Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Thursday he had requested Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to help the state develop 50 new smart villages
in 2016. Maharashtra and Microsoft are already collaborating on their first smart village in Harisal.
“Creating smart cities is creating efficiencies. Unless our cities become efficient, we will be exploiting nature. We can also create smart villages,” the CM said at the Microsoft Future Unleashed event in Mumbai.
He said the state had chosen Harisal because it had the worst malnutrition problem in Maharashtra.
The CM said Maharashtra had always been a preferred destination for industry though ease of doing business was lacking. “We have now brought down the number of permissions needed from 76 to 36 and will bring this down further to 25,” he said, adding that over 40 services had now moved to an e-platform.
“Right to Services Act has made it the duty of the public servant to do the service within a stipulated time, failing which people now have a legal recourse,” he said, adding how information and communications technology (ICT) could play a major role in empowering people.
He said the vision was to make industrial areas in the state smart and infuse more technology in the education sector.
“We are trying to integrate technology into every field,” he said.
Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said the company decided to set up two of its three data centres in Maharashtra, in Pune and Mumbai, because the state ranked so high in terms of infrastructure.