India joins WEF’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance

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News:India has joined the World Economic Forum’s(WEF) G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance.

Facts:

About G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance:

  • The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance was established in June 2019, in conjunction with the G20 Summit held in Osaka,Japan. 
  • It is an alliance that comprises of 15 of the world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations.
  • It seeks to work towards advancing the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. 
  • The alliance also aims to create global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces.

Founding set of Institutional Partners include:

  • Presidents and host nations of Group of 20 (G20) in 2019 and 2020 
  • Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
  • The Smart City Mission of India 
  • Cities for All 
  • Cities Today Institute 
  • Commonwealth Local Government Forum 
  • Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network among others.

Significance of the alliance:

  • Smart city technologies can help decrease traffic congestion, combat crime, improve resilience during natural disasters and reduce greenhouse emissions. 
  • However,without proper governance,these technologies pose significant risk, notably to privacy and security.
  • Hence,India joining the league is a first step towards accelerating global best practices, fostering greater openness and public trust as well as mitigating risks regarding the collection of data in public spaces.

Additional information:

World Economic Forum(WEF):

  • WEF was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland.
  • The objective of WEF is to improve the state of the world by engaging business,political,academic and other leaders of society to shape global,regional and industry agendas.
  • Some of the most significant reports published by the WEF are (a)Global Competitiveness Report (b)Global Gender Gap Report (c)Global Risks Report and (d)Global Travel and Tourism Report among others.

About G20:

  • G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies formed in 1999.
  • The group accounts for 85% of world GDP and two-thirds of the population.
  • They have no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.