Gist of Technology and Urban Transformation Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

UPSC: Gist of Technology and Urban Transformation Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

The document Gist of Technology and Urban Transformation Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

The Big Picture: Technology and Urban Transformation
Context
In this episode the importance of technology in urban transformation has been discussed and analysed. 

Background

  • Technology has immense potential to improve the management of urban areas. 
  • Recently, Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHP) under Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) at six sites across six States.
Summary of the Debate

Urbanisation in India

  • Urbanization in India is mainly due to liberalization of its economy after the 1990s, which gave rise to the development of the private sector. 
  • According to the 2011 census, there are 53 cities in India with a population of a million or more; by 2031, that number will rise to 87. Some of these metropolitan areas will become major economic powerhouses that have higher GDP than the current GDP of countries such as Israel, Portugal and the UAE.
  • India’s three-tiered census definition of ‘urban, as framed in 1961 by then census commissioner Asok Mitra, includes—
    • at least 5,000 inhabitants
    • density of 400 people per sq. km or more, and 
    • at least 75% of male working population engaged in non-farm activities. 
  • Global urbanisation level is over 50% on the average and most developed countries are in the range of 80 to 90%. India has only 31% people living in the urban areas.

Challenges Related to Urban Areas

  • Planning: Many urban governments lack a modern planning framework.
    • The multiplicity of local bodies obstructs efficient planning and land use.
    • Rigid master plans and restrictive zoning regulations limit the land available for building, constricting cities’ abilities to grow in accordance with changing needs.
  • Housing: Building regulations that limit urban density - such as floor space indexes – reduce the number of houses available, thereby pushing up property prices.
    • Outdated rent control regulations reduce the number of houses available on rent – a critical option for the poor.
    • Poor access to micro finance and mortgage finance limit the ability of low income groups to buy or improve their homes.
    • Policy, planning, and regulation deficiencies lead to a proliferation of slums.
  • Infrastructure: Most urban bodies do not generate the revenues needed to renew infrastructure, nor do they have the creditworthiness to access capital markets for funds
    • Urban transport planning needs to be more holistic – there is a focus on moving vehicles rather than meeting the needs of the large numbers of people who walk or ride bicycles in India’s towns and cities.
  • Environment: The deteriorating urban environment is taking a toll on people’s health and productivity and diminishing their quality of life.

Significance of Technology in Urban Transformation

  • Improved Water Management: Installing a network of smart, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensors can greatly improve the efficiency of any water distribution network. A key benefit of smart water networks is reducing non-revenue water, or supply water physically lost as it passes through the system due to leakages.
  • Better Wastewater Management: Like water, wastewater management can also be improved by using smart networks to connect infrastructure with control and monitoring systems.
  • Better Power: Variations in power quality can result from voltage sags, spikes and swells. Continuous power-quality monitoring using advanced sensing technology to analyze and interpret raw measurement data to improve systemwide power-quality delivery can help industrial users. 
  • From land management to data management of hospitals, technology can help in bringing better efficiency. 

Way Forward

  • Cities provide major opportunities for sustainable development, given that they have large numbers of people in a small area, and offer significant economies of scale which provide jobs, housing and services. 
  • There is a need to fully realize the potential of Indian cities for ecological, economic and social sustainability.
  • Indian cities will grow almost double by 2050 and we need to be prepared for that. 
  • All stakeholders must work together to bring quality life to the urban people. 
  • Technology is the need of the hour and has ability of the urban transformation. 

Facts - Urbanization in India

  • Most Urbanized States: Tamil Nadu  43.9%; Maharashtra  42.4%; Gujarat  37.4%
  • 3 out of world's 21 mega cities: Mumbai (19 mill); Delhi (15 mill); Kolkata (14 mill)
  • Large Cities: 23 in 1991; 40 in 2001
  • Urban Pop.: 25% of 850 mill in 1992; 28% of 1,030 mill in 2002
  • Estimated Urban Pop. by 2017: 500 mill 
  • % of Urban Residents who are Poor: About 25%
  • Slum Population:  About 41 million in 2001
  • Estimated Slum Pop. by 2017: 69 mill
The document Gist of Technology and Urban Transformation Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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