Inclusion of arts, culture to add soul to smart cities: Amitabh Kant

| Updated: Dec 20, 2016 13:41 IST

New Delhi [ANI], Dec.20 (ANI): Complementing FICCI for raising the issue of inclusion of art and culture into city infrastructure, which he said is long overdue, Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog said, "We must look into incorporating creative arts into the smart cities project." "If the city is not focusing on cultural aspects, it will create lopsided efforts," Kant said while inaugurating the first-ever two-day cultural industries summit organized by the FICCI Art and Culture Committee in New Delhi on Monday. Kant also suggested for a review of the educational system for young people in the country to be exposed to arts and culture and learn to appreciate it. Pavan Varma, former MP, author and diplomat said the government should first introspect at the existing state of the arts and culture in the country before moving ahead. "More than the blueprint, you need to have the soul for what happens," Varma added. "A city without culture and art is actually a city without a business model," said Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary-General of FICCI, explaining the industry body's unique initiative for the country's creative industry. The two-day summit at India Habitat Centre, began on Monday, with government officials, artists, corporate executives and other stakeholders discussing and deliberating on issues to formalize the arts and culture industry while seeking support in removing the bottlenecks for growth. At the event, FICCI in collaboration with Ernest and Young released the first ever Creative Industries Report. Among the key issues, industry stakeholders opined that arts and culture should be included in the 100 Smart Cities that the government is planning, which includes creating infrastructure and reducing the licensing regime. "We need to create a proper ecosystem of laws" said Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Art and Culture Committee, and Chairperson and Managing Director, Bharat Hotels Ltd. "A Smart city cannot be smart city without art and culture." (ANI)