SAAR program: Smart Cities and Academia towards action and research

SAAR Program
  • SAAR program has been launched under the Smart Cities mission.
  • It is to create a repository of urban projects.
  • Under the program, 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country will be working with Smart Cities
  • The main aim of the program is to document landmark projects undertaken by the Smart Cities Mission.
  • The project will document outcomes of smart city mission and its impact on lives of the urban citizens.


  • The first activity envisaged under SAAR is to prepare a list of 75 urban projects. The innovative and multi – sectoral projects are selected under the list.
  • Students from the premier institutes will visit the selected smart cities to learn about the work flow of the mission.
  • The participating students will then submit a report along with suggestions.
  • The institutes will document the planning and implementation of the smart cities mission. This will help the students learn urban development processes practically.
  • These documents will act as the first reference for future research.

FAQ’s About SAAR Program

Who is implementing SAAR Program?

  • SAAR is mainly implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA). The other institutes that join the ministry in implementing the project are the National Institute of Urban Affairs and other premier institutions in the country.
  • This includes 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country.
  • Why Varanasi is not part of the SAAR Program?

  • Varanasi adopting several smart city measures and being the constituency of the PM, himself has failed to enter SAAR. Varanasi is being criticised for this. This reflects that the smart city measures taken in the city are not good enough.
  • How cities are chosen for SAAR Program?

  • The cities were shortlisted by the ministry itself. And therefore, the mission or the municipalities implementing the smart city mission were not notified officially. The Smart Cities mission is implemented in more than 100 cities. And the cities are implementing 5,151 projects at the cost of two lakh crores of rupees. However, only good performers were chosen. As of now, Around 45 cities were chosen.
  • Latest News

    • January 2022: The Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA has launched “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program. Read more here.


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