On April 15, 2021, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing & Urban Affairs virtually launched 2 Challenges during an online event. They are
- EatSmart Cities Challenge – To motivate Smart Cities to develop a plan which supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment.
- Transport 4 All (T4All) Challenge – To develop digital solutions for making public transport safe, affordable, comfortable and reliable for all.
- All Smart Cities, capital cities of States/UTs and cities with a population of more than 5 Lakh are eligible to take part in the 2 challenges.
EatSmart Cities Challenge
- Launched in partnership with Smart Cities Mission, the challenge aims to create an environment of right food practices and habits, strengthen the food safety and regulatory environment, and build awareness among consumers to make better food choices.
- The challenge will be a competition among cities to recognize their efforts in adopting and scaling up various initiatives under the ‘Eat Right India’ Movement.
- At the end of 1st phase of the challenge, 11 cities will be selected for deeper engagement for an extended period to implement their vision.
- The challenge aims to integrate the concept of ‘Sustainable Food Systems’ into city planning.
- It will act as a social and behavioural change towards food safety, hygiene and nutrition and help India fight against Lifestyle diseases.
Eat Right India
- The initiative was launched in 2018 by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).
- The main motive behind the initiative was to improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.
Transport 4 All (T4All) Challenge
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the Transport 4 All Challenge in collaboration with Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
It aims to bring together cities, citizen groups, and start-ups to develop solutions that will improve public transport.
- The initiative will help cities to recover from the Mobility crisis caused by COVID-19.
- The focus of the 1st Edition of the challenge will be on digital innovation.
- Cities & start-ups will receive guidance for developing and testing various solutions.
- T4All through Digital Innovation Challenge comprises 3 stages – Problem Identification, Solution Generation & Pilot Testing.
- For the challenge, cities can form a Transport4All Task Force (TTF) composed of key stakeholders such as Municipal Corporation, Traffic Police, NGOs & academic institutes in the field of sustainable transport and others.
Impact of Pandemic
COVID-19 has affected Public Transport in India in a big way. Due to Lockdowns, Indian Railways suffered a loss of INR 6, 500 Crore on revenue & Around 29 Lakh Jobs were affected in Indian and dependent Industries.
Recent Related News:
i.On November 4, 2020, MoS (IC) for MoHUA, Hardeep Singh Puri launched Three Initiatives Namely Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge, Data Maturity Assessment Framework Cycle 2 & On-line training programme for City Data Officers (CDO) during an event.
ii.On November 20, 2020, Hardeep Singh Puri launched Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge across 243 Cities during a webinar in New Delhi.
About Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA):
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh)
About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
An autonomous body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Chairperson – Rita Teaotia
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP):
CEO – Heather Thompson
Headquarters – New York, USA