India Electronics Week 2016 & the IoT Show

Posted by Vanya Rakesh at Feb 12, 2016 03:12 AM |
The India Electronics Week 2016 was held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre from 11th-13th January 2016, along with Bangalore's biggest IoT Exhibition and Conference, bringing the global electronics industry together. The event also had the EFY Expo 2016, supported by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology & the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.


The show catered to manufacturers, developers and technology leaders interested in the domestic as well as global markets by displaying their products & services. EFY Expo was a catalyst for  accelerated growth and value addition, acquisition of technology and joint ventures between Indian and global players to enable growth of Electronic Manufacturing in the country.

CIS had the opportunity to attend the conference on Smart Cities on the 13th with experts discussing Smart Governance, Risk Assessment of Iot, Role of IoT in Smart Cities, and building Smart Cities with everything as a service.

The session started with a talk on building secure and flexible IoT platforms, where the need to focus on risk and security was emphasised. Several issues which require attention from the security perspective were raised, including: the focus must be on end-to-end security with IoT being present everywhere. Secondly, there must be IoT resilient standards addressing authentication and device management, and the Industry and Government must adopt must open standards to make the ecosystem flexible.  Also, the platforms must be secured and employ encryption to ensure trusted execution of software.

This was followed by a session on Smart Governance, discussing the changing nature of society where we see people moving from being connected with people to now being connected to devices. From the perspective of smart governance, the talk was divided into segments like Government to Government, Government to Business, Government to Employees and Government to Citizens. For smart cities, several e-governance initiatives have been undertaken so far, apart from e-delivery of services. After the Smart Cities Mission was announced, the Central Government sent several indicators of smart governance to the State Governments like : telecare (for example Karnataka had telejob portal), smart parking, smart grids, etc. From the business point of view, areas to be considered for building in-house competence for companies to build efficient and successful smart cities were suggested, some of them being: smarter education, buildings, environment, transportation, etc. It was suggested that smart governance can be ensured by regular measurement of the outcomes, redefining the gaps and analysis of these gaps with clearly laid policies. The key challenges to implementation of smart governance include :

  • The inherent IoT challenges
  • Government departments working in silos
  • Lack of clarity in objectives
  • Lack of transparency
  • No standardized platforms
  • Data privacy- the issue of personal data being stored in Government repository
  • Scalable infrastructure
  • Growing population

A survey was done to study the success rate of e-governance projects in India, where it was found that  50% of them were complete failures, while 35% were partial failures. Therefore, it becomes important to ponder over these challenges which may create a roadblock to smart governance raising concerns on projects like smart cities.

RIOT-Risk assessment of Internet of Things-  A Session to understand the security issue in IoT and discuss about secure IoT implementation. In smart cities, IoT has huge potential which may face roadblocks due to lack of open platforms, lack of an ecosystem of sensors, gateways, platforms and the challenges of integration with existing systems. The IoT security issues, on the other hand, like absence of set standards, lack of motivation for security and little awareness about such issues need due attention. This requires levels of check, for example, at the IoT surface level  in devices, the cloud or the mobile. Another important area here becomes the issue of data privacy and security for IoT implementation.

Everything as a service- An insight into what it takes to build a smart city with EaaS and understand the various components that go into this, how they interact and how it can be implemented. This session highlighted the importance of data in a city, as it becomes very useful to provide information like-about disasters, enabling the Government to make plans and take actions accordingly, information about the traffic in the city, the waste level, city health map, etc. With multiple actors using the same data, the use of such information in a smart city varies across various sectors like

  • Smart Government- for Transparency, accountability and better decision-making
  • Smart Mobility- Intelligent traffic, management, safer roads
  • Smart Healthcare- health maps, better emergency services
  • Smart Living-  safety and security, better quality of life
  • Smart Utilities- Resource conservation, Resilience
  • Smart Environment- Better waste, management, air quality monitoring.

To use everything as a service, it is considered as an attribute/state where there is a nexus between the users and state. For this, information is collected on the basis of data captured so far, or new data is captured by opening up existing sources like telecom operators, machines, citizens , hospitals, etc., or install new sensors to generate new data. Here, the need for data privacy and government policy was emphasized upon . For EaaS, there is an urgent need to standardize the interface between the sensor network, data publisher, insight providers and service provider in a smart city.

The conference gave insight into the perspective of the industry about smart cities, along with  the actors involved, issues and challenges envisioned by private companies in the development of smart cities in India. The companies see role of IoT as an integral part of the project, with data security, privacy and need to formulate/adopt standards for implementation of IoT in the new as well as the existing structure key for the Smart Cities Mission in India.