Kochi Current Affairs - 2019
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Germany has decided to partner with India’s smart city programme and will help developing Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) as smart cities.
It was announced by State Secretary in Germany’s Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Gunther Adler in New Delhi at the second meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Urban Development.
These three cities are among the top 20 cities selected by Urban Development Ministry which are to be developed as smart cities.
This decision was taken after Union Government had invited Germany to be a partner in its Smart Cities programme in 2015. Earlier Germany had set up a six-member joint committee with India to identify the cities which it could develop as smart cities.
The joint committee had 2 representatives of Union Urban Development Ministry, 1 from the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and 3 from Germany.
It should be noted that Germany is India’s second largest bilateral donor after Japan with a record commitment of 1.5 billion Euros agreed in the year 2015.
Kochi becomes first Indian city to be a member of Beijing headquartered, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Council and join its league of leading tourism cities across the world.
The invitation to be the member of the council was sent to Kerala Tourism Department by WTCF which was formally accepted the state Tourism Department on 10 August 2015.
The membership acceptance document was handed over to Chinese Ambassador to India Le Yucheng by the Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the function held in Kochi.
Kochi was invited to be the member of the council on ground of its partnerships in culture, sports and tourism. In case of Kochi its cuisine, martial arts and snake and dragon boat races fulfils the set ground for membership.
On this occasion the Chinese Ambassador expressed interest in bringing investment from China to Kerala’s tourism sector for construction of an entertainment city and an oceanarium.
- The WTCF, headquartered at Beijing is a non-profit, non-governmental international organisation voluntarily formed by tourism cities like Los Angeles, Berlin, Barcelona and many other world famous tourism cities and tourism-related institutions.
- It is the world’s first international tourism federation with cities as the main body.
- It is committed to its core concept of “Better City Life through Tourism” and promoting cooperation between members in the development of global platform for cooperation and development of tourism.
- Initiated in 2012 at Beijing with 58 cities and now increased to 135 members that also include 88 city members and 47 non-city members.