Urbanisation in India

Urbanisation in India

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Urbanisation refers to peoples changing attitude towards social life and modernization. It is a process by which there is an increase in proportion of people living in urban area, leading to transformation of land for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes. The basic reason for increasing urbanisation is increase in the number of people moving into cities, for jobs, higher education, and better future prospective and for much higher quality of life. It also allows an easy flow of information, more technological development. Even economic growth is intricately linked with urbanisation in the local, national and global context.
Urbanisation in India has shown significant increase in the past two decades and there has been a considerable change in the people thinking and ways to look at social and global issues. Also the growth of Indian economy has improved a lot in the said duration. Is this change important specially in a country where agriculture has been a backbone and are we justifying with the nature and is the urbanisation not creating the gap between the different sections of people. All these have forced me to make a thorough study of the subject to analyse in real terms issues relating to urbanisation in India and its future impact on the social and cultural heritage of this country.
Summary of all the key issues
Urbanization started during the historic period, when labour force was motivated to obtain jobs in factories as agricultural jobs became less popular which means that there was shift from rural-based industry to urban-based industry which led to increased urbanisation.
An increase in the field of agriculture has also increased urbanisation, but has it been able to improve the status of the rural people and has there been a significant change in the life of rural people. It has been noticed in numerous leading wheat and rice producing districts in the nation that rural areas are also getting converted to urban areas, which shows the changing attitude of people towards agriculture. The fact that many or major industries of the world requires basic agricultural products to produce consumable goods so in a country like India wherein the shift is more triggered towards urbanisation is becoming a major issue. Expansion of service industry in a new region and new industrial investments is another one of important factors. In 1901 a study had shown that only 10.84 percent of the population of the world dwelled in urban regions of India which constitutes only 25 million people.

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But now in the 21st century the growth rate of the Indian urban population is 12 times the number of people in the last century. The population of Indian urban area is 285 million people which is 28 % of the entire Earth population. It is estimated that in the next 20 years, the population would be double of the current Indian urban population and reach around 550 million.

These figures clearly indicate the amount of infrastructure that needs to be developed in the coming years, which enhance will pressurize government for creation of basic infrastructure for people to accommodate and survive in urban areas. This will ensure major development in restricted areas leaving development of infrastructure in the rural areas. The distribution of wealth is also not proportionate which has been a major cause in the shift of people towards urbanisation, which is a big and serious issue
Urbanisation in India

The figure given above clearly indicate that the development will not be uniform and may create a level of dissatisfaction among the people giving rise to social and economic clashes. Also the gap between the rural and the urban people will rose. Even today the things have started showing its impact and there has been a constant conflict between the government policies and the people in general. Detailed information on status of different parts of India Sixty per cent of the urban growth during 1981-91 is attributed to the factor of natural increase. The Census of India has defined metropolitan as an urban city having a popula¬tion of one million and above. These are also called the million plus cities. At the time of the first census after independence in 1951 the number of metropolitan cities was 5 with population of Delhi, Chennai (Madras) and Hyderabad crossing one million marks. Urbanisation in the next 30 years from 1951 to 1981rose from 5 to 12. The number of million plus cities rose to 7 in 1961, 9 in 1971 and 12 in 1981. Wherein in the decade 1981-91 the number of such cities rose to 23. The growth of metropolitan cities was further accelerated in the decade 1991-2001 with the number of metropolitan cities rising up to 35 in 2001. Obviously these cities are characterized by high concentration of population. Together, these cities provided home to 107.88 million people in 2001 which is also 37.81% of the entire population of urban India. The average population per urban agglomeration/city of million plus category has almost doubled from 1.51 million in 1901 to 3.08 million in 2001.

This graph represents the rate of urbanisation and urban population in different states of India.

 Effects and Causes of Urbanisation in India
Causes of urbanisation:
1. Industrialization: It plays a major role in urbanisation as industrialization provides a variety and a large no. of job opportunities. Jobs are mostly well-paid ,these are some things which attracts the rural population and force them to move to urban areas/cities.
2. Social factors: The main reason for a shift from rural to urban areas is due to several attractions and comforts like status and better jobs ,better education , bright future for coming generation, better lifestyle, easy access to technological facilities etc. These factors then lead to urbanisation.

3. Employment opportunities: Agriculture is the most popular occupation in India and population of India is dependent on this for livelihood, mainly the rural population .But productivity from agricultural activities is much more dependent on Monsoon therefore But agriculture is dependent on monsoon therefore natural calamities makes them to migrate for better job opportunities.

4. Modernization: The term modernization means adapting modern lifestyle and culture with all medical, educational facilities, transportation and communication, having good infrastructure etc. This would have made clear that why a shift from urban to rural might take place.
5. Spread of education: This means that now people are aware about the development in urban areas and are urging for a better and a comfortable life.
Effect of Urbanisation:
Positive effect:
1) Increase in urbanisation led to the advancement of India in technological field, which also adds up to the development of India.
2) Urbanisation also helped countries to trade and made life easier as now India doesn’t need to produce every product and it can always buy from other countries.
3Living conditions have been enhanced because of well-planned city with proper transportation and residential facilities,
4) It is correlated with the economic success of a nation.
5) Employment opportunities in urban centres.
6) Transportation, communication and Educational facilities.
Negative Effects:
1) Continuous increase in the urban population made it difficult to provide jobs and all the facilities to the population as a whole.
2) Because of urbanisation the prices of everything is getting higher and higher which had made life hard for an average income worker, they are hardly able to live a sophisticated life where they are able to use all the facilities easily. This also leads to an increase in poverty rate.
3) Due to an increase in urban population , crime rate in India is increasing day by day because the population is not able to fulfil their needs they get engaged into activities like steal, murder kidnapping etc.
4) Urbanisation has indirectly affected the environment and biodiversity of India in the context of pollution , global warming , wildlife habitat , forest cover etc.
Challanges of urbanisation in India

The major challanges of urbanisation in India are:

5) The establishment of architectural facilities obligate the supporting such large concentration of population. India is lagging far behind the pace of urbanisation. As a consequence, the urban environment, particularly in large cities, is deteriorating very rapidly. All cities have severe shortage of water supply, sewerage, developed land, housing, transportation and other facilities.

6) Problem of safe drinking water and basic needs. Several studies have indicated large segments of urban population do not have access to drinking water, sanitation, basic health services and education.
7) The impact of urbanisation may be considered in the context of urban infrastructure services comprising water supply, sanitation and solid waste management, land and urban environment.
8) Funds allocation has been made right from the First Five Year Plan onwards towards this. The tentative 10thPlan outlay for urban water supply & sanitation sector was Rs.18749.20 crore, which is only 1.3% of total public sector outlay. According to 54thround of National Sample Survey, 70% of urban households reported being served by tap and 21% by Tube well or hand pump. The 54th round of NSS reported 26% of households having no latrines, 35% using septic tank and 22% using sewerage system.
According to Central Pollution Control Board, the waste water generated in 300 Class I cities is about 15800 million litres a day while the treatment facilities exist for hardly 3750 million litres per day. Out of total waste generated in the million plus cities

Proper analysis was done to understand the phase of urbanization in India and it was revealed that India is moving at a steady rate. Comparing the urbanisation before independence and after independence concluded this. And below are mentioned some steps taken by the Indian government to improve urbanisation:

India acquires 60 % of its GDP from the urban sector, making it one of the most developing countries in the world. Indian economy works under the policy of planning. India carries five year plans, all industrialised, implemented and supervised and currently is working on its 12th plan where a certain transformation in the urban areas becomes a challange where there is a certain need to expand urban services and infrastructure. When the 11th plan was taking place, an argument on considering the positive factors of urbanisation was brought up as 60% of India’s GDP is acquired from the urban areas. Some of the economic changes took place in 1991 by the central government of India, this lead to an acceleration of India’s economic growth which also stimulated the capitalists to make development of the economy as one of their targets. And the result was a rise in the economic growth by 8% during the first decade, this made the central govt. consider urbanisation as an important factor in the economy.
In 1988 and 1992 the policy of NHP (National Housing Policy) was presented in front of the parliament by UN under the consideration of Global Shelter Strategy which was then embraced in 1994 in the month of August , which then led to the declaration of a new Agenda called National Housing and Habitat Policy with the policy of shelter as the first priority for all and this agenda was presented in the year of 1998. There was an agreement signed between NHP with macro- economic policy so that they can indirectly support and provide shelter to everyone.
This Strategy led to the prediction that the government intervention in the Construction of houses should be minimized in the higher society and focus on the more liable sections.
The housing strategy which was declared in 1988, outlines the role of different sections of market including govt. and other private entrepreneurs.
An incline in the rate of employment in metropolitan cities has advanced more as compared to the advancement of the entire country in this context.

After my research I can conclude that urbanization is a symbol of economic advancement. It should be viewed as an authentic factor for all round enhancement in development. Urban sector plays an increasingly vital role in contributing tax money to the Indian national economy.And at the same time efforts must be made to minimize the gap between the urban sector and the rural sector so that overall growth and its benefit may reach to each and every sector of the society.
After going through the details on this topic I started realizing the importance urbanisation in India and how it plays a major role in the development of India, it got a sense of responsibility on me and made me think on this topic again, which is generally ignored or are not given much importance by the students of my age group. I do now believe that even our small contribution can make a difference in the world and help India grow.
I would like to mention special word of thanks and a deep regard to my guide Shehnab Mam and Bhagirathy Mam for giving me the golden opportunity to do this projects on the topic ,who guided me throughout also helped me to do a lot of research and to know many new things.I would also like to thank my friends parents for helping me to finalize my project. Without help from these people , my assignment was not possible.

Works Cited


Bhagat, R. B.. "A Turnaround in India's Urbanization", Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 2012.
Submitted to Yew Chung International School of Hong Kong on 2013-04-16
Submitted to University of Newcastle on 2012-05-01

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