Recognizing urban India
The country is more urban than we think. Policymakers are finally coming round to accepting this reality
In May, a government of India Press Information Bureau release stated that the ministry of urban development had directed state governments to convert census towns to urban local bodies to allow for planned development and efficient service provision. Census towns are areas that are governed by village panchayats but are recognized by the census of India as being urban. This mismatch leads to a host of problems—from misallocation of resources to unsafe development of densely populated clusters. Much of India has long left her villages, and it is a welcome sign that the government is starting to acknowledge this. But the extent of urbanization in India is still widely underestimated. Urbanization has an important role to play in a country’s economic growth and so it is critical to get it right.