Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action and Research (SAAR)

SAAR was launched by the Smart Cities Mission. SAAR will document the projects implemented by Smart Cities Mission. It is a part of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations.

Implementing Agency

SAAR is mainly implemented by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The other institutes that join the ministry in implementing the project are National Institute of Urban Affairs and other premier institutions in the country. This includes 15 premier architecture institutes.

How is SAAR implemented?

  • The institutes will document the planning and implementation of smart cities mission. This will help the students learn urban development processes practically.
  • First, SAAR is to prepare a list of 75 urban projects. The innovative and multi – sectoral projects are selected under the list.

Varanasi – Not a part of SAAR

The cities were short listed by the ministry itself. And therefore, the mission or the municipalities implementing the smart city mission were not notified officially. Varanasi adopting several smart city measures and being the constituency of the PM, himself has failed to enter SAAR. Varanasi is being criticised for this. This reflects that the smart city measures taken in the city are not good enough. Around 45 cities were chosen. These cities are the outperformers. The mission is implemented in more than 100 cities. And the cities are implementing 5,151 projects at the cost of two lakh crores of rupees. However, only good performers were chosen.

What will SAAR do?

The project will document outcomes of smart city mission and its impact on lives of the urban citizens. Students from the premier institutes will visit the selected smart cities to learn about the work flow of the mission. This includes data analysis, field investigation, peer review of first draft, research workshops. The participating students will then submit a report along with suggestions. These documents will act as the first reference for future research. SAAR is to create a repository of urban projects.

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