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Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018 Launched to Reward Cities at the Forefront of Digital Payments

Newdelhi:9/7/18:Sh. Hardeep S Puri, MoS(I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has stated that Smart cities fellowship and internship program will provide the youth an opportunity to experience the aspects of Urban planning and governance. Announcing the launch of the Smart cities digital payment award, Sh. Puri said that it is intended to promote ‘Digital India’ and ease of living for India’s urban residents by promoting digital payments and encouraging Smart Cities to adopt innovative digital payments initiatives. Sh. Puri launched several new initiatives under AMRUT and the Smart Cities Mission, here today. These include the India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program, India Smart Cities Internship (ISCI) Program and The Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018 and the ‘CITIIS’ challenge under the Smart Cities Mission and the Local Area Plan (LAP)/Town Planning Scheme (TPS) to be implemented in 25 cities on pilot basis under AMRUT. Sh. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing Affairs and other senior officials of the ministry were also present on the occasion.

  1. India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program


The India Smart Cities Fellowship Program is designed to provide valuable experience to the youth interested in smart cities specifically, and urban renewal sector in general and will bring in new ideas, passion and energy to the challenging but exciting work of implementing cutting edge, high-impact solutions to key urban problems. This program will cultivate young leaders, strengthen their understanding of Indian urban sector and prepare them for greater leadership roles in future.

MoHUA will engage 30 young graduates/post graduates and PhDs in the fields of Urban Planning, Urban Design, Engineering, Information and Technology, Urban Mobility, Finance, Social Sector, and Environmental issues as Smart Cities Fellows. The period of engagement is 1-year extendable upto 3 years. They will provide necessary support to Office of Mission Director, Smart Cities in MoHUA and/or CEOs of selected Smart Cities in terms of analytics, research, documentation, independent assessment, visualization or any other related activities including preparation of reports, posters, dossiers, etc.

Interested applicants may apply online through Smart Net ( https://smartnet.niua.org)  till 31 August 2018. Applications received will be scrutinized and shortlisted by the Selection Committee.



  1. India Smart Cities Internship (ISCI) Program


MoHUA will engage students pursuing Under Graduate/Graduate/Post Graduate degree as Interns to help implementation of Smart City Projects in various States/Cities. The internship will be on unpaid basis for a period of 6 to 12 weeks. They will be given an Experience Certificate at the end successful completion of the program. ISCIs will be given exposure in the following areas of development under Smart Cities Mission including Urban Planning, Urban Design, Engineering, Information and Technology, Urban Mobility, Finance, Social Sector, and Environmental issues.

The ‘Interns’ shall be a part of the Smart Cities Mission, and their role primarily would be in implementation /reporting /evaluation and monitoring /knowledge management/stakeholder engagement/ media outreach and other similar activities as assigned to them by the Mission Director (SCM). Interested applicants may apply online anytime of the year through Smart Net ( https://smartnet.niua.org). Selection will be made by a Selection Committee constituted by the Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission).


  1. The Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018

The Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards (SCDPA) 2018 ‘100 days Challenge in 100 Smart Cities’ is part of the initiatives of MoHUA to promote ease of living for India’s urban residents. The objective of these awards is to guide, motivate, recognize and reward the Smart Cities for promoting digital payments and carrying out innovative payment initiatives in their respective cities.

This program will not only reward cities at the forefront of digital payments but also act as encouragement for other cities to follow suite and strengthen their digital payments infrastructure, create awareness through promotion of digital payments with all the stakeholders and provide citizens with multiple options to make digital transactions.

The challenge period would be 100 days starting from the launch of the awards. This would galvanize the digital payments landscape in the Smart Cities. The awards will be conferred based on a 2-stage process. Evaluation Committee(s) chaired by Secretary, MoHUA and comprising of other members shall comprise the Jury. The timelines for the awards program are as follows:

  • Submission of responses for 1st stage: 15th September
  • Shortlist declaration for 1st stage: 30th September
  • Template sharing for 2nd stage evaluation: 15th October (template will be shared with the shortlisted cities only)
  • Submission of responses for 2nd stage: 30th October
  • Final results: Dates will be announced later

For evaluation purpose, the Smart Cities will be divided into 4 different categories based on their population. The city categories are mentioned below:


City Category Population
Category 1 < 5 Lac
Category 2 5 – 10 Lac
Category 3 1 mn – 4 mn
Category 4 4 mn +



Three awards will be conferred in each of the four categories. Hence, a total of 12 awards will be conferred as part of this program.

    1. Best digital payments adopter

This award will be conferred to the Smart City that exhibits an overall excellence in digital payments across different channels and payments instrument to ensure anytime, anywhere payments for all


    1. Best digital payments innovator

This award will be conferred to the Smart City that exhibits the most innovative implementation of the digital payments options for its citizens


    1. Fastest growing Smart City focusing on digital payments

The award will be given to the city having the highest growth rate in digital payment transactions by volume and value in the recent past.

The detailed brochure of the SCDPA is available on the SmartNet portal. A guidelines document to help cities in their efforts to embrace digital payments is also available on SmartNet.



  1. Cities Investment To Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Challenge


When Smart Cities Mission was launched on 25 June 2015 a competitive, challenge process was used to select the 100 Smart Cities. Now, the Challenge process is being applied to project implementation, in line with the NITI Aayog guideline where under the Indo-French partnership program, at least 15 projects would be selected through an All-India Challenge. The projects would be in four sectors- Sustainable Mobility, Public Open Spaces, Urban governance & ICT and Social and Organizational Innovation in low-income settlements. The duration of the program will be three years (FY2018-19 to FY2020- 21).

A Loan of EUR 100 million would be extended by AFD to selected CITIIS projects in the form of grant. The repayment of the principle and interest would be equally shared by the Central Government and State Government on 50:50 basis. Each awarded CITIIS project will benefit from a grant ranging from INR 20 Cr. to INR 80 Cr (max project outlay: 160 crore). The CITIIS grant is expected to cover from minimum 50% up to 80% of the project cost subject to a maximum of INR 80 Cr. and additional funding amounting to least 20% to be secured by the awarded cities through its own resources.

In addition, EUR 6 million would be given as grant to be shared between the SPVs of the Smart Cities, State Governments and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for capacity building activities. The National institute of Urban Affairs would conduct the Challenge process for selection of projects under the Indo-French partnership.

The financial support and foreign technical assistance will help Smart Cities to access World Class expertise for selected innovative projects. It also intends to improve peer learning activities & cooperation within the smart cities and enhance the knowledge both at the State and National Level.





The Local Area Plan (LAP) and Town Planning Scheme (TPS) has been formulated under the AMRUT to enable planning for developing infrastructure in the Brownfield areas (those parts of the city that are already developed but not able to sustain the pressure on the existing infrastructure) & the Greenfield areas (periphery of the city that is prone to haphazard growth and development), respectively. They will be implemented in 25 selected cities on pilot basis. The existing areas or Brownfield areas can be redeveloped by preparing Local Area based Plans (LAP).  While at the same time, the Town Planning Schemes (TPS) can be implemented for planned urban expansion in the peripheral Greenfield areas.

The Scheme will enable the selected cities to formulate Local Area based Plans (LAP) and Town Planning Schemes (TPS) for which 100% central assistance would be available. Based on the formulation of Local Area based Plans (LAPs) and Town Planning Schemes (TPS) by the city concerned, prioritization of urban infrastructure projects would be taken up.

An amount of Rs. 50 crore would be provided as Central assistance @ Rs 2.00 crore per city for identified 25 cities for preparing LAP/TPS. The Central Assistance shall be released in 3 installments; 20% with submission of preliminary proposal, 40% during submission of draft plan and remaining 40% during submission of final plan.

The exercise of preparing Local Area Plan and Town Planning Scheme is expected to be completed in a period of one year; the preliminary proposal in two months, the draft plan in 10 months. Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO) will provide handholding support to the state nodal agency.

Guidelines have been prepared for the operationalization of the Scheme and shall be circulated to 25 States where the cities have been identified with a request to submit the proposal for preparing LAP/TPS.

The Scheme shall enable the cities to identify the areas for Local Area Plan and Town Planning Scheme and encourage bottom up approach to resolve the area based infrastructure problems in a short period of time.


(List of 25 cities)

Sl. No City State
1 Greater Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
2 Guwahati Assam
3 Vadodara Gujarat
4 Indore Madhya Pradesh
5 Chennai Tamil Nadu
6 Bengaluru Karnataka
7 Thiruvananthapuram Kerala
8 Warangal Telangana
9 Pune Maharashtra
10 Varanasi Uttar Pradesh
11 Jaipur Rajasthan
12 Amritsar Punjab
13 Patna Bihar
14 Faridabad Haryana
15 Bhubaneswar Odisha
16 Ranchi Jharkhand
17 Raipur Chhattisgarh
18 Panaji Goa
19 Shimla Himachal Pradesh
20 New Kolkata West Bengal
21 Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir
22 Dehradun Uttarakhand
23 Aizawl Mizoram
24 Gangtok Sikkim
25 Imphal Manipur



About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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