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Today, I have got a very informatic topic for"Editorial with vocab " series. It is all about Smart city and our citizens safety. This article deals with how can we use our huge resource to help ourselves, how it can be made easy by using a smartphone. Ohhh......Why am I telling everything? Better you read it, and please comment your opinion regarding this, It will help you understand the  passage. Trust me it is always right to comment your opinion, writing the summary of the passage etc. Please keep visiting this section daily in order to improve your English for IBPS or any banking exams.

Smart cities or safe cities?


Date- 29/1/2016

In various cities across India, police officers and public safety administrators’ work round the clock to make sure millions of its residents are safe — an unnerving thought, actually. It is interesting to note that the one of the world’s largest municipal police forces — the Delhi Police — has more than 84,500 officers.

The Delhi Police is perhaps the largest metropolitan police in the world, larger than London, Paris, New York and Tokyo, and yet the ratio of officers to the city’s 20 million citizens is 1: 253! This reality leaves officers hard put to keep up with citizens on both routine days and during emergencies.

Involving citizens

A growing number of administrators realise the possible benefits of including citizens in public safety initiatives. One of the best ways to work this is through “crowdsourcing,” which involves engaging and empowering private citizens to help public safety professionals address daily hazards and suspicious activities, natural calamities, terrorist activities, crime and vandalism by reporting information using their smartphones.

India is witnessing a nationwide awareness campaign initiated by the government, leveraging various tools to keep the masses informed. Television and radio advertisements are one of the popular means through which the Centre is aggressively pushing the public to report instances, suspicious activity or crime to a crime command centre or nearby police stations.

During the peak festival time, various hotspots/ shopping complexes in cities are put on high alert as these places attract large crowds which result in it becoming a hub for potential crimes.

Active citizen engagement is extremely essential in monitoring and these places as well as keeping the police updated on suspicious activities.

This is the ideal time to harness the potential of crowdsourcing. More and more people are using smartphones and social media technology than ever before.

Smart reporting

eyes on the street.jpg

In many initiatives, citizens can submit reports and updates anonymously using a laptop or desktop computer. With the third largest smartphone market in the world, India is predicted to see the number of mobile internet users reach 314 million by 2017. India is making the leap from features phones to smartphones quickly, an important factor that makes citizen engagement possible.

Additionally, due to this, data usage and users on social media portals such as Twitter and Facebook have grown manifold over the past few years. With the majority of citizens accessing these services and generating vast amounts of data on a day-to-day basis, there is an increasing need to be able to analyse this to gain actionable intelligence.

Social tools

India should take advantage of the smart city initiative and restructure accordingly in this time of change. Today, there are command-and-control platforms that can provide officials with intelligence and insights from social media sites, anonymous tips and even public safety apps that enable real-time event reporting and live streaming directly, which can then be sent to first responders in the field.

Users of social media go about their daily lives and collect valuable information and video on both routine occurrences — such as traffic-accident-causing delays — and on extraordinary events, and share incidents real time on social media. Individuals also put their grievances, thoughts and suggestions on social media and this information is available to be captured by various agencies for analysis and action.

Correlating these citizen reports with incoming data from other systems, such as video surveillance, traffic monitoring, gunshot detection sensors, and weather reports allows officials to gain a better understanding of what is happening at any moment, as well as trends that may emerge over time.

Crowdsourcing is also useful for personal protection and real-time response. Given the growing concern about female safety in India, several developers in the country have created apps in this regard. Through this, women, in the case of an emergency, can send a distress signal to police control rooms in the vicinity informing them of their geo location. This would help the police respond faster and more effectively in high-risk areas.

By leveraging these “eyes on the street,” cities help to create more engaged citizens while also gaining intelligence from the public on incidents not limited to police emergencies in India.



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