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India, New Delhi (PIB): The Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) course on Urban Analytics: Evaluating and Measuring Sustainability of Cities is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and actively supported by the NITI Aayog. It is hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. Mr. Ratan P. Watal (Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog and Member Secretary, EAC-PM), inaugurated the GIAN course at a function in Roorkee on 4th June,2018 in the presence of Prof.Ajit Kumar Chaturvedi, Director IIT Roorkee, Prof.ManoranjanParida, Dean and other distinguished guests. This is the second GIAN course on Urban Planning, the first being held in January 2018 at IIT, Kanpur’s outreach center in Noida.

The objective of this course is to enlighten the participants with the knowledge and resources to understand and analyse the emerging trends of urbanization and its impacts. It will enable them to evaluate the conditions of sustainability in Indian cities. The course specifically focuses on the drivers of urban growth and its uneven impact on different places and peoples. The duration of the course is from 4th June to 9th June 2018.

Professor Arindam Biswas from the Department of Architecture and Planning at IIT Roorkee is coordinating this course along with Professor SubhroGuhathakurta, from the School of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. He is also working as the Director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization.

More than 35 participants from planning authorities, academic and research institutions and private organisations are participating in this course. In his inaugural address, Mr. Watal emphasized the need to harness the potential of urban information system and urban planning for making Indian cities more sustainable. He urged the participants to come forward with innovative and contextual solutions for Indian cities and create a model of a “living lab” by adopting a rural agglomeration in a nearby area which will transform into a township in the near future. The relevance of the course is underlined by the fact that India is the global host of the World Environment Day being observed on 5th June 2018, where the focus is on Sustainability and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 11 which has a goal to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

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