Make Kochi a SmartCity

 

Marine_Drive_Kochi_Night_View_DSW

In the year 2008, humanity reached a definite milestone, according to UN demographers. The urban population overtook the rural population and cities are destined grow faster. Kochi wont be an exception. SmartCity (not exactly the real estate project near Kakkand) is an intriguing concept to make every city smarter, mainly using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Since Kochi is been selected as a candidate city in Prime Minister’s 100 SmartCities plan, I approached Kochi City Mayor with some suggestions. He has responded positively and asked me to penn my initial thoughts. Here is that letter. I publish it because, it gives my hunch feeling on this concept.


 

Respected Mayor,

Thanks for the audience the other day and requesting me to submit my suggestions in writing.

I am a teaching faculty at Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology. My PhD was in High Performance Computing (Supercomputing) from the Australian National University and I have worked as a computational scientist at the University of Auckland, NewZealand for a while. My short CV is available at:http://people.rajagiritech.ac.in/jaisonmpaul/biocv/cv

I was intrigued by the concept of SmartCity while I was doing my PhD, since IBM introduced their Smart Planet campaign in 2007. As far as I know, the concept of SmartCity (which the Prime Minister has taken up these days) originated as a Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiative. However, the concept has evolved and covers vast areas of infrastructure, town planning, transportation, health care, emergency response, people engagement, policy development, etc these days. However a major thrust of SmartCity concept is still hanging around ICT, since “most stakeholders agree that it is less expensive and easier to deploy ICT than to replace legacy city infrastructures” (CISCO).

Data is the new fuel that will propel this revolution. The digital footprint that we need to create and will be generated is predicted to be very high (in PetaBytes). How do we make use of this data – how to collect them, analyse them and create information and meaning out of them is going to be the greatest challenge.

Two of the important technology enablers to solve this issue are the cloud computing and high performance computing (supercomputing), without forgetting the importance of the upcoming technology of Internet of Things (IoT).

This is the area where I am interested in. I have proposed a supercomputer for Kerala state in a Malayala Manorama article, last September. Here is a link, where you can read it: http://jaison.mulerikal.in/2014/10/we-too-need-a-supercomputer/

I am planning to write a project to Department of Science and Technology to do some research work in high performance and cloud computing. If we can identify some research/analytics areas where Rajagiri Engg College can work for Kochi corporation in related to its data analytics requirements (in the SmartCIty project) using high performance and cloud infrastructure, that will be a great step forward. This will produce quality research for Kochi corporation and meaningful engagement from our part.

Hope and pray that you will present this matter to respective bodies and make it happen for the betterment of people of Kochi.

Thanking you in advance,

 

———-
Fr Jaison Mulerikal CMI, PhD
Picture courtesy: Prathyush Thomas (Wikipedia)

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