The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee for collaboration in areas of universal design principles and inclusive development in the backdrop of 'Building Accessible Safe Inclusive Indian Cities' (BASIIC) programme. The MoU was signed between IIT Roorkee director professor Ajit K Chaturvedi and NIUA director Hitesh Vaidya.
The MoU facilitates cooperation in the field policy research, technical support, knowledge creation and dissemination. The association will aim to leverage the technical capacities of both institutions, which will lead to creation and sharing of knowledge and resources for devising strategies in making Indian cities more accessible, safe, and inclusive for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), elderly, women, and children among others. It is envisaged that the association will benefit Indian cities through a range of activities and partnership projects that can be scaled up and replicated for several Indian cities.
“We are elated to partner with an apex institution like NIUA to augment government efforts in building safe and inclusive smart cities. The collaboration will enrich domain expertise on universal design and inclusion as a core theme and facilitate knowledge sharing towards developing excellence in research and implementation programmes. The partnership with NIUA will strengthen the emerging possibilities towards urban inclusion through exchange of research, capacity development and other partnerships with Indian cities that will emerge on the way,” said Chaturvedi.
“It’s a momentous occasion for both NIUA and IIT Roorkee and I am especially excited for the motivations behind this partnership. IIT Roorkee is an academic institution par excellence. Its Department of Architecture and Planning is globally acclaimed for its cutting-edge research and expertise. We are glad to have found a partner in change with them in an endeavour which will facilitate the building of accessible, inclusive, and safe Smart cities as envisaged under the BASIIC programme. NIUA also envisions itself to strongly position itself in the domain of inclusive development and align itself with the Prime Minister’s vision of a new India. I am looking forward to the partnership and the smart-technical solutions that will come along with it, which will help set a renewed discourse on making Indian cities more accessible and inclusive,” said Vaidya.
Under the MoU, IIT Roorkee’s Department of Architecture and Planning will collaborate with NIUA for various initiatives including research, capacity development and other initiatives as an expert in the domain of accessibility, universal design principles and inclusive development. IIT will bring in the expertise in accessibility, safety and inclusivity and jointly take up research and development, formulation of innovative solutions, knowledge management and training and capacity-building.
NIUA will identify thrust areas of the programme, provide the necessary intelligence, expertise and guidance in policy research and development in the discipline. IIT Roorkee will be working with BASIIC programme partners including relevant government bodies and institutions, and urban local bodies of partner cities.