Infrastructure News

Hardeep S. Puri, Infra News, ET Infra

Union minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep S Puri on Tuesday said that Smart Cities Mission has nurtured the role of the youth in leading innovations across government departments.

While speaking at the National Youth Conclave 2023, Puri said that the youth is encouraged through various initiatives, to provide ‘out of the box’ solutions to help promote ease of living for India’s urban population.

“India’s vast youth population is a powerhouse of talent, innovation & ideas. Catalysts of change, the future, & indeed the present belongs to youth, particularly in #AmritKaal. Interacted with a vibrant gathering at National Youth Conclave – an Alliance between Y20 & U20,” Puri tweeted.

According to Puri, about Rs 90,000 crore is currently being shelled out by the Union government annually on youth development programmes. “Explosion of start-ups in the country is a testament to the entrepreneurial culture that the youth of the country have inspired in recent years,” Puri said, adding that India would be a world leader in all respects by 2047 due to the youth dividend.

While speaking on the growing clout of Indian youth in smart city innovations, senior IAS officer Dr. Ravi Mittal, District Magistrate, Jashpur, Chhattisgarh told ETGovernment that there was an urgent need to widen the youth connect to drive further innovations in the smart cities of future.

“India is a young country—majority of our citizens are young. The involvement of youth is critical for achieving the agenda of making our cities smart. I believe that the community is the cavalry and the youth are the warriors. It is the youth who will win the battle for developing smart cities across the country.”

According to Mittal, new technology innovations were vital for bringing community based solutions for future smart cities. He maintained that unless the entire community was involved in creation of the infrastructure and systems for smart cities such projects would not be feasible.

“The youth are the driving force of our community. Once they get involved, the objective of developing smart cities, where quality of life is enhanced by world class digital and physical infrastructure, will become a simple task,,” Mittal said.

While responding about key government initiatives under the Urban Learning Internship Programme (TULIP) and the India Smart Cities Fellowship Programme (ISCF) that have enhanced the professional development and employability of youth, Puri said these initiatives have offered the youth, targeted learning and collaboration opportunities, and have enhanced their professional development and employability.

“TULIP has pioneered similar interventions in other Central government ministries and departments, and is facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas across government machinery… This transformative expansion would allow for an unprecedented explosion in innovation,” Puri said.

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