A Splintered ‘Nerve Centre’- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2:
- Indian Federalism- Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Governance, Administration and Challenges– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) in News
- The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs recently announced that Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) have been established in 80 cities selected as part of the Smart Cities Mission.
Key Points about Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC)
- About: The Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) projects (part of the Smart Cities Mission) envisage the “application of selected Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure”.
- Concerned Ministry: Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) is being implemented as a part of the Smart Cities Mission (A Centrally Sponsored Scheme) by the Ministry of Urban Affairs.
- Principle: Central to the promise of ICCC is the idea of “predictive modelling” which uses data to generate inputs on not just how the city is but also how it can be.
- Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) are based on the concept of Networked infrastructure in cities of the global South.
- Constitutional Mandate: The ICCC may be seen in sync with the functions of an urban local body (ULB) under the 74th Constitutional Amendment, towards improving services for people.
- Key Functions: Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) could-
- Tell which direction the city is growing in;
- Predict future real estate hot spots;
- Identify and predict all accident-prone spots in the city, and
- Predict the bus routes prone to crowding.
- Role Played during COVID-19: The ICCCs in some cities served as a “war room” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its application is cited as a success.
Five Pillars of Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC)
ICCC has five basic pillars-
- First Pillar: It is bandwidth;
- Second Pillar: the sensors and edge devices which record and generate real-time data;
- Third Pillar: various analytics which are software that draw on data captured by end devices to generate “intelligence”;
- Fourth Pillar: It is data storage;
- Fifth Pillar: the ICCC software which may be described as “a system of systems” — the anchor for all other application-specific components.
- ICCC has been described as the “brain and nervous system” of the city.
Associated Concerns with ICCCs
- Conflict of Jurisdiction with ULBs: the project is being executed under the aegis of the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) constituted under the Companies Act, 2013, in the selected cities.
- Projects of the SPV that overlap with core ULB areas have been a source of tension between the two, one that the cities are still learning to resolve.
- Unless the core staff of ULB working across departments such as health, town planning, water supply, etc., adopt the ICCC systems, it risks being a splintered “nerve centre”.
- Lack of Integration with ULB Services and Underutilization: there is the risk of permanent underutilisation of the system.
- With poor integration with ULB services, and not just software integration but also in terms of workflows and SOPs, the functional capability may continue to be titled towards video surveillance.
- Lack of Adequate Investment: the sizeable investments required create contradictions in some cities which are otherwise struggling for funds to upgrade their basic infrastructure and services.
- Despite the efforts to keep procurement vendor-agnostic, some segments of ICCC are still dominated by select industry players who may dictate terms to the city or engage in arm-twisting for payments.
- Unless the services of the ULB and the people taking them to the residents of a city are “integrated” into ICCCs, they may turn out to be as the images show: a hall with giant video walls, a rather expensive one.