Who is in Charge of the City? Urban Governance in India

LPSI News: Posted April 24, 2012

For long the adage has held that India lives in its villages. This is no longer proving to be true. Projections show India's urban population soaring from 340 million in 2008 to 590 million in 2030. This urban expansion will happen at a speed unlike any seen before. It took nearly 40 years (between 1971 and 2008) for the urban population to rise by nearly 230 million. It will take half the time to add the next 250 million. In this situation Indian cities which are already under pressure are going to find it difficult to provide even basic services. Urban governance or rather its lack will become even more crucial to the issue of liveable and productive cities. The presentation will address some of the key issues related to urban governance in this context.

How is urban governance defined and what does it cover ? Who are the stakeholders involved in urban governance? Why is there so little citizen participation in urban governance in general and in India in particular? Is there a standard template for urban governance or should it differ depending on city size (i.e., metros or secondary towns)?

The presenter is a member of the National Technical Advisory Group for JNNRUM, Government of India's first attempt starting in 2006 to influence urbanization and urban governance. The mission provided funding for investments to 65 cities(state capitals and cities of tourist or other significance) provided a menu of reforms was adopted, with mixed results. What were the success if any and limitations of this mission which is coming to a close? A new national program to follow JNNURM is under discussion. What should urban governance look like in the post JNNURM scenario? This and other questions will be answered by the presenter who has been a policy maker, keen observer and researcher of India's urbanization process.

Mr.Shivramkrishnan joined the Indian Administrative Service, in 1958 and held various assignments in the state of West Bengal, including Secretary and Chief Executive of the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority. He became Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development in 1988 and was involved in the legislation (73rd and 74th amendments) to amend the Constitution to provide a framework for decentralization and empowerment of rural and urban local bodies. He was Senior Advisor, Urban Management at the World Bank between 1992-96. Since 1996, he has been associated with the Centre for Policy Research and the Institute of Social Sciences in Delhi.

Presenter: K.C. Shivaramkrishnan, Center for Policy Research, India
Chair: Roberto Zhaga, Country Director, India
Discussant: Somik Lal, Lead Urban Economist, FEUUR
Tuesday, May 1, 12:30 - 2:00 PM, MC 4-100.

The presentation is at the Main Complex of the World Bank, 1818 H Street N.W. For a visitor's pass or more information, please contact Tara Sharafudeen at tsharafudeen@worldbank.org.