- The cities chosen are Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davangere, Indore, the New Delhi area, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.
- Thirteen of them are in the WHO list of the 20 most polluted cities in the world.
- The 20 names were picked from a list of 97 cities submitted by states during a competition last year. The choices were judged on service levels, infrastructure and track record. More than 2.5 million citizens weighed in on which urban problems needed to be solved first.
- "The competition was as rigorous as the civil services exam," remarked Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
- None of the cities are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. On the other hand, some states have two or more nominees - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- To qualify, states and local administrations had to provide "smart answers" to a template with 43 questions.
- The cities not named today will be asked to get their act together, focus on deficiencies and prepare for Round 2 of announcements in April.
- In December last year, 97 selected cities had submitted their plans to the ministry and were given Rs.2 crore each.
- PM Modi has vowed to create 100 new smart cities by 2022 that will have internet connectivity, e-governance along with quality infrastructure such as waste management and efficient public transport.
- The prime minister had described Smart Cities as those with "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".
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