All posts by Julien Bordagi

Unacknowledged Urbanisation: The New Census Towns of India

This is a CPR working paper written by Kanhu Charan Pradhan that you can download here.

Abstract: The unexpected increase in the number of census towns (CTs) in the last census has thrust them into the spotlight. Using a hitherto unexploited dataset, it is found that many of the new CTs satisfied the requisite criteria in 2001 itself; mitigating concerns of inflated urbanisation. The new CTs account for almost 30% of the urban growth in last decade, with large inter-state variations. They are responsible for almost the entire growth in urbanisation in Kerala and almost none in Chhattisgarh. Consequently, the estimated contribution of migration is similar to that in previous intercensal periods. Further, while some new CTs are concentrated around million-plus cities, more than four-fifths are situated outside the proximity of such cities, with a large majority not even near Class I towns,  though they form part of local agglomerations. This indicates a dispersed pattern of in-situ urbanisation. A growing share of urban population in these CTs is thus being governed under the rural administrative framework, despite very different demographic and economic characteristics, which may affect their future growth.

Second annual Suburbin seminar

The seminar will be at the Center for Policy Research in Delhi, the 16th and

17th april 2012

Day 1


9:00-10:30 AM

Introduction – Objectives and orientations after one year (Marie – Hélène and Eric)

Presentation of a paper on “Placing Suburbin” (Eric, Partha and Marie – Hélène) and discussion


11-00:00 PM

Objective of macro analysis after the two meetings – August 2011 and January 2012

Presentation of the approach, main questions and methods:


  1. Chandra: NSS and Indiapolis agglomeration landscape at district level – circular migration and employment
  2. Mainak & Basu: productivity’s disparities and urbanization
  3. Julien: Census 2011 and the quasi-urbanization trend


02:00-4:00 PM


  1. Milap: Remote sensing analysis of small town in Bihar, NCR and Rajasthan
  2. Joan Pérez: On mobility and growth in small and medium cities
  3. Rémi de Bercerol: Public finance and small cities (PhD abstract and prospect)


04:15 – 06:00

  • Agenda and schedule of macrostudies
  • SUBURBIN review of literature
  • Practical questions and schedule for years 2 & 3.
  • documentation and macro meso data, spatial analysis


Day 2


9:00 – 9:30

Return on the discussion held since the beginning of the programme (introduction to the micro day/recall of the discussions held in August 2011)


Then, all the researchers involved in the micro studies will present their preliminary field work and discuss:

  • the relevance of the case study in the framework of SUBURBIN
  • the approach chosen and the methodology applied
  • the first results
  • the next steps


10:00 – 01:00 PM


  1. Venkat & Bhuvana: On Bhavani-Salem region’s industrial and investment dynamics
  2. Gopa: on Barjora, Sonamukhi, Memari, Singur
  3. Kamala & Julien: The stakeholders panorama in Palar Valley, Tamil Nadu


02:00 – 04:00 PM

  1. Sri: Student’s monographs
  2. Mythri: on Pasighat: Land, business, identity and the commons
  3. Solly: on Manipal – Udupi land’s political economy
  4. Diya: Kullu


04:15 – 06:00 PM

  • Thematic focus for SUBURBIN  fieldwork
  • Linkages and feedback macro and micro


The aim is to be able to exchange on the basis of written texts. These do not need to be finalized or even draft papers. However, we would expect everybody to circulate a written paper to ensure better discussions and feedbacks. PPT can be used for the oral presentation.

Book Review: Re-visioning Indian cities

This is a book review written by Julien Bordagi, PhD Candidate

Institut Français de Pondichéry – Avignon University (France)

The author exposed his reading of Re-visioning Indian cities: The Urban Renewal Mission book written by Sivaramakrishnan and edited by Sage Publications (2011).

The review sums up the main ideas introduced in the book and discusses some particular points.

Download here.

Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India

Below you will find an interesting publication available online here

Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India. Rights, responsibilities and citizenship

Marie-Hélène Zérah, Véronique Dupont, Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (Scientific editors)

Parution : novembre 2011, UNESCO & Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, 180 p.

This publication is a compendium of 16 research policy-papers written by 14 eminent scholars covering several angles of the right to the city approach in India, including :

• Right to the City and Urban Citizenship
• The Constitutional and International Framework
• A Philosophical Reading of the RTTC
• Urban Governance : How Democratic ?
• Women’s Right to the City : from Safety to Citizenship ?
• Caste and Class in Indian Cities : Habitation, Inequality and Segregation
• Muslim Neighbourhoods and Segregation in the City
• Migrants’ (Denied) Rights to the City
• Urban Spatial Exclusion : A Historical Perspective
• Claiming Land : Rights, Contestations and the Urban Poor in Globalized Times
• The Challenges of Slums and Forced Evictions
• Urban Livelihoods : the City versus the Informal Economy
• Water and Sanitation : Barriers to Universalization
• Urban Transport and the Right to the City : Accessibility and Mobility
• The Retreat of the State in Healthcare Policy and the Right to the City
• A Human Rights’ Perspective for the Right to the City

The publication is intended as an advocacy tool to promote a rights-based approach to urbanization in India. A rights-based approach in the context of Indian cities has not yet been extensively documented and researched.

The publication aims to close this gap by providing policy makers with a set of experiences for better social inclusion in Indian cities, and initiatives in law and urban planning that strengthen rights and responsibilities, interfaith tolerance, and ensures the inclusion of the most vulnerable (urban poor, women, migrants) in urban management. It will serve as a solid reference point for policy makers at a local level, as well as a basis for the exchange of knowledge between researchers, city professionals and local authorities on building inclusive cities.

Rethinking Urban Democracy in South Asia

Below you will find the latest publication of the South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal.

 South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal


‘Rethinking Urban Democracy 

in South Asia’


accessible in full at :”” including


Introduction : Urban Democracy—A South Asian Perspective

by Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal and Marie-Hélène Zérah


‘It Does Not Die’ – Urban Protest in Kolkata, 1987-2007  
An interview with Ranabir  Samaddar

by V. Ramaswamy
Tej City. Protests in Mumbai, 1988-2008

by Djallal G. Heuzé

Bystander Tactics: Life on Turf in Karachi

by Tania Ahmad
The Making of a ‘Colony’ in Karachi and the Politics of Regularisation

by Haris Gazdar and Hussain Bux Mallah


Urban Segregation and the Special Political Zone in Ahmedabad: An Emerging Paradigm for Religio-Political Violence

by Arvind Rajagopal


SAMAJ’s lastest publications also include:



Party Political Panthers: Hegemonic Tamil Politics and the Dalit Challenge

by Hugo Gorringe
Indian Folk Music and ‘Tropical Body Language’: The Case of Mauritian Chutney

by Catherine Servan-Schreiber


Book Reviews

Ravi Sundaram, Pirate Modernity: Delhi’s Media Urbanism

by Diya Mehra

Anne-Sophie Bentz, Les réfugiés tibétains en Inde: Nationalisme et exil 

by Julie Humeau
Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

by M. Jamil Hanifi
Dilip Subramanian, Telecommunications Industry in India: State, Business and Labour in a Global Economy

by David Picherit

P. Sainath’s Articles in The Hindu -25 and 26 September 2011- on the 2011 Provisional Census Results: A Critical Comment

This is a Suburbin working paper written by Julien Bordagi from French Institute of Pondicherry. It is a critical comment of some of the conclusions from Sainath Hindu articles. It shows the significant role of the small towns in the urban growth during the last decade and the growth decline of the main metropolitan areas .

Download here.

Small towns, urban studies and India: literature review

These two working papers, have been written by Rémi de Bercegol.

The first one, highlights how the studies of small towns can help to the global understanding of urban area. The second focuses on the Indian literature and raises the question of the adequacy of urban policies in the case of small towns. See the link below (French Version only).

Small town and urban studies

Small Indian towns in the shadow of the greatest one

Neo-liberalism and Its Discontents

A paper by Sirisha C. Naidu

Economic and Political Weekly        October 15, 2011 vol XLVI no 42.

This paper is reviewing the book India’s new economic policy: a critical analysis edited by W. Ahmed, A. Kundu and R. Peet.

This book looks at the major effects of the economic liberalisation on the economic growth and the indian society. This present review focuses on three dominant thematics: urbanisation, the processes of development and environmentalism, and resistances to economic liberalisation.


Census 2011 of India on Facebook

To raise the awareness amongst the population, the Government of India has launched a Census 2011 Facebook page. It is not necessary to subscribe on Facebook to access the page and some interesting informations are available, notably on the debate of the defintition of urban area in different countries. Moreover, there are some links to online papers on topics relative to the census. See the link.

A second Facebook page on the census 2011 exists, with a dozen of link to papers from Times of India and Youtube videos relative to census. Unfortunately, the page is not updated since February. See the link.

Estimates of Workers Commuting from Rural to Urban and Urban to Rural India: A Note

This is a IGIDR Working Paper written by S Chandrasekhar that you can download here.


This paper provides estimates of workers residing in rural (urban) India and commuting to urban (rural) areas for work. The estimates are based on National Sample Survey Organisation’s survey of Employment and Unemployment (2009-10). In 2009-10, a total number of 8.05 million workers not engaged in agriculture commuted from rural to urban areas for work while 4.37 million workers not engaged in agriculture commuted from urban to rural areas for work. It argues that the size of the rural and urban labour force should be adjusted to account for the workers who commute to a location different from their usual place of residence.