Maharashtra eyes smarter cities with help from Oracle, HP

Maharashtra, the largest state economy in India, has ambitious plans to quickly develop smart cities across the region and improve urban livability.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed with Oracle, the government aims to create a Center of Excellence in Mumbai with the goal of finding ways to improve government-to-citizen (G2C) and government-to-business (G2B) services. The goal is to use Oracle’s cloud-based offerings to “enable rapid innovation with minimal capital expenditures.”

Maharashtra’s smart-city program, kicked off earlier this year, aims to develop 10 such cities across the region. Nationwide, India plans to develop a total of 100 smart cities under an initiative announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office in 2014.

“Cloud computing has changed the landscape of governance,” said Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister for the government of Maharashtra. “It has the power to enable inclusive growth and to transform the state into a digitally empowered society.”

“By moving to the cloud,” added Oracle CEO Safra Catz, “the government has the opportunity to create a digitally empowered society and a growing knowledge economy.”

Among the other projects Maharashtra aims to develop with Oracle’s help are a “smart city in a box,” a mobile platform for service questions and an infrastructure that connects all devices, kiosks and citizens. Under their partnership, the two organizations also hope to develop unified apps for services such as drivers license renewals and property tax payments.

The government of Maharashtra is also planning to partner with HP to “digitally empower” 28,000 villages across the state, The Indian Express recently reported.

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