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Smart City Transforming Health & Education in Agra: Anand Menon

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Anand Menon

With an effort to highlight how India has leapfrogged in various sphere of growth and development, Elets Technomedia organised India Transformation Summit from July 10 to July 12. Anand Menon, Vice President, Agra Smart City, Uttar Pradesh addressed a session on ‘Innovations in ULBs: Future of Urban Governance’.

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Mr Menon commenced his address by saying that there are two aspects on which Agra Smart City has laid much emphasis – health sector and education sector. “As far as health is concerned, we are trying to set up smart health centres at 10 locations all across the city which will provide affordable diagnostic services to all sects of the society.”

Further, talking about the health centres, Mr Menon said, “There are a few smart health centres which are already functioning. So, what all the smart health centre comprise of – a diagnostic lab which provides over 200 diagnostic services at CGHS rate, a dental clinic, a pharmacy for generic drugs on cheaper prices, an ophthalmology clinic providing eye test free of cost.”

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Almost 4000 citizens of Agra have taken the services from these smart health centres since 2019 when these came into existence. Even from the nearby places like Mathura, Vrindavan, etc. people are coming to Agra for the health services we offer, added Mr Menon.

Taking his words towards the smart city interventions implemented in the education sector, he said, “We have taken up 2-3 municipal schools and equipped them with smart classes. Also, the schools’ infrastructure has been upgraded.”

Adding on the smart classes intervention, Mr Menon told that the impact of these smart classes was seen when we recorded a 4.5 percent increase in the admissions to these schools in the present academic year. Then, we ran training programmes for teachers and students to cope up with the smart classes. So it was observed that learning through audio-visual lessons and illustrations has benefitted many students to understand various concepts in a better manner.

Also Read: Smart City Initiatives Transforming India’s Urban Landscape: Raj Cherubal

Speaking on the role of Agra Smart City during the COVID pandemic, Mr Menon pointed out, “Following the onset of the pandemic, the Agra Smart City’s Integrated C command and Control Centre (ICCC) was actually set up as a COVID war room wherein the activities of various departments were linked and the situation was actively monitored. We launched a lockdown monitor app which came in handy for the Agra Police to cite any violations of the lockdown norms. Then, we also rolled out e-doctor seva which was completely free of cost. This was an extension of the smart health centres wherein a doctor used to consult with the people in need online. The app had a provision to download prescriptions and reports.”

Adding on he said, “Further, we rolled out an online portal for grocery shopping and delivery. We also used GIS for heat mapping of the areas and that is being continued even now. Moreover, using GIS-based application we were doing contact tracing and we were helping the police to draw a barricading outside the areas when positive cases surface. Then we helped the district administration to identify sensitive zones and also helped them with the sanitisation process.”

Summing up his address, Mr Menon concluded, “Smart city has been playing the role of the change agent and a thought leader. How the data coming from the various departments can be actually analysed and how inferences from these analyses can be used efficiently for effective decision making by various authorities. So we appointed a chief data officer and data champions for collection and compilation of data.”

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