Microsoft partners with Indian state gov to develop smart cities

smart cities
Microsoft’s CityNext initiative will focus on 40 infrastructure problem areas across Hyderabad including energy and water

Technology and software giant Microsoft has partnered with South India’s Telangana government to organise a Smart City Start-ups meeting in the state capital of Hyderabad.

The cooperation between the two parties will seek to address the state’s public infrastructure challenges, forming part of Microsoft’s CityNext initiative.

In an interview with the Business Standard, Ravi Narayan, director at Microsoft Ventures India, said: “Around 21 start-ups, a combination of Microsoft Ventures’ core portfolio and extended portfolio, participated in this bold step that the new Telangana state has taken, and launched a dialogue to quickly put smart city solutions on the ground.”

Mr Narayan added: “We are not going to leave this initiative at the networking level. We will help facilitate a consortium of start-ups to go through the tendering process (for smart cities), when called for.”

Microsoft describes its CityNext initiative as a way to help residents and city leaders to use technology to build a foundation for sustainable growth and prosperity.

The software company has identified more than 40 potential problem areas across Hyderabad’s eight city domains including energy and water, buildings; infrastructure and planning, transportation, public safety and justice, tourism, recreation and culture, education, health and social services and government administration.

Microsoft’s Indian subsidiary will integrate IT and leverage human engagement with a view to address infrastructural challenges and foster an environment that spurs economic growth.

Smart cities India

The development of Indian smart cities is a foremost priority for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched several schemes under the Government’s Smart Cities Mission.

The initiative aims to revamp India’s urban cities to cater for the increasing population and create a more sustainable, safer living environment for its citizens.

Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao said that smart cities are important to drive growth in the state. He added that leveraging the available technology and expertise will help transform Telangana into a sustainable and competitive state.