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  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The surge in census towns (CTs) during Census 2011 has drawn a lot of attention to the ongoing and future dynamics of these in-situ urban settlements in India. Using the village level information from the previous and current censuses, the present study attempts to identify the villages that can be classified as a census town in 2021. While the prevailing dataset bears some obstacles for a neat identification of such settlements, it can be observed that a fairly high number of rural areas may be classified as CTs in future, which currently accommodates a population of 17.9 million. While the current nature of regional distribution of these areas may not vary much over the future, their areal characteristics over time portray multiple spatial processes undergirding India’s urban trajectory. A lot of these prospective CTs are also relatively prosperous than their current rural neighbourhoods, which reinforces the persistence of similar pattern of urban transformation in future.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Urbanization, Census, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: It is now almost axiomatic that cities are the engines of growth. Historically, federal support programmes have focused on rural areas, but over the past fifteen years, the need to devise such programmes for urban local bodies has come to be recognised, with JNNURM in its various forms, being the most visible early manifestation. This trend has continued, even strengthened, in this government and among the menu of urban support programmes on offer from the Government of India, the vision of the city as the engine of growth is most clearly evident in the Smart City Mission, with its focus on area based development – like an engine within the city. Yet, even in the mainstream economics literature, while there is evidence for cities as places of higher productivity, there is less evidence for cities as drivers of growth – with learning being the primary driver and urban primacy being an important obstacle. The primary questions are whether cities are places of learning, whether there are identifiable mechanisms of such learning and the kind of city institutions – economic, social and political – that facilitate such learning. This paper will interrogate the empirical characteristics of such urban institutions in India in the context of the theoretical literature and learning mechanisms that emerge from international evidence. In particular, it will argue that the nature of the labour market, which is largely contractual, the transfer of rural fragmentation in social relations to cities and the absence of city-level political agency, all reduce the potential of the city as a location of learning economies. For cities to even have the possibility of being engines of growth, we need to ensure that drivers of these engines are in place and we have a mechanism to think about paths to follow.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Bhanu Joshi, Kanhu Charan Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Financial incentives including government support grants for infrastructure creation, health and education development in many countries is contingent on where people live. In India, the allocation of critical government subsidies explicitly recognises urban population as a criterion for budgetary allocation. Yet, the fundamental question about what is an urban area and what does it entail to be recognised as an urban settlement in India remains understudied. This paper aims to understand the definitional paradigm of statutory towns in India. We create a novel dataset of all state laws in India on the constitution of urban local governments. We analyse the eligibility criteria that would qualify any area to become urban local bodies under the law in different states and find large variation among states. In our dataset, only fifteen of the twenty-seven states explicitly define and have laws on urban settlements. Within these fifteen states, we find that many small and transitional urban areas violate the eligibility criteria laid down by the state laws constituting them. We further find that states which do not provide statutory laws rely on executive fiat, i.e. it is the prerogative of the state government to declare the creation of a statutory town. What then becomes or “unbecomes” urban in these states is open to dispute. The full extent of this variation and reasons thereof can open up new avenues of scholarship.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Urbanization, Budget, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashish Ranjan, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: After 22 years in power, the BJP is feeling the heat this year in Gujarat's election campaign. This paper analyses the reasons for this sudden frustration with the BJP – with a particular focus on caste mobilisation, urban-rural division, and emerging class politics in Gujarat.
  • Topic: Politics, Urbanization, Elections, Class, Rural, Caste
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Susan Esme Chaplin
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Even though sanitation was established as a separate human right by the United Nations General Assembly in January 2016, there has an been overall failure to reduce by half the proportion of the global population without access to basic sanitation (Millennium Development Goal 7, Target C). The Sustainable Development Goals have targets of gender equality, and the sustainable and universal provision of sanitation. Hopefully this will mean increased attention being given to the interests and well-being of poor women and girls living in slums and informal settlements who still lack access to adequate sanitation. The sanitation needs of women and girls are different from those of men and boys because of the former’s requirements of personal safety, dignity and menstrual hygiene; there is also the issue of the disproportionate burden of unpaid labour in managing household sanitary needs. These inequalities in urban sanitation access have a great impact on the health, well-being and socio-economic status of women and girls. These inequalities continue to exist despite efforts to make the needs of poor urban women and girls an integral part of sanitation policies and project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Despite the emphasis of low-income countries on gender inequalities and sanitation in their development goals, programmes and projects, there is still only a limited number of qualitative and quantitative evidence-based research articles available focusing on gender and sanitation continue to be available. This number further decreases when it comes to gender and urban sanitation in the Global South. The grey literature is more numerous, particularly that commissioned by international development agencies and non-government organisations. Missing from much of this evidence-based and grey literature are studies on the broader social, economic and environmental impacts on poor women and girls of daily life without access to adequate and safe sanitation. This means that there is very little evidence-based literature which examines how these inequalities in sanitation access affect the lives of poor women and girls who have to queue each morning to use public toilets, or decide which open defecation (OD) sites are the least dangerous to use. Also missing are studies on the socio-economic, health and well-being impacts on and coping strategies of women working in the informal sector, poor women and girls with a disability, elderly women, adolescent girls and homeless women or those living on the pavements, who all lack access to adequate and safe sanitation facilities. These sanitation inequalities are exemplified by the time poor women and girls have to spend each morning queueing to use the toilet or getting up earlier to go with other women to OD sites. The necessity for such actions furthers gender inequalities because it puts at risk the time women have available for paid employment and other household responsibilities. Truelove (2011, p. 148) has argued that this ‘curtailment of opportunities (from income to education) due to water and sanitation activities reinforces a further level of physical insecurity and emotional violence, as some women become locked in a feedback cycle that brings them into distinct spaces and networks in order to access water and sanitation’. Women and girls living in slums often report instances of gender-based violence, shame and loss of dignity when walking along badly lit narrow paths to poorly designed and maintained community toilets or places of OD (Bapat & Agarwal 2003, Lennon 2011, McFarlane 2015, SHARE 2015 and Amnesty International 2010a). Phadke, Khan & Ranade (2011, p. 85), in a study of women and risk in Mumbai, have suggested that ‘[what] the lack of public toilets says is that women are less equal citizens than men and don’t deserve the same consideration’ in the design of urban spaces and the provision of urban infrastructures such as sanitation facilities. These gender inequalities continue to exist despite the use of the concept of ‘gender mainstreaming’ in water and sanitation projects since the mid-1990s, which was designed to make the needs of women and girls an integral part of sanitation policies and project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Instead, gender has become a term that is widely used in project documents and organisational policy documents ‘but is little theorised and ill-defined in most projects and supporting policy documents’ (O‘Reilly 2010, p. 49). Gender, according to the Water and Sanitation Program (2010, p. 9): is a concept that refers to socially constructed roles, behaviour, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate and ascribes to men and women. These distinct roles and the relations between them may give rise to gender inequalities where one group is systematically favoured and holds advantages over another. Inequality in the position of men and women can and has worked against societies.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Water, Urbanization, Women, Inequality, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Burgeoning urbanisation coupled with policy implementation gaps have resulted in growing disparities in the provision of public infrastructure services in urban areas of India. Apart from the impact of this, a household’s ability to procure basic amenities is also subject to its economic and social condition and the prevalence of social or spatial inequalities. This paper considers a basic household amenity – toilets – and using survey data gauges a household’s likelihood of owning one based on economic and social conditions and infrastructural parameters such as water supply and drainage using a binary multivariate logistic regression model. Horizontal or social group-based inequalities, which are often neglected in the sanitation discourse in India, are found to have a significant impact on access to toilets along with the existence of disparities based on consumption expenditure and drainage. The findings ascertain the existence of multidimensional disparities at the state level, refuting centralised programmes adopted to meet Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Urbanization, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Partha Mukhopadhyay, Marie-Hélène Zérah, Gopa Samanta, Augustin Maria
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This paper presents the results of an investigation of selected census towns in northern India. Census towns are settlements that India’s census classifies as urban although they continue to be governed as rural settlements. The 2011 census featured a remarkable increase in the number of census towns, which nearly tripled between 2001 and 2011, from 1,362 to 3,894. This increase contributed to nearly a third (29.5 percent) of the total increase in the urban population during this period. Only part of this evolution can be attributed to the gradual urbanization of settlements in the vicinity or larger towns. Instead, the majority of census towns appear as small “market towns,” providing trade and other local services to a growing rural market. The case studies of representative census towns in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal show the role of increased connectivity and growing rural incomes in driving the demand for the small scale and non-tradable services, which are the main sources of nonfarm employment in these settlements.The case studies also reveal that the trade-offs between urban and rural administrative statuses are actively debated in many of these settlements. Although statistical comparisons do not show a significant impact of urban or rural administrative status on access to basic services, urban status is often favored by the social groups involved in the growing commercial and services sectors, and resisted by the residents still involved in the traditional farming sectors.
  • Topic: Urbanization, Economy, Census, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Delhi is India’s richest city and as the capital of the nation has long enjoyed favourable treatment from the Centre. As the home to the country’s national bureaucracies, it also benefits from a large base of secure, well-paid, government jobs. Over the last decade the city has grown at an average real rate of 10 percent, and has benefitted from a dramatic increase in large-scale infrastructure development. Yet, despite these advantages, Delhi is a deeply divided city marked by layers of social exclusion. In the modern imaginary, the city represents the promise of freedom and opportunity. It marks a social space that is less constrained by traditional identities and one in which greater social interaction and density support economic dynamism. If development must, as Amartya Sen has so influentially argued, be based on strengthening basic capabilities, then the city can surely be a privileged site of capability-enhancement. Indeed, the migrants who flood the city often come in search of better livelihoods, education, health, and basic services. But as any resident of Delhi knows, the quality of such services varies dramatically across neighbourhoods, and the part of the city one lives in significantly impacts one’s ability to take full advantage of what the city has to offer. The Cities of Delhi (CoD) project starts with the simple recognition that India’s capital is marked by different settlement types, defined by diverse degrees of formality, legality, and tenure, which taken together produce a highly differentiated pattern of access to basic services. This report provides an overview of the findings from CoD. It builds directly on the place, process, and institution reports available at citiesofdelhi.cprindia.org, but in no way substitutes for these reports, all of which stand on their own as original empirical contributions. This overview is instead a synthesis, an effort to tie together the findings from the reports, to paint a broad picture of patterns of unequal access to basic services in the city and to provide an analysis of how these patterns of inequality are linked to structures and practices of governance.
  • Topic: Development, Urbanization, Inequality, Economy, Capital Flows
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia