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Smart cities and Academia towards Action and Research (SAAR)


SAAR: Relevance

  • GS 3: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


SAAR: Context

  • Recently, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR), which is a joint initiative of MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and leading Indian academic institutions of the country.


SAAR: Key points

  • The initiative has been launched as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations across the country.
  • Under the program, 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country will be working with Smart Cities to document landmark projects undertaken by the Smart Cities Mission.
  • The documents will capture the learnings from best practices, provide opportunities for engagement on urban development projects to students, and enable real-time information flow between urban practitioners and academia.
  • The first activity envisaged under SAAR is to prepare a compendium of 75 landmark urban projects in India under the Smart City Mission.
  • The compendium will act as a first point of reference for future research in the field, help disseminate learnings from projects under the Mission, act as a repository for Urban Projects, and contribute to dissemination of best practices and peer-to-peer learning.


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Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
  • This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey.
  • Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural, political, and economic identity.
  • The official journey of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commenced on 12th March 2021 which starts a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of Independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2022.


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Smart Cities Mission

  • MoHUA launched Smart Cities Mission in 2015 to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.
  • The strategic components of the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (Greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.
  • Since the start of the Mission in 2015, the 100 Smart Cities have been developing a total of 5,151 projects with an investment of Rs. 2,05,018 crores.


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