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News: In recent years, the governments has started to realise that the cities are the drivers of economic growth.
Trends of Urbanization
In 1960, the global rate of urbanisation was at 33.61%. In 2003, more people were living in cities than in villages. In 2020, the global urbanisation rate was at 56.15% in 2020.
In fact, globally, the late 20th century saw rapid urbanisation, especially among the newly decolonised countries from Africa, Latin America and Asia.
According to the World Urbanisation Prospects report, the rate of urbanisation in Asia was close to 50% by 2018. Further, it is projected to be 52.3% for Asia and around 37.6% for South Asian (sub-region) by the year 2022.
The 20th and 21st centuries witnessed India’s rapid and sustained urban growth.
In 1960, India’s rate of urbanisation was 17.94%. In 2020, India’s urbanisation rate was 34.92%. Further, India is projected to have about 35% urbanisation by the end of 2022.
State-wise trends in India
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the UTs having the highest percentage of urban population are Chandigarh (99.63% in 2020) and Delhi (99.23% in 2020). The states having large area and population like Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh) have the least percentage of projected population living in cities.
Merits of urbanisation
A city is a breathing entity which is ever-growing and evolving. The cities shapes culture and give impetus to the realisation of dreams and ambitions of people who come from the countryside.
There is a positive correlation between urbanisation and economic growth. The cities and the process of urbanization offer a lot of developmental advantage.
Urbanization leads to rise of agglomeration economies, the formation of industrial clusters, and the increase in competitiveness among and within each state
Urbanisation also offers solutions to reduce income inequality and poverty. It enhances jobs and incomes as more talent is attracted to urban conglomerates.
What are the issues?
Looking at India’s urbanisation rate, it seems India has a sluggish rate of urbanisation.
India’s Urbanisation is below the global rate of urbanisation as well as the Asian average of urbanisation rate.
In India, “Cities” as a scope of study is a relatively new field. India has primarily been seen as a village-based country during colonisation and a few years right after independence.
In the post-independence years, industrial development, regional integration, and economic growth became priorities, and the “urban question” remained missing from the discourse of development.
There is a need to increase the pace of urbanisation in the country. At the same time, the influx of population should not be concentrated in bigger cities only.
Smaller cities lying on the periphery of the major industrial cities should be primarily focussed from the point of growth and investment potential.
In addition, all the backward cities and towns should be given attention for investment and development.
Source: The post is based on an article “Increasing the pace of India’s urbanisation’ published in the Business Standard on 19th May 2022.