UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 27 April 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the future of ICCCs established and way ahead for better integration.

Syllabus: GS-II Government schemes and initiatives; GS-III Issues relating growth and development, Integrating technology, 


  • The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs recently announced that Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) have been established in 80 cities selected as part of the Smart Cities Mission, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
    • The ICCC projects being executed may be seen as part of the “pan city” component of the mission which envisages “application of select- ed Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure”. 
  • 5 pillars of ICCC:
    • first is bandwidth;
    • second, the sensors and edge devices which record and generate real-time data;
    • third, various analytics which are software that draw on data captured by end devices to generate “intelligence”;
    • fourth is data storage;
    • fifth, the ICCC software which may be described as, in MoHUA’s words, “a system of systems” — the anchor for all other application specific components and has been described as the “brain and nervous system” of the city.
  • Central to the promise of ICCC is the idea of “predictive modelling” which uses data to generate inputs on not just how the city is but also how it can be.
    • It could tell which direction the city is growing in; it could predict future real estate hot spots; it could identify and predict all accident-prone spots in the city, and it could predict the bus routes prone to crowding. 


  • The ICCC may be seen in sync with the functions of an urban local body (ULB) under the 74th Constitutional Amendment, towards improving services for people.
  • But certain contradictions impacts harnessing the benefits:
    • First, the project is being executed under the aegis of the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) constituted under the Companies Act, 2013, in the selected cities.
      • Projects of the SPV that overlap with core ULB areas have been a source of tension between the two, one that the cities are still learning to re- solve.
    • Second, there is the risk of permanent underutilisation of the system.
      • With poor integration with ULB services, and not just software integration but also in terms of workflows and SOPs, the functional capability may continue to be titled towards video surveillance.
    • Third, the sizeable investments required to create contradictions in some cities which are otherwise struggling for funds to upgrade their basic infrastructure and services. 

Way Ahead:

  • Unless the services of the ULB and the people taking them to the residents of a city are “integrated” into ICCCs, they may turn out to be as the images show: a hall with giant video walls, a rather expensive one. 

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