Urban Development in India in the 21st Century

By Rakesh Mohan and Shubhagato Dasgupta
1 October 2004

This paper traces urban development in India in the 20th century. It studies urbanisation projections made by different scholars in the past, and speculates on a set of economic policy choice reasons that have led to the lower than expected levels of urbanisation. Some of these resons articulated in the paper are inadequate increase in rural productivity; inappropriate technology choice in industry: labour legislation and small industries reservations; location restrictions on industries; limited Urban Infrastructure investment and rigidities in urban land policy. The paper then goes on to project future of urban development and identifies some growth drivers for the same, and proposes a number of policy approaches to support the urbanisation process in India.