San Francisco chooses Bangalore as its Indian sister

It was touted as the next Singapore and Shangai. Now, Bangalore could be another San Francisco. That's because India's IT capital is the first in the country to have a `sister city' arrangement with the world's Silicon Valley. An MoU to this effect was signed by the two cities in October last year.

 

Iterating the arrangement, Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, and 50 delegates met Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday and signed seven MoUs in areas of healthcare, water and sanitation, education and research, art, museum and culture, trade and commerce and fashion.

 

The team will also sign MoUs with various departments in the city for enhanced cooperation in areas like economic growth, cultural exchange and knowledge transfer. They will also have interactive sessions with trade associations, visits to art centres, museums, IISc and educational institutions.

 

Yeddyurappa said the MoU was signed via video conference, between the BBMP, and San Francisco on October 20, 2008, as an indication of the two cities' compatibility with technology and knowledge. He assured full support from the government for the success of the arrangement.

 

WHEN DID THIS START?

 

Newsom said the concept of sister cities started in Osaka, Japan, after World War II. There are 179 cities under this arrangement now, and San Francisco has taken the lead. "We have similar arrangements with Shanghai, China. Bangalore is the first city in India we chose as a sister city as we were impressed by the talent here," he said. The delegation expressed desire to have similar arrangements with more cities in order to facilitate development together.

 

WHAT ARE SISTER CITIES?

 

Sister cities, also known as twinning of cities, is an agreement between countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. It is meant to foster mutual exchange of ideas, people and material in cultural, educational, youth, sports, municipal, professional and technical projects.

 

Under the agreement, Bangalore and San Francisco have a mission "to enhance cooperation between two cities enabling economic growth, cultural exchange and knowledge transfer, fostering clean technology ensuring sustainable development".

 

The cities expect to reap benefits in good governance and better service delivery, economic and social development, transfer of cross cultural understanding, new business opportunities, collaboration and transfer of cutting-edge technology, exchange of language development and measurable outcomes that will sustain economic and social development.

 

TNN 1 December 2009