What Is a Smart City?
It is estimated that almost half of India’s population will be living in a city by 2030; contributing to approximately 75% of India’s GDP. The Smart Cities Mission is an innovative initiative by the Government of India to ensure that its citizens receive a better quality of life while simultaneously contributing to the economic growth of the country.
Smart cities are expected to emerge as key technology, economic and social hubs for the country. In order to attract investment, they will be equipped with advanced technology, state-of-the-art infrastructure, 24-hour water supply and electricity, world-class water conservation and waste management, proper traffic management and transport management systems, recycling, green technology and Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi networks will primarily be the support structure for smart cities. Service providers like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Facebook are working towards deploying Wi-Fi across smart cities and Google is planning Wi-Fi hotspots across multiple railway stations.
The plan is to have a total of a hundred smart cities built across India over the next five years (2015-2020). The first 20 cities have been approved.
The Role of Babajob – Working With the Smart Cities Mission
Babajob has been connecting jobseekers and employers since 2007 with the aim of impacting lives and improving income levels of jobseekers. Our research has shown that people who found employment through Babajob received an average salary increase of 20%. We also help people find jobs closer to their homes, or at least in a city or location of their choice. As a result, a worker’s commute time decreases by an average of 14 minutes a day.This directly impacts the quality of people’s lives and in some cases even results in a decrease in the cost of their daily commute.
When asked about smart cities, Vir Kashyap, COO of Babajob commented, “We are already leveraging our technology to help jobseekers find jobs either close to their homes, or at least close to public transportation so that they don’t have to spend inordinate amounts of time commuting. We are, in effect, already in-line with the smart city concept—that of using technology efficiently to improve people’s lives.”
How do Smart Cities Affect Job seekers?
For jobseekers, the smart cities initiative is a boon since many millennials migrate from remote and rural areas from across India to urban areas in search of better employment opportunities. People will realise that there is better quality of life in these “smart cities” and will seek them out as a great place to work and live.
How Smart Cities are Beneficial to Employers
Moving to a smart city assures employers access to a steady workforce pool with thousands of potential employees within close proximity. Additionally, employers will be able to count on having basic amenities 24×7 such as water, electricity, sanitation, transportation and most importantly technology and connectivity.
In India’s largest cities, about half of the workforce is considered part of the informal economy—activities and income that are partially or fully outside government regulation, taxation, and observation. There is a vast need for proper shelter, basic amenities and services that all citizens should be entitled to. How are we to weave the concerns of these informal workers into India’s national agenda is a key question in this country today. There’s a need to view India’s informal economy as not just providing opportunities for survival but also as dynamic, though unregulated, markets that offer an array of opportunities to create wealth. This need for urbanization over the next decade poses a truly unprecedented challenge. The Smart City Mission is one answer to handling this epic shift in migration and propelling the development of our nation.