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Union Minister Hardeep Puri Encourages Youth Engagement in Urban Transformation

New Delhi: The Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs and Petroleum & Natural Gas, Hardeep S Puri, engaged with a group of Mass Communication students from Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University, emphasizing the significance of sustainable urban development for an improved quality of life. During the interaction, the Minister underscored the substantial increase in investment in the urban sector, which has witnessed a remarkable transformation through technology and innovation.

Puri highlighted that the investment in urban areas has surged from Rs. 1.78 lakh crores (2004-2014) to over Rs. 18 lakh crores (2014-2023). He acknowledged the progress made in addressing challenges related to waste processing, urban mobility, and affordable housing. The Minister invited the students to observe the evolving urban landscape as they travel across the country.

Expressing the need to bridge the gap between the government and young citizens, he emphasized the importance of such interactions to demystify government schemes and programs. He encouraged more engagements, believing that they help the youth appreciate initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

The students also visited the India Urban Observatory (IUO) in Nirman Bhawan, a state-of-the-art interactive showcase providing real-time insights on Indian cities. Puri appreciated the IUO’s role in offering reliable information through advanced technologies. The observatory leverages AI/ML, data science, analytics, and visualization capabilities to provide data on mobility, water, sanitation, health, and the environment.

The Minister introduced the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ in India, emphasizing the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC), which played a crucial role in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in 100 Smart Cities. He highlighted the reduction in crime against women in these cities due to continuous monitoring through ICCCs.

Puri also mentioned ‘The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP),’ designed to create synergies between advancing functional skills in students and harnessing their energy and ideas to co-create solutions for the future of cities. The program aims to provide technical graduates with exposure to real-world project implementation and planning.

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