart city that meets its citizens’ needs.

Mr. Purushottam Kaushik (Senior Adviser, Mckinsey) expounded upon the practical side of the project and spoke extensively of the benefits of the accomplishment of this mission for various parties involved. He elucidated the following key components of SCIC:

  1. Smart City elements and Use cases
  2. Smart City show case and Industry engagement platform
  3. Innovation centre for incubation of Start Ups
  4. Smart City Operations Centre

He explained that SCIC is a partnership with industry, with the government support and industry acumen to deliver smart solutions to the city making it technologically advanced and independent. Its organizing structure would be managed by the students. SCIC will be the platform where continuous collaboration will be accompanied with opportunities for networking and involvement.

Commissioner Chandigarh Administration, Mr. Baldeo Purushartha, IAS, spoke of the venture as an opportunity for all the students, current or former, to give back to the alma- mater in terms of capital, support and talent. His speech underlined the significance of team work in bringing this project to fruition. A strategic blueprint was offered by Mr. Purushartha which emphasized Chandigarh’s key parameters that give it an edge over other cities and that will make urban planning an exciting but attainable challenge. Some suggestions put forth by him included watershed management and power distribution. Smart power meters, energy efficient systems, low pollution systems, solid waste management and smart infrastructure were some other areas that were focused on. This all-encompassing approach ignited sparks of inspiration in the young minds present and shed light on the importance of brainstorming and a holistic and out-of-the-box methodology.

The enthusiasm expressed by all the students, industry leaders and educational professionals in attendance was a hopeful sight that reaffirmed everyone's belief in the not so distant future where our dreams will become a bright reality.

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