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AI for India’s Smart Cities

India’s Policy Commission or the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) released a discussion paper detailing the uses of AI tech in several sectors of the country.

One of the areas that the paper outlined was smart cities.

India is currently witnessing a surge of urbanisation. While the percentage of the population living in urban areas was estimated to be 31% in 2011, recent research on satellite data indicates that this figure is close 45% today and predicted to rise to about 60% by 2050, the document said.

Unplanned urbanisation is an essential aspect of a country’s economic growth but often results in congestion, over-pollution, high crime rates, poor living standards, and can potentially burden the infrastructure and administrative needs of existing Indian cities.

To tackle these challenges, the government selected 99 cities across India, aimed at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life, through new technologies.

AI in smart cities:

Smart Parks and public facilities

AI tech will monitor patronage and accordingly control associated systems such as pavement lighting, park maintenance, and other operational conditions that could lead to cost savings and improve safety and accessibility.

Smart Homes

Introducing AI to domestic functions such as smart rooftops, water saving applications, and for better water utilisation will help optimise human effort in performing daily activities.

AI-driven service delivery

AI will be implemented in applications like predictive service delivery based on citizen data, rationalisation of administrative personnel on the basis of predicted service demands, migration trend analysis, and AI-based grievance redressal through chat-bots.

Intelligent safety systems

AI technology could provide safety through smart command centres with state-of-the-art surveillance systems that could keep checks on potential crime incidents and the general security of the residents.

Social media intelligence platforms can provide aid to public safety by gathering information from networking sites and predicting potential activities that are a threat to the public. In the city of Surat, the crime rate has dropped by 27% after the implementation of AI-powered safety systems.

Crowd management:

The Singapore Government collaborated with a private enterprise to develop a solution to predict crowd behaviour and potential responses to incidents. The solution resulted in 85% accuracy in high crowd activity, crowd size estimation, and object detection.

Similarly, in India earlier this year, the “Kumbh Mela Experiment” was set up to predict crowd behaviour and the possibility of a stampede, using AI for the first time. The Kumbh Mela is the biggest religious gathering in the world and for it, over 1,000 CCTV cameras were used to monitor movements from the event’s location spread across 32 square kilometres.

Other similar big data and AI solutions could help with advance prediction and response management.


AI technologies can detect vulnerabilities and take remedial measures to minimise exposure to secure online platforms that contain highly sensitive data.

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