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U.S.-India Business Council Hosts First Major Smart Cities Conclave for Ajmer
U.S. and Indian companies, U.S. Government and Government of Rajasthan present concrete roadmap to convert Ajmer into Smart City
May 29, 2015 – Ajmer, Rajasthan- Building upon the U.S.-India Business Council’s successful Smart Cities Conclave in January 2015 for Vishakhapatnam, USIBC and FICCI today held a Smart Cities Conclave for Ajmer with senior representatives from the Government of Rajasthan and U.S. Government.
Smart Cities are the integration of information technology, telecommunications, urban planning, smart infrastructure and operations in an environment geared to maximize the quality of life for a city's population. This is the first major Smart Cities Conclave for Ajmer and included participation from major U.S. and Indian companies such as United Technologies Corporation (UTC), IBM, Vermeer Corporation, Viacom 18, L&T Construction, Corning, AECOM, CH2MHill, Oracle, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Mahindra Group and Black & Veatch to create a roadmap and advance the goal of developing Ajmer into a Smart City as articulated in the joint statement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi in September 2014.
As part of the discussions, USIBC member companies laid out the vision for some major pilot projects that will provide much needed impetus to the Smart Ajmer initiative. UTC offered details of a pilot project that will enhance public protection with use of enhanced surveillance technology. IBM will target a pilot project directed towards water management.
“100 Smart Cities is a bold vision that has been laid out by Prime Minister Modi. Smart Cities are complex projects that require involvement and commitment from multiple sectors. This includes a sophisticated view of urban planning with advanced technological solutions. Strong partnerships between financial institutions, governments at both state and central levels, as well as the industry are crucial to advancing the goals of a Smart City. The vision laid out by the Ajmer leadership for their city today now allows companies to establish partnerships with a goal towards successful collaborations. The Council and its members are excited to drive the initiative forward and advance Ajmer as a model for India’s 100 smart cities plan,” said USIBC Executive Vice President, Diane Farrell.
The event included presentations and remarks by Mr. Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Government of Rajasthan; Mr. Dharmendra Bhatnagar, Divisional Commissioner, Ajmer Development Authority; Dr. Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI; John McCaslin, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy; Ms. Mehnaz Ansari, Country Representative, U.S. Trade and Development Authority (USTDA) and Vinay Singh, Senior Advisor for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Discussions on business models and financing mechanisms for Smart Cities were led by representatives from World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and E&Y. The delegation will embark on a half day tour of Ajmer tomorrow to scope out sites for implementing the smart city plan.
About U.S.- India Business Council:
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of more than 300 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.
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