Handbook of Urban Inequalities (in India)

By Darshini Mahadevia and Sandip Sarkar, in Oxford University Press,2012.

Nearly all urban data used for the purpose of economic analysis, urban policymaking, and investment decision-making are aggregated data. Urban systems, however, are heterogeneous and complex, which requires more nuanced responses. This handbook reprocesses NSS household-level schedules to develop disaggregated data sets for different size classes of urban centres. Comparing changes in the pre-reform and post-reform periods, the book analyses the inequalities between metros and non-metros with regard to consumption, poverty, employment, education levels, and services.
With detailed and meticulous data analysis covering the last 25 years, the book covers:
The importance of small and medium towns (SMTs) in urban development and urban poverty trends across major states in India.
Head Count Ratio (HCR) and per capita monthly consumption expenditures for different size class of urban centres in 16 major states in India.
Employment patterns and unemployment levels across different size classes and disaggregated by sex.
Level of basic facilities in different size classes of urban centres pertaining to water supply, sanitation, and garbage collection; and
Patterns of urban inequalities and their policy implications.

1. Urbanization, Urban Poverty, and Small and Medium Towns
2. Consumption Patterns and Urban Poverty
3. Distribution of Employment Patterns and Growth
4. Educational Opportunities and Economic Well-being
5. Access to Water and Sanitation
6. Emerging Patterns and Policy Implications

Small town water services: Trends, challenges and models

by Marieke Adank (2013) for International Water and Sanitation Centre, Thematic Overview Paper 27:  full paper here

Relatively new and emerging categories of human settlements, such as small towns, may require a different set of service arrangements to facilitate the provision of water. In this paper, Marieke Adank presents the main features and understanding of what constitutes “small towns” to determine the most appropriate water service arrangement for this new phenomenon. Findings of the paper point out to challenges in developing a clear typology for small towns and assigning one single model for delivering small town water services. Amidst this layer of ambiguity however, Adank draws examples from different arrangements serving “small towns” in countries, and provides compelling evidence that: a) different models and arrangements have been tested and have worked; b) there is a growing role for private sector involvement; and c) there is a need to revisit institutional and regulatory frameworks, as well as funding models, to finance capital maintenance. This paper concludes with a list of resources for further reading, and provides contact details of some organisations whose work focus on “small towns”.

Exclusionary Urbanization and Changing Migration Pattern in India: Is commuting by workers a feasible alternative?

By Ajay Sharma, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

Paper presented at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population Conference, 2013, Busan (Korea)

paper: available here

For developing countries including India, United Nations projections of urban population have been on the higher side. Based on such estimates, it was conjectured that India would witness a large migration from rural areas. Yet, during 2001-11, nationally representative surveys did not record large increase in rural-urban migration. Hence, the share of urban population increased marginally from 27.8 to 31.1 percent over 2001-2011. This increase however masks important undercurrents.
Two predominantly urban states of India and few important urban agglomerations reported their lowest ever population growth rate over the period 2001-11 while Mumbai recorded an absolute decline in its population. Since lower total fertility rate cannot explain this phenomenon, two plausible explanations are out-migration from cities and reduced rate of in-migration to cities (Kundu 2012). With cities unwelcoming and anemic employment growth in rural India, an alternative, albeit effective livelihood strategy (where feasible) is commuting daily from rural to urban areas for work. Nearly 12.5 million workers cross the rural-urban boundary for work every day while 12.2 million workers report not having a fixed place of work. Such movement of workers is fast developing as an important and new channel of interaction between the rural and urban

The future of India’s urbanization

By Elfie Swerts, Denise Pumain & Eric Denis – Géographie-Cités, Paris

Futures, 2013

In 2050, urban India will be home to fourteen per cent of the world’s urban population. In less than thirty years, half of India’s population will have to cope with urban life and there will be tremendous transformation of landscape, economic structure and social life. In order to forecast India’s urban future, we assumed that secular and contemporary growth trajectories of all individual urban agglomerations are key drivers of future urbanization trends. We demonstrate that India’s city-system conforms to the distributed growth model and that its hierarchical distribution is evolving regularly. India’s plurisecular city-system fits well with the canonical model that describes universally the system dynamics. It shares common characteristics with several mature urban structures around the world. We show also that the location of the town has little influence on its growth trajectory. Nevertheless, individual trajectories can be classified, either by the secular trend of towns (1901-2011) or on the basis of the more recent genesis of the contemporary urban agglomerations landscape (1961 to 2011). These classifications are structured over time and space according to subsystems and regional specificities.

Tindivanam and the agriculture: toward diversification?

A Master Thesis by Simon Perrier, 2012

Under the supervision of Frédéric Landy and Kamala Marius

UP10 – University Paris 10, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Full text access in French here

Tindivanam est une ville moyenne indienne de 70000 habitants située dans le Tamil Nadu, à 40 kilomètres au nord de Pondichéry et à 120 kilomètres au sud de Chennai, à l’intersection de deux autoroutes. Elle est le chef-lieu d’un taluk à très forte densité rurale, où l’agriculture occupe une forte proportion des familles. Les cultures maraîchères, et d’autres cultures commerciales, ainsi que des usages non agricoles, occupent une part croissante des terres de la région, aux côtés de l’arachide et du riz, traditionnellement cultivés. Des progrès considérables ont d’ailleurs été institués pendant la “Révolution verte” pour améliorer les rendements de ce dernier. Tandis que l’alimentation des Indiens est en grande partie basée sur les céréales et protéagineux, deux procédés de commercialisation qui permettent aux paysans de mieux vendre leurs productions maraîchères ont vu le jour à Tindivanam il y a quelques années. Il s’agit d’un “marché paysan”, concept de vente directe quotidienne destinée à la population locale, mis en place par le gouvernement tamoul, et d’un centre de collecte d’une grande chaîne de supermarché, Reliance Fresh, où les légumes livrés par les paysans sont destinés à alimenter les magasins de l’enseigne situés dans les métropoles. L’étude s’intéresse à l’impact que l’implantation de ces deux marchés peut avoir sur l’espace rural autour de Tindivanam, en se demandant comment l’un et l’autre, avec leur fonctionnement propre, modifient les pratiques et stratégies des paysans. Cette question nous permet de nourrir une réflexion quant à l’échelle à considérer pour comprendre les processus en cours dans l’espace rural de cette région du Tamil Nadu septentrional. On se base notamment sur une enquête de terrain menée dans le village d’Ural, et au sein des deux marchés.