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Target to develop more than 4,372 cities as smart cities

Stating that the smart cities concept does not have a single dimension of focusing on just big or small cities, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has said that the target is to develop more than 4,372 cities as smart cities. “Our target is to develop our 4,372 cities, along with other cities, as smart cities. To make this happen, cities should use their land, resources, local people, and skills to move on different path,” he said at the virtual 4th Smart Cities Summit & 2nd Smart Urban Innovation Awards, organized by FICCI in the Capital. He said that the learning of one city chosen under 100 smart cities should be spread to other cities so that it becomes a light house.

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Budget to further boost Science and Technology ecosystem

Budget 2021 includes several initiatives to promote science, technology, and innovation with applications in the country. It is a forward-looking budget to substantially boost support for R&D in the key identified areas of national priorities. These are also in line with the projections in the draft Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2021 put up for public consultations. This includes a total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore (€5.9 billion) over 5 years for the National Research Foundation, an autonomous body envisaged to support researchers working across several streams of S&T with special focus on universities.


Battery storage, smart grid, energy efficiency firms raise $1.3 bn in Q1 2021: Report by Mercom Capital Group

Total corporate funding in battery energy storage came to $4.7 billion in 17 deals compared to $3.1 billion in 19 deals in Q4 2020. In the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, $1.3 billion was raised in venture capital funding by battery storagesmart grid, and energy efficiency companies, a 410% increase from the $252 million raised in the same quarter last year, according to a recent report. It added that total corporate funding in battery energy storage came to $4.7 billion in 17 deals compared to $3.1 billion in 19 deals in Q4 2020. “Funding was up significantly YoY compared to $244 million in nine deals in Q1 2020,” said consulting firm in its report .

Government to launch National Programme on Artificial Intelligence (AI) soon

The Centre is going to launch a National Programme on AI soon. The programme will identify high value data sets in the public sector and provide access to the data to AI models. The government will also set up a Centre for Transformational AI to tap the data in various sectors and make it available for AI models, according to Joint Secretary, MEITY. The govt. will launch Digital India 2.0 with an aim to take the digital service offerings, infrastructure and cyber security to next level. More services will be offered through digital platforms, India will focus on developing indigenous cybersecurity products and robust digital infrastructure.