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Canada Shows keen interest in building Smart Cities in India

New Delhi: Canada has strongly pitched in with the offer of its wood based high density house construction technology to enable India meet its ‘Housing for All by 2022’ target. This offer was made by the visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade Shri Ed Fast during his meeting with the Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu here today. The Canadian Minister made detailed queries about the new initiatives in urban sector including building of 100 Smart Cities, Housing for All and infrastructure development in urban areas of the country. He sought to know the clear timelines for execution of these schemes and specific areas requiring technologies and investments. Shri Venkaiah Naidu gave a detailed account of various initiatives and suggested cooperation in respect of affordable housing, waste water recycling, sanitation and public transport infrastructure in urban areas and building smart cities. Shri Ed Fast elaborated on Canada’s expertise in wood based housing technology that enables multi-story construction that India can consider to meet its ambitious housing targets. He said, life span of such houses is about 60 years and is amenable for renewal. He also offered technology for waste water recycling. Noting that three of Canada’s cities viz., Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary figure among the top 10 smart cities of the world, Shri Ed Fast said, his country is keen to partner with India in an appropriate manner in building smart cities. The visiting minister noted that Canada is impressed by the new found sense of purpose and vigor in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his country is keen to cooperate with New Delhi in all possible ways. Shri Venkaiah Naidu directed the Secretaries of his two ministries to examine Canada’s offers for firming up areas of cooperation before the meeting of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi with his Canadian counterpart during the forthcoming G-20 Summit. Mou Signed Between India & Canada in the Areas of Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, today launched a joint Indo-Canadian science programme focusing on clean water technologies. During his meeting with the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Ed Fast and the Canadian Minister for National Revenue, Kerry Findlay, who called on at his Anusandhan Bhawan office here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it was a matter of great satisfaction with a sense of achievement that just about two months back he had mooted the idea with the Canadian High Commissioner when the latter called on him and today within this short period, we are able to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of two senior members of the Canadian Council of Ministers. Dr Jitendra Singh said that the new programme will be pursued through a joint collaboration between the Department of Science & Technology under his ministry and the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada. This joint venture would enable building up of ‘Safe and Sustainable Infrastructure’ and ‘Integrated Water Management’, thus addressing the vital aspects related to effective water management and clean water supply, he added, and observed that today’s joint declaration is a way forward to the recent joint call by India and Canada to work towards the goal of “Water for Health”. Dr Jitendra Singh said that while on the one hand this new initiative is in keeping with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s “Clean River Mission” and “Clean Ganga Mission”, on the other hand this joint participation will help develop a value based relationship and also enable to promote industrial research & development (R&D) projects with application potential through participation of scientific institutions and industrial units. Dr Jitendra Singh further informed that the Department of Bio-Technology under his Ministry is already, in cooperation with Canadian agencies, working on a number of projects to develop a software product for non-invasive detection of tumours using MRI and PET images. This will also contribute in making India a manufacturing hub for affordable and innovative products taking cue from Prime Minister’s widely acclaimed “Make in India” call. The visiting delegation of Canadian Ministers appreciated the initiative and the interest shown by Dr Jitendra Singh and felt happy to collaborate with the Indian Ministry of Science & Technology under his able and inspiring leadership. Canadian Trade Minister, Ed Fast announced the hosting of India-Canada Science & Technology Meet in his country next year during spring season and also offered to provide all help in India’s Clean River Mission. Other members of the Canadian delegation who accompanied the two Ministers included Nadir Patel, incoming High Commissioner of Canada in New Delhi, Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary, Canadian Ministry of Justice, Lise-Ann Jackson, Director Operations, Rosaline Kwan, Senior Trade Commissioner and Tina Shih, Trade Commissioner while on the Indian side the Minister Dr Jitendra Singh was accompanied by Dr Arabinda Mitra, Advisor & Head, International Cooperation (Bilateral) and Dr Renu Swarup, Scientist ‘H’ & Senior Advisor of Ministry of Science and Technology.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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