India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for development of 100 smart cities in his country has caught the attention of governments and industry around the world who offered their assistance. It also caught the attention of faculty at CEPT University, considered the country's premier architecture, planning and design institute.
Gujarat-based CEPT is launching a smart city course thought to be the first in India, according to a report in the Business Standard. It was offered to master's level students in architecture, planning, technology and management. More than 120 of them applied for the course, which had room for only 40, leading faculty member Saswat Bandyopadyay to call it an instant hit.
“In view of recent government announcement of ‘100 Smart Cities’ in the union budget and allocation of Rs 7,600 crore there is a great excitement amongst the states and cities all over the country to take advantage," Bandyopadyay told the Business Standard. "However, the general understanding of ‘what is a Smart City?’ is not very known, nor there exists any trained man power or expertise who could guide and handhold such development or at least make a road map."
Given that, CEPT may expand the course in the future and offer it to government officials involved in city planning.
Visiting faculty from the UK and European Union will help with the course, described as interactive and case-study driven with an examination of the Indian government's policies and budgeting for smart cities also part of the lesson plan.