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Approach:

  1. Introduction – state of urbanisation in India.
  2. Discuss the skewed nature of urbanisation.
  3. Way forward.

Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, and the ways in which each society adapts to this change. Total urban population of India in 2011 is estimated at 377 million which is estimated at 31.16% of the total population of the country.

Skewed nature of urbanization process:

In states like Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu more than 35% people live in urban centres. Whereas only 20% of people in Uttar Pradesh live in cities, only 14.3% of Orissa is urbanised and 10% of Bihar lives in urban centres. Thus it indicates that urbanization is concentrated in few states than in others.

Secondly, urbanisation in India has been mostly present in southern and western part of the country and not much in eastern and North-east India. Apart from state capitals and few urban centres, within the state urbanisation is more or less meagre.

Also state led planning is inclined towards developing new urban townships located near already urbanized centres rather than urbanizing new regions. Within the cities, urbanisation in sense of urban facilities is skewed towards the core region of cities, keeping the outskirts of the cities undeveloped. Slums, old settlements and illegal constructions in the cities don’t show signs of urbanisation, thus giving a perception of urbanisation process witnessing a skewed growth within the cities itself.

Way forward: Integrate urbanisation process with the development plans of the country for developing non-agricultural activities like manufacturing services and infrastructure leading to attainment of external economies. Develop rural districts, by developing towns in highly rural districts. Develop satellite townships in and around large cities.

The state government of Uttarakhand, for example, is taking steps to merge peri-urban areas (areas in the periphery of the urban) with urban local bodies. This will entitle these areas to civic amenities such as piped water supply, sewerage network, and solid waste management. Develop secondary cities to divert rural migration away from the large cities towards secondary cities and to foster stronger urban-rural links.

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