In the last decade, the rate of urbanization in India has increased by 4%. In 2021, a third of the country’s total population lived in cities. This rapid urbanisation process emphasises the need to build smart cities. The Smart Cities Mission (SCM), inaugurated on June 25, 2015, is a collaborative initiative involving the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and all state and union territory (UT) governments. Initially intended for completion by 2019-20, the timeline has been extended. Under the SCM, a hundred cities and towns across various Indian states and UTs have been chosen. These locales collectively accommodate over a third of the nation’s populace. The mission aims to propel cities forward by enhancing their essential infrastructure, promoting a clean and environmentally friendly atmosphere, and ensuring a satisfactory quality of life for their residents. The government tries to achieve this aim by implementing intelligent and innovative solutions like robust surveillance systems with the help of IoT.

Over the last two decades, global progress across socio-economic sectors has brought complexity to various facets of life, particularly concerning safety and security. Consequently, ensuring security and surveillance has emerged as a vital necessity. The deployment of surveillance cameras in public and private spaces has appeared as an effective solution. The demand for an automated system to oversee locations utilising these cameras is evident. Developing an automated video surveillance system stands as a viable resolution. Such a system primarily aids human operators in diverse monitoring tasks, spanning applications like traffic management, crime prevention, accident prediction, and homeland security. The potential applications extend to indoor and outdoor settings such as airports, highways, shopping malls, and offices. Augmenting the system with additional features can enhance monitoring efficacy and curtail human errors.

In contemporary life, video cameras have become ubiquitous, proving valuable for crime prevention, identifying potential threats, and furnishing forensic evidence. While the security industry has predominantly relied on human resources, there’s growing recognition of the need for technological reinforcement. Although scepticism occasionally surrounds technology adoption, it has witnessed critical shifts in the security sector, such as radio communication and analogue video recording.

The demand for advanced surveillance systems is rising due to the escalating need for surveillance in public and private spheres due to continuous security concerns. A more sophisticated security approach that automates data analysis from surveillance sources with minimal human intervention is gaining traction. Substantial advancements have been made in this research area, driven by the understanding that conventional scalar data isn’t universally applicable, especially in video surveillance and traffic monitoring. The integration of image sensors within wireless sensor networks has significantly bolstered the realm of Video Sensor Networks, a testament to technology’s ongoing development.

A smart home system comprises devices designed to enhance security and comfort for homeowners. This concept has evolved in sync with electronics, communication technologies, mobile apps, autonomous systems, cloud computing, and more advancements. A smart home integrates computation-capable and communicative devices that collaborate to ensure residents' security, convenience, and comfort. These devices are also operable remotely by users.

The Security sector focuses on averting/detecting break-ins, alerting about threats like fires or leaks, enabling emergency calls, and managing access. The transition from conventional to connected devices predominantly drives its development. Essential products driving this growth are smart locks and security cameras.

In 2017, India's Smart security camera penetration rate was a mere 0.4%. By 2022, it surged to 2.2%, gradually rising over five years. Predictions indicate this penetration will reach 5.3% by 2026. Notably, security cameras led India's smart home device adoption in September 2018, accounting for nearly 22% of all smart devices.

Over recent decades, urban populations have surged, with more than half now residing in cities, a proportion predicted to increase to 70% within the next 30 years. The notion of a ‘Smart City’ is relatively new, but its adoption has recently surged. Across all continents, cities are embracing this concept, aiming for more innovative urban environments. They are harnessing advanced technologies to tackle pressing urban challenges such as traffic congestion, pollution, urban density, and poverty. Yet, the precise definition of ‘Smart City’ is not encapsulated.

The concept can be defined as the urban areas strategically leveraging emerging information and communication technologies to attain goals such as environmental sustainability, efficient urban governance, enhanced public health, knowledge enrichment, and innovation fostered by interconnected systems. The smart city concept aims to address diverse needs, encompassing sustenance, energy, efficient transportation, streamlined supply chains, robust infrastructure, intelligent data management, and more. The overarching objective is multifaceted, involving digital identities for citizens, enhancing services through data sharing, and fostering greener, socially comfortable lifestyles.

Heightened security concerns within societies have escalated the demand for surveillance solutions across various settings. Societal security needs, fueled by events like terrorist attacks, have prompted governments to prioritise personal and asset security, influencing policy agendas.

In this context, video surveillance systems, bolstered by cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and machine learning, offer law enforcement agencies versatile tools to combat crime. When deployed strategically, these systems aid in detecting and apprehending suspects, fugitives, and antisocial elements, promptly alerting law enforcement for swift action.

The integration of such smart surveillance systems not only enhances safety but also facilitates emergency management. Detecting and responding to emergencies gains paramount significance, safeguarding citizens’ lives. Surveillance cameras, strategically placed in critical areas, continuously monitor for unusual activities, notably in locations such as banks, supermarkets, train stations, and elevators.

However, the evolution towards accurate smart systems involves addressing shortcomings. Existing setups lack dynamic data source adaptation and automated emergency handling. A forward-looking smart emergency system should possess the ability to autonomously analyse data, make decisions, and respond to incidents. It should be capable of accommodating citizen requests and offering assistance during challenges. This shift to comprehensive automation is a crucial future direction, ensuring real-time emergency response and enhancing overall system efficiency.

The integration of IoT for robust surveillance systems in Indian smart cities brings forth challenges. Data security and privacy are primary concerns due to the potential for breaches and unauthorised access to personal information. Another hurdle is ensuring smooth communication and data sharing among IoT devices and systems.

However, despite these obstacles, the future of IoT in Indian smart cities is promising. As technology advances, it will be pivotal in reshaping cities, boosting economic growth, enhancing citizen well-being, and opening doors for business growth and innovation.