Tiffin Talk: Urbanisation in India – challenges and opportunities by Rakesh Ranjan

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21 March 2013 12:45 pm

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India’s 377 million urban population, though already huge in number, is set to grow at an accelerated pace. Projections are that by 2030, India will add another 200 million people to its urban population. As more than 60% of the country's GDP is generated in the urban sector presently, a trend which is likely to grow, to ensure efficient urbanisation is no longer a matter of debate or choice for her policy makers, it is now central to its growth strategy itself. The fast pace of urbanisation has thrown challenges as well as opportunities – unprecedented in scale. Given the poor state of delivery of urban amenities, investment requirements in Indian cities are huge. Another challenge is to ensure that such services are provided to urban poor at an affordable rate. Yet another challenge is to make Indian cities globally competitive so that they emerge as an engine of inclusive growth. On the opportunity side, late urbanisation allows the country to reap the advantages of learnings and experiences of smart cities in the world. The talk covers the strategy of India’s urbanisation with special emphasis on generating resources through monetisation of urban land.

About the Lecturer: 

Mr. Rakesh Ranjan is Director of the Housing and Urban Affairs Division of the Planning Commission, Government of India. Managing urbanisation has emerged as a key challenge as well as opportunity for ensuring high and inclusive economic growth. In this important position, he has contributed significantly in drafting the policies and programs for urbanisation for the 12th plan period.

In India, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is the main programmatic intervention at the federal level to ensure efficient urbanisation. Considering his experience, he was nominated as a member of the Committee on JNNURM-II for effectively re-launching the program. In addition, recently, he has been nominated as convener of the committee on Capacity Building and Urban Planning. Recently, he had the opportunity to study various aspects of urban strategic planning in cities like Paris, Strasbourg and Bordeaux in France.   

His other major responsibility is to examine proposals of large urban transport projects and help in optimal restructuring and financing of such projects. He has also worked as Director in Infrastructure Division (Highways and Power sector) in the Planning Commission for a year where creation of a suitable regulatory framework for attracting private investment was the main focus.