"Together with Airports Authority of India, NEC is Implementing Contactless Boarding with Facial Recognition"

In a conversation with Voice&Data, Aalok Kumar, President, and CEO of NEC Corporation India, shares aspects of the Smart City implementations.

VoicenData Bureau
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Aalok Kumar, NEC Corporation

In Smart City solutions, NEC Corporation India stands out with its range of solutions. NEC India has been at the forefront of the SCM with cutting-edge technologies – from AI and Face Recognition to Public Safety and Biometrics.


In a freewheeling conversation with Voice & Data Aalok Kumar, President, and CEO of NEC Corporation India shares interesting aspects of the Smart City implementations done by his company.

The development and application of ‘smart’ solutions were aimed to overcome urban problems. What are the solutions deployed by NEC so far and how has it met these objectives of the Smart City Mission?

Driven by our Safer Cities strategy, NEC Corporation India has delivered turnkey solutions to make Indian cities safer. It not only empowered authorities but also enabled citizens to sleep peacefully.


In Karnataka and Kerala, we have enabled the police in reducing crime rates with the help of our Automated Fingerprint Identification System for criminals, which provides the ability to match unknown fingerprints against a larger database for criminal investigations. This solution was provided in over 1650 police/enforcement facilities across the states. This has helped in making Karnataka and Kerala the top two among all states in investigating and cracking criminal cases.

In 2021, we were awarded the mandate to drive Thiruvananthapuram’s Smart City project. As the master system integrator for the city’s Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC), this is slated for completion in 2022.

The Thiruvananthapuram smart cities project includes: One City Mobile App, Solar Scada, E-Governance Application Support, Integrated Transit Management, a Smart Parking Management Solution, Environmental Sensor monitoring system, and Smart Water Management


NEC is the Master System Integrator of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) Smart City Project. The mandate includes the implementation of a smart city operations center, environmental and flood sensors, as well as an intelligent traffic management system using AI-based video analytics. It also covered the integration of smart city operations centers with other existing systems, such as the intelligent transport management system, parking management system, and geographic information system.

In October 2020, NEC India was selected by Saharanpur Smart City Limited (SSCL) as the master system integrator for the Integrated Command and Control Centre in Saharanpur City, Uttar Pradesh.

We have, along with Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC), entered into a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to jointly develop and deliver intelligent mobility solutions in rural and urban India. This initiative leverages NEC India’s prowess and stellar track record in the implementation of Intelligent Transportation Management Systems (ITMS) for state road transport corporations and other public transport operators.


We have deployed ICT solutions, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and Data as a Service (DaaS) to enable a seamless, end-to-end multimodal travel experience for both inter and intra city commuters.

Finally, we have partnered with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to facilitate contactless and quick boarding, including security checks and lounge access through a biometric-based boarding platform based on Facial Recognition Systems. We use computer algorithms to capture specific details of a person’s face and match it with a similar pre-stored image in the database.

This paperless and touch-less airport boarding system recognizes and tracks a passenger from arrival, security checks, and boarding onward to departure. Developed with the Government of India’s DigiYatra initiative, the installation of the cameras is currently in progress at Varanasi, Vijayawada, Pune, and Kolkata airports. It is slated to be completed by June 2022.


What are the other paradigms in the Smart Cities mission that stand out in your view?

A most welcome addition to the Smart Cities Mission is its emphasis on climate-friendly infrastructure. This is necessary at a time when global climate concerns are escalating. This has been incorporated through the MoHUA’s Climate-Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2.0 and ‘Streets for People Plan’, which puts pedestrians and non-motorized road users at the center of urban planning.

Can you share some details on the Thiruvananthapuram Smart Anganwadis Project?


In February 2021, the Department of Women and Child Development of the government of Kerala commissioned 48 “Smart Anganwadi Project”. Conventional Anganwadis are being transformed into smart structures. These facilities are to be installed with better amenities to provide more child-friendly spaces for both the mental and physical development of children.

One of the key measures being undertaken by the government is to provide these anganwadis with the resources to help bridge the digital divide and empower Anganwadi workers.

Under the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge that was conducted over three years, Bengaluru, Kochi, Vadodara, and Warangal made the winners list for their work on refurbishing Anganwadi infrastructure in their states. More recently, the Jammu Smart City Limited (JSCL) also announced its initiative to convert 14 conventional buildings in Jammu into ‘Smart Anganwadi Centres’.


This has been bolstered by the provision of the Union Budget that was announced on 1st February 2022, which announced plans for two lakh anganwadis to be upgraded.

Cities are working towards data-driven governance. About 70 of them have established Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) which facilitates decision-making. What are your insights on this?

NEC has implemented Integrated Command and Control Centres in the cities of Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyan Dombivli, and Hubbali Dharwad.

Further, ​​as part of our efforts to help the authorities fight against the spread of Covid-19, we helped the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) convert its smart city control center into a COVID war room.

This ICCC was set up to keep a vigil on human and vehicular movements during the lockdown, especially inside the red zone. In some selected areas, NEC has deployed a special analytics function on selected cameras for crowd control to ensure appropriate social distance measures to mitigate community transmission.

Overall an ICCC helps bring various departments together to work as a single unit. Be it traffic management, traffic control, traffic law enforcement, security and safety, e-governance, municipal operations, or information dissemination, it serves as a decision support engine for city administrations.