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The Centre would like us to believe that the Smart Cities Mission will transform urban life in the (1) that enter the elite club. With the latest inclusions, there are 90 cities in the list, each of which proposes to turn ‘smart’, utilising core funding from the Centre and other resources. By all accounts, the (2) of basic services in urban India has been worsening, and this is clearly reflected in the winning city proposals: 81 of the selected plans seek funds for affordable housing, new schools and hospitals, and redesign of roads. This is at best a (3) list, and there are many more (4) to achieving inclusivity. There is a high-visibility campaign around the Smart Cities Mission, but there is little evidence to suggest that State and local governments have either the fine-grained data or the capability to analyse them in order to understand the (5) needs of their communities. The Centre has (6) decided to skirt such a fundamental problem by adopting a ‘managed urbanisation’ approach in the chosen cities, with the powers of municipal councils delegated to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), under the Companies Act, that will act in its own wisdom. Given that this is the model adopted by the two-year-old Mission, the Centre must present a status report on what the SPVs have (7) so far.
Any serious attempt at improving the quality of life in cities would depend on how governments approach data. It would be smart, for instance, to use (8) to estimate the flow of vehicles and pedestrians, and create smartphone applications for the public to report on a variety of parameters. Making such data open would enable citizens’ groups to themselves come up with analyses to help city administrators make decisions, boost transparency and make officials accountable. There are several international examples now, such as the Array of Things sensors being installed on Chicago streets, which let people download the raw data on air quality, transport, pedestrian movement and standing water. Although India’s Smart Cities Mission has identified more than 20 priority areas, interventions by the respective agencies are weak. Access to special funding should make it mandatory for all public transport providers — city bus corporations, Metro Rail and (9) trains — to provide real-time passenger information in the form of open data, an inexpensive global standard that raises both access and efficiency through smartphone applications. Making street-level waste management data public would lead to a heat map of the worst sites, (10) managers to solve the problem.
- 1) expatriation
5) dismissalAnswer – 2)
Explanation: agglomerations – a mass or collection of things; an assemblage.
- 1) dissipation
5) extirpationAnswer – 4)
Explanation: provision – the action of providing or supplying something for use.
- 1) partial
5) exhaustiveAnswer – 1)
Explanation: partial – existing only in part; incomplete.
- 1) bottleneck
5) aspectsAnswer – 5)
Explanation: aspects – a particular part or feature of something.
- 1) integral
5) counteractAnswer – 3)
Explanation: evolving – develop gradually.
- 1) immune
5) impedeAnswer – 2)
Explanation: apparently – as far as one knows or can see.
- 1) gustative
5) barrelAnswer – 4)
Explanation: achieved – successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective or result) by effort, skill, or courage.
5) acousticsAnswer – 4)
Explanation: sensors – a device which detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.
- 1) cosmopolitan
5) suburbanAnswer – 5)
Explanation: suburban – of or characteristic of a suburb.
- 1) contravene
5) auricularAnswer – 4)
Explanation: compelling – evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.