Organized Reigniting Trade Shows at the Redeveloped Pragati Maidan Complex
- The first live and in-person B2B expo was inaugurated by Satyendar Jain, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Industries, Home, Public Works Department, Power, Urban Development and Transport, Government of NCT of Delhi.
- Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, sets the tone at the City Leader’s Conclave on Day 2.
- 500 participating brands, 250 speakers and 50 conference sessions; the expo demonstrated the power of in-person networking.
The 28th Convergence India and the 6th Smart cities India expo 2021was recently inaugurated with a cutting-edge exhibition showcase and engaging conference sessions, along with business meetings and knowledge papers at India’s biggest tech and infra expo.
Hosted by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group (EIG), the expo marked the resurgence of live and physical events. The expo supports the Government’s vision of transforming India into a digitally and sustainably empowered economy. Convergence India is at the forefront of India’s digital revolution, while the Smart Cities India expo is a reflection of India’s emerging modernization and development landscape. The combination of these two leading expos, supporting India’s Digital & Smart Cities Missions, delivered an event that accelerated technological innovation, opening with key discourses on the growth of India’s digital economy and enabling entrepreneurship as a driving force for socio-economic development.
The expo was inaugurated by Satyendar Jain, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Industries, Home, Public Works Department, Power, Urban Development and Transport, Government of NCT of Delhi, who stressed the importance of events such as the Convergence India expo and the Smart Cities India expo, in creating a digital and smart India.
Speaking at the opening session on ‘Building Cities for People’ at the Smart Cities Conclave, he said, “The idea of smart cities should also incorporate the idea of sustainability, for without it, no city can be smart. In building and developing smart cities, not only do we need to think about people but also work towards involving them in the process of planning and development. Water is going to be one of the biggest problems going forward, and we must think about solutions. Also, integrating new-age technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) in the making of smart cities is the need of the hour.
A key highlight of the event was a stellar line-up of senior government representatives, leaders from large corporates and young tech start-ups, along with a mix of entrepreneurs, accelerators, incubators and academia, who addressed packed rooms and responded to queries from an inquisitive audience.
Some distinguished and eminent industry experts included Kunal Kumar, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Shobhit Agrawal, Partner KPMG India; P D Vaghela, IAS, Chairman, TRAI; Puneet Narang, Partner, Urban Transformation and Major Projects Advisory, IGH, KPMG in India; Dr. Renu Khosla, Director, CURE; Satish Jamadagni, Vice-Chair, TSDI; Dr. S K Gupta, Secretary, TRAI; Amit Kumar Ghosh, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways; Puneet Anand, AVP-Corporate Affairs Unit, Hyundai Motor, India, and many more, who graced the conference sessions to share their vision and ideologies.
After a successful day of in-person networking on day one, Day 2 marked the launch of the City Leader’s Conclave, with the inaugural session on ‘Building Better Cities.’
The Guest of Honour, Durga Shanker Mishra, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Govt. of India, paid a tribute to the Late Shri Prem Behl, Chairman & Managing Director, Exhibitions India Group, and expressed appreciation for being part of the 6th Smart Cities India. He referred to the event as the key platform for all technocrats, stakeholders, and city leaders to come forward and learn from each other and collaborate on the best practices they can highlight to build better cities.
Speaking on ‘Building Better Cities’ at the City Leader’s Conclave, he said, “The first learning is that cities are for people, for its citizens, and not just for corporations and bureaucrats. Citizens have demonstrated that they can come together to think, aspire, benchmark, and create targets for what their city needs to do and what will be best for citizens. The main learning from smart cities is to identify how to get more from less and how to make cities more inclusive.”
He further said, “There is no definition or specific explanation of smart cities. A smart city is a city which is able to provide the best services to its citizens, in terms of liveability, and one that can provide a conducive liveable environment, wherein citizens can realize their highest potential.”
The occasion was also marked by the launch of a Knowledge Paper by KPMG in India, titled – “Road to sustainable smart cities – Challenges, opportunities and emerging trends.” This paper hopes to serve as a set of insights into the longer term nature of urbanization in India to help the various stakeholders introspect and prepare for the next generation of inclusive urban development programmes in India. It has attempted to evaluate the smart city programme across key aspects, ranging from simplified governance to complex programme implementation. Speaking on the occasion, Elias George, Partner and Head – Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare (IGH), KPMG in India, said, “ The knowledge paper findings reveal that while considerable headway has been made in attaining the objectives of the programme, further interventions are required at the regulatory, policy & programme management and design levels. It is hoped that this document will be of practical use for the key actors involved in the smart cities programme, to critically evaluate its status across these domains, and to undertake further reforms and corrections as may be warranted.”
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread turbulence across the world. As part of an emergency response to the pandemic, the Indian government leveraged the pioneering Smart Cities Mission (SCM) to enable cities to effectively leverage technology in improving citizen services and the overall quality of life. To deliberate on these challenges and the future roadmap of smart cities and learnings from them in India, various smart city CEOs and other industry leaders gathered at the City Leader’s Conclave.
The expo also highlighted the value of interacting and networking in-person to discover innovative solutions imperative for India’s socio-economic growth. The conference tracks, keynotes and sessions focused on themes including new-age technologies, renewable energy, infrastructure, and technologies for a stronger, smarter India.
The 28th Convergence India and the 6th Smart Cities India Expo 2021 concluded with the Smart City India (SCI) Awards. SCI Awards is a unique platform designed to felicitate, recognize and encourage individuals, policy makers, companies, municipalities, government bodies and associations to illuminate the work done across both urban and rural sectors. It is a well-recognized industry platform with 800+ submissions reviewed by an eminent jury comprising industry veterans.
The award felicitation was graced by Chief Guest Jibesh Kumar, Hon’ble Minister, Department of IT, Government of Bihar, who congratulated the organisers for a successful event and said, “The 28th Convergence India and 6th Smart Cities India expo have deftly demonstrated over the last 3 days how it’s time to restart growth in the country with B2B exhibitions, and how trade events can be held with appropriate safety measures in place. My congratulations to the organizers – Exhibitions India Group and India Trade Promotion Organisation – for curating an excellent industry gathering towards the incredible cause of building a digital and smart India.”
He further added, “India’s IT and IT-enabled Services (IT-ITES) industry has the potential to be a driving force in harnessing new technologies, impacting all sectors including agriculture, health, education, manufacturing, and more; thereby creating significant employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the country. India has emerged as the digital capabilities hub in the world, with around 75% of global digital talent present in the country.”
During the Smart City India Awards, the Guest of Honour, Anju Bhalla, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Science & Technology, said, “The successful conduct of the event that culminates today is a harbinger of hope at so many different levels. Not just for the future of the smart cities but also for all the habitations of the country. It is very appropriately called the ‘Convergence India’ as we have seen convergence of so many different sectors of the economy coming together to present this holistic vision of a futuristic India.”
Awards were felicitated to 19 city projects for their innovative solutions and contributions across various categories. Amongst the winners were Jabalpur Smart City Ltd for Kamaniya Gate/ Ghanta Ghar, Jabalpur, in the category Heritage City; Dehradun Smart City Ltd. for Migrant Tracking & Health Monitoring System for COVID-19, in the category Health Project; Apollo Gleneagles Hospital Ltd., in the category Green Building; Govt. of Telangana for Haritha Haram Project, in the category Green and Clean City; ESRI India for Varanasi Smart City in the category Digital City; Jabalpur Smart City Ltd for Solar Rooftop Power Plant in the category Energy Efficiency Project etc.
About 28th Convergence India & 6th Smart Cities India 2021 expo: The 28th Convergence India & 6th Smart Cities India expo, scheduled from 24-26 March 2021, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, is organised by Exhibitions India Group (EIG) and the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). Convergence India is at the forefront of India’s digital revolution, while Smart Cities India expo reflects India’s emerging modernization and development landscape. The combination of these two leading expos, supporting India’s Digital & Smart Cities Missions, is supported by various Government of India Ministries & PSUs. The event attracts a large turnout of qualified visitors & delegates from government departments and private organisations.