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PIB 14th April


  1. COVID-19: Initiatives by Smart Cities
  2. Press Statement from Central Administrative Tribunal


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Disaster Management

Initiatives by Smart Cities


The Vadodara district administration has installed a helium balloon attached with two cameras for surveillance on lockdown violators.


Model COVID-19 War Room at Bengaluru – Covid-19 data dashboard of Karnataka has been inaugurated which will be the single source of all COVID-related data.

Kalyan Dombivali

To create awareness and keep citizens informed about Corona, awareness videos are published on KDMC Face book page where local experts from different fields such as Yoga, Culinary Art, Aerobics, music etc., and engage the people.


E-Doctor Seva is a tele-video consultation facility launched in Agra.


COVID-19 data dashboard developed in Kakinada where Kakinada, district, state and country level information is being displayed.


Chandigarh has installed a comprehensive ‘fight COVID station’ with facilities of thermal screening by taking temperature, pedestal operated hand-wash and soap dispenser, mist spray of sodium hypochlorite solution and hand dryer facility. 

Smart City features IoT Open Data Smart Agriculture Smart Home Education

What are Smart Cities?

  • The answer is, there is no universally accepted definition of a smart city. It means different things to different people.
  • The conceptualisation of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents.
  • A smart city would have a different connotation in India than, say, Europe. Even in India, there is no one way of defining a smart city.

“Smart Cities” according to Smart Cities Mission

  • Some definitional boundaries are required to guide cities in the Mission.
  • In the imagination of any city dweller in India, the picture of a smart city contains a wish list of infrastructure and services that describes his or her level of aspiration.
  • To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizens, urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of comprehensive development-institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure.
  • This can be a long-term goal and cities can work towards developing such comprehensive infrastructure incrementally, adding on layers of ‘smartness’.

Smart City Features: According to Smart City Mission of India

Some typical features of comprehensive development in Smart Cities are described below:

  1. Promoting mixed land use in area-based developments–planning for ‘unplanned areas’ containing a range of compatible activities and land uses close to one another in order to make land use more efficient.
  2. Housing and inclusiveness – expand housing opportunities for all;
  3. Creating walkable localities –reduce congestion, air pollution and resource depletion, boost local economy, promote interactions and ensure security.
  4. Preserving and developing open spaces – parks, playgrounds, and recreational spaces in order to enhance the quality of life of citizens, reduce the urban heat effects in Areas and generally promote eco-balance;
  5. Promoting a variety of transport options – Transit Oriented Development (TOD), public transport and last mile para-transport connectivity;
  6. Making governance citizen-friendly and cost effective – increasingly rely on online services to bring about accountability and transparency, especially using mobiles to reduce cost of services and providing services without having to go to municipal offices.
  7. Forming e-groups- e-Groups to easy governance and to listen to people and obtain feedback and use online monitoring of programs and activities with the aid of cyber tour of worksites;
  8. Giving an identity to the city – based on its main economic activity, such as local cuisine, health, education, arts and craft, culture, sports goods, furniture, hosiery, textile, dairy, etc;
  9. Applying Smart Solutions to infrastructure and services in area-based development in order to make them better.

Smart Cities Mission

  • National Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop smart cities across the country, making them citizen friendly and sustainable.
  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of the respective cities.
  • While the mission initially included only 100 cities, the government later announced to expand the mission to all 4,000 cities in India.


Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

With the imposition of lock down, it became impossible for the Central Administrative Tribunal and its Benches to function since neither the Advocates nor the Employees of the Tribunal would be in a position to attend to the work.

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

History behind the formation

  • The Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-70) recommended the setting up of civil service tribunals in India to function as final appellate authorities in respect of orders inflicting the major punishments of dismissal, removal from service and reduction in rank.
  • The Supreme Court in its judgement in 1980 observed that civil servants should not waste time in fighting battles in ordinary courts and suggested the establishment of such tribunals.
  • Article 323A of the Constitution provides for the setting up of administrative tribunals for adjudication of disputes in matters pertaining to recruitment and conditions of services of persons employed in public services.
  • Parliament passed a law to establish administrative tribunals in India.
  • The Act visualizes a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for the Centre and state administrative tribunal for a particular state.

About CAT:

  • The CAT was created by Administrative Tribunals Act in 1985.
  • It was established under Article 323A of the Constitution of India, By the 42nd Constitutional Act.
  • Hence, they are Constitutional Bodies.

How does CAT Function?

  • It enjoys the status and power of High Court.
  • In disposing of cases, it follows the principles and norms of natural justice.
  • Appeals against its orders lie only with the Supreme Court of India.
  • The aggrieved person may appear before it personally.
  • It is a multi-member body whose members are drawn from judicial and administrative streams so as to give it the benefit of expertise legal as well as administrative fields.
  • The administrative tribunals deal exclusively with service litigation and are free from the formalities of legal technicalities.
  • The Central Administrative Tribunal (1985) has regular benches operating at the principal seats of High Courts.

Jurisdiction of CAT

The CAT exercises original jurisdiction over all service matters concerned with:

  1. Members of the all-India services.
  2. Persons appointed to any civil service of the Union or civil post under the Union.
  3. Civilians appointed to any defence services or posts related to defence.
  4. Employees of PSUs or public sector organisations notified by the government.

Members of the defence forces, officers, Supreme Court staff, the Parliament’s secretarial staff are not covered under the CAT.

How does an administrative tribunal differ from ordinary judicial court?

  • Legal counsel may not be needed in matters requiring adjustment;
  • A degree of informality which suits to the nature of issues involved;
  • Formal rules of evidence may not be observed;
  • Decisions may be reached by expert in the subject matter as well as in the law;
  • Differences in the constitution and procedure; and
  • Facts may be developed by question and answer and conclusion reached without delay.
December 2023