Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs

Launch of Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR);

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and National Institute of Urban Affairs collaborate with 15 premier architecture & planning institutes to document 75 urban projects under the Smart Cities Mission

Posted On: 05 JAN 2022 1:09PM by PIB Delhi

As part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations across the country, the Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA has launched “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program, a joint initiative of MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and leading Indian academic institutions of 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 Smart Cities Mission’s urban projects are lighthouse projects to other aspiring cities. 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 crore. The first activity envisaged under SAAR is to prepare a compendium of 75 landmark urban projects in India under the Smart City Mission. These 75 urban projects are innovative, multi-sectoral, and have been implemented across geographies. The program marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, with the idea to showcase country’s best practices and on-ground achievements.

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. The 75 projects covered in the compendium are distributed across 47 Smart Cities. The partner institutes documenting the projects include inter alia Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Center for Environment Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, and School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.

(The list of cities participating in SAAR, along with the name of 15 Institutions is at Annexure)

SAAR Process Flow:

MoHUA and NIUA will facilitate linkages between the Institutions and Smart Cities for specific landmark projects that are to be documented under the program. The Institutes will document the outcomes of these projects, on how they are impacting the lives of urban citizens. Team of students, mentors from these premier institutions will be visiting these 47 smart cities to understand/document these projects in the month of January/February, 2022.

The workflow of the compendium being prepared by SAAR will include field Investigation, data analysis & documentation, national research methodology workshop for the participating students, peer review of first draft, final submission by research students to their respective institutions, institutional submission of research to NIUA, and leading to the launch of compendium of 75 urban projects by June 2022.

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 not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

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.

Annexure 1

List of Cities and Institutes

The SAAR project includes 75 urban projects distributed across 47 Smart cities. The cities include: Agra, Ajmer, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Dharamshala, Faridabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Saharanpur, Shimla, Srinagar, Belgavi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode, Kakinada, Kochi, Manguluru, Shivamogga, Thanjavur, Thiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, Tumakuru, Ahmedabad, Dahod, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune, Surat, Thane, Vadodara, Bhubaneswar, New Town Kolkata, Ranchi, Vishakhapatnam, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Raipur, Sagar, Ujjain, Jabalpur, Agartala, Gangtok, and Namchi.

The 15 premier institutes of the country, partner in in this event include:

  1. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  2. Malaviya National Institute of Technology
  3. Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
  4. R V College of Architecture, Bangalore
  5. Anna University
  6. College of Engineering, Trivandrum
  7. Department of Architecture & Planning, Manipal University
  8. Center for Environment Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad
  9. College of Engineering, Pune
  10. Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Mumbai
  11. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  12. Indian Institute of Science and Environment Technology, Shibpur
  13. School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada
  14. School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal
  15. Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology



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