Sometime in early 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet put forth a plan for upgrading a cluster of 300 villages to ‘Smart Villages’. Christened as the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission, after the founder of the Jan Sangh, the project aimed to develop the first phase by 2019. A sound plan, considering that at least 833 million, about 68%, of Indians are living in rural areas. And one that can be easily realised in a developing setting such as India’s, according to Yousef Khalili, head of Smart City Digital Transformation Consulting Unit at NXN Group.
For Mr. Khalili, one of the architects of the Smart Dubai projects, Smart Villages is an idea that’s close to his heart. “The baseline for smart communities is always constant, whether it is a city or a village. It’s how you use technology to better the lives of people,” he explains in an interview.
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