1. The ministry has accepted the offer of Bloomberg Philanthropies (BP) for cooperating in conducting the 'Cities Challenge' competition.
2. BP will also help in designing and delivery of a capacity development programme for applicant urban local bodies for participation in the competition-based selection of cities.
3. BP will act as knowledge partner for the 'Smart Cities Mission' and it will assist the ministry in the design and implementation of the process for selection of cities, the official said.
5. The Mission for building 100 'Smart Cities' was approved by the Union Cabinet on April 29.
6. Under the Mission, the central government will spend Rs 48,000 cr over the next five years for providing an assistance of Rs 100 cr per year for each of the selected city.
7. BP will be involved in formulation and execution of effective communication and branding strategy for cities.
8. In the first phase of the selection of smart city aspirants, each state will nominate a set of cities based on urban population and number of statutory cities for inclusion under the Mission.
9. The nomination will be based on a set of identified criteria to be suggested by the Ministry of Urban Development.
10. All such 100 nominated cities will be rigorously scrutinised against identified criteria for extending financial support by the Centre.
11. Centre and states or urban local bodies will spend about Rs one lakh cr on development of 'Smart Cities' over the next five years.
12. BP will soon begin work in this regard.