Smart cities to tackle migration issues

IBM chairman Samuel J Palmisano on Thursday said that India needs smarter cities and leaders to manage the large migration happening to its cities from rural towns.

“The world will have 450 major metros by 2020. About 45 will be in India. There is large amount of migration happening to major Indian cities. About 30 people migrate to major Indian cities from rural areas every minute,” said Palmisano, at a function in Gurgaon to showcase IBM’s Smart City solutions.

Palmisano added that the number of people living in Indian cities will reach 843 million by 2050, which is more than the current combined population of the US, Brazil, Russia and Japan. About 400 engineers in IBM’s India software labs are developing solutions that predict and manage problems of traffic, water, crime and power shortage in world’s major cities. IBM India employs over 1.5 lakh people in India and generates revenues estimated to be upwards of $2 billion for the $106-billion New York based IBM Corp.

He added that India cannot be wedded to its success (in IT). “It has a large number of talented engineers and graduates. Now it has to move to the future.”

“The problems of our major cities (in the world) are so severe that it becomes difficult for our leadership to manage them. Leaders have to be non-ideological if they have to get things done. The leaders of a smarter city think in terms of systems. They don’t confuse leadership with charisma or sound bites,” he said.

He said that big data can help solve the world’s problems. “The information is already out there. You just have to do some predictive modelling and solve problems which face us every day.”

“Leaders have to think long term. About 14% of CEOs lost their jobs last year. One could imagine it was due to short term orientation,” he added.
City of Rio De Janeiro has deployed some solutions out of India Software Labs to manage traffic, police, water and drainage. The city will host the 2016 Olympic Games and 2014 FIFA World Cup.


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