Awadhesh Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Ujjain Smart City Limited

The government’s vision of a digital India emphasises the requirement of smart infrastructure for sewage, water and electricity. This, in turn, brings in the concept of “smart cities”, the main mission of which is to improve the quality of life of people by harnessing technology. A smart city is a city that seeks to become more ­liveable, functional and competitive throu­­gh the use of new technologies, ­innovation and knowledge management.

Ujjain, a historical city in Madhya Pradesh, has been selected to be developed as a smart city under the government’s am­bitious plan. As per the government’s directives, Ujjain Smart City Limited (USCL) aims to develop smart infrastructure and make optimum use of big data for city operations. It is planning to tap a range of approaches – digital and information technologies, best practices in urban ­planning, public-private partnerships, and policy change – to make a difference.

Progress so far

Vehicle tracking management system and ­supporting application for citizens

GPS-based data tracking system devices have been installed in the Ujjain Municipal Corp­oration’s­ (UMC) solid waste management vehicles, traffic vehicles, fire brig­a­des, etc. A mobile application will enable users to track the location of a waste ­collection vehicle. In some of these ­vehicles, GPS/ GPRS instruments had ­previously been installed. It is the responsibility of the ­sys­tem integrator to ensure that these are in­te­­grated with the solution developed, without the need to purchase additional devices. How­ever, for vehicles where GPS/GPRS eq­uip­ment is not ­available, proc­­urement of devices as per the standards mentioned is required. The ­software will be offered using a web-based solution that utilises a high resolution ­digital map, such as Google Maps, to show the real-time position of vehicles. The software will ­provide map-based tracking and transit routeline-based tracking of vehicles by the control centre. It will have enterprise ­capabilities, which enable multiple users to carry out various functions like alarm management, vehicle schedule tracking, speed management, stoppage management, route replays and vehicle-tracking dashboard as a standard functionality. The software will give the control centre management staff quick decision-making capability by ­providing graphical tools for visualisation. It will enable Ujjain City Transport Services Limited (UCTSL) and UMC to drill and analyse information and online data in a multidimensional manner. ­Comp­re­he­n­sive analysis and reporting capabilities are expected to be a part of the applic­ation delivery, which matches the world standard capabilities of AVLS/VTMS systems.

The software should have a ­multi-screen-based tracking system, capable of quickly analysing and giving a better insight into the operational data of all activities in the system. The solution develop­ed should be scalable to support at least 1,000 vehicles and up to 150 bus stops. In addition, an unlimited number of ­geota­g­ged locations grouped into various ­­­cat­egories should be supported by the ­solution. The solution should assist in inte­­g­­ration with other smart city ­initi­atives, for example, sur­­veillance and traffic management.

In addition, the software solution ­deve­loped will be required to integrate the ­information provided by the GPS from the existing municipal vehicles, approximately 154 in number, which are from different vendors. The software should also have the provision to track a potentially unlimited number of e-rickshaws and other public transport vehicles (autos, cycle rickshaws, etc.) using smartphones.

Smart classrooms

USCL aims to enhance the learning ­­out­­comes of schoolchildren in government schools using diverse techniques. One of the most effective techniques to achieve this is to empower teachers by training them to use interactive techniques and multimedia content. This would help students to grasp concepts in an easier way. The interaction of technology and content with students and teachers during the teaching-learning process will make students more attentive. USCL intends to set up smart classrooms in selected government institutions of the walled city area of Ujjain. The key ­­objec­­tives are to increase knowledge ­assimilation and retention amongst ­school­ children, to enhance learning by ­creating a non-stressful and interactive ­environment, and to enable access to high quality ­educational materials. The aim of the Smart Class­rooms project is to have multimedia ­content in all subjects for Classes I to XII and a language laboratory in English, Hindi and other languages in government schools in Ujjain. It also aims to have Wi-Fi in school campuses, with a minimum 4 Mbps of internet bandwidth.

However, there have been certain challenges in implementation. For ­­ins­tance, teachers and students are not ­­­tech-savvy. To address this issue, the plan is to train all teachers before going live. All the teachers have to be adequately trained and ready to use the equipment. Further, in order to monitor the use and performance of smart classrooms after the implementation, a management information system has been incorporated.

The way forward

As part of the IT scheme, the plan is to in­corporate something new every time, which would give citizens a technology-based, hassle-free life.