Dr. Sumit D Chowdhury is an entrepreneur, business leader and an international thought-leader on telecom, electronics and information systems and solutions for Smart Cities. He was the President of the Enterprise Business and CIO of Reliance Jio. Prior to that he was a Vice President with IBM as Head of Consulting for Telecom, Utilities and Entertainment industries. These roles have given him the opportunity to be recognized as one of the Top CIOs of the world. A thought leader in technology-based transformation of companies and is now focused on solutions for smart cities and the Internet of Things by setting up Gaia Smart Cities - The next generation M2M Telecom Service Provider. He strongly advocates that smartness is about measurement and improvement. When cities measure consumption in granular detail and share that data openly, it allows for improved delivery of common utility services like water, power, and sanitation. It helps them plan better for peak capacity by identifying areas of overcapacity and expand services to areas where there is a shortage. He further says that smart cities are a classic case of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve problems. Various Indian universities have been working on this as well, but the researchers need practical data and practical problems to solve.
Collaboration—between companies, governments, government departments—is the key. Create network of networks, identify the best minds and use them to solve common problems.
In his opinion, the role India could play in frugal innovation for smart cities—systematic innovation that can be scaled at the national level. He talks about the six plus six model: six cities in a state can come together for synergy in solving common problems in water, power, and education. Each can adopt villages around it and help create smart villages. Eventually, states can collaborate to solve national-level problems. For instance, Ganga pollution—it concerns all the states the river flows through. Also, the theme-based aspect of the smart cities agenda means that things are interrelated--the clean Ganga programme is also a part of Swachh Bharat and smart cities. A smart City, when looked at in its fractals, essentially means having tools and techniques to work with and solve its ICT challenges to keep the city-wide systems running efficiently. To make daily operations easy, there has to be overlap of information network, platforms and mediums. And for all this data collaboration is imperative. Gaia Theory is a compelling new way of understanding life on our planet. The theory asserts that living organisms and their inorganic surroundings have evolved together as a single living system that greatly affects the chemistry and conditions of Earth’s surface The Gaia Paradigm describes a productive confluence between scientific understandings of Earth as a living system with cultural understandings (ancient and new) of human society as a seamless continuum of that system. But for all this sharing of information, collecting that and later processing it for faster, efficient operations is what Gaia smart cities is all about.
We are – What we share
We become – What we know – to network, to collect and to grow.