Vimarsha: A Talk by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, on ‘Urbanisation in India: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities’
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

Eminent speakers have addressed the public on varied subjects of importance to the nation and society from the Vimarsha platform. Keeping with this monthly tradition, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) invited Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to give a lecture on ‘Urbanisation in India: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities’, on the 23rd of July, 2018. The Hon’ble Minister covered a broad spectrum of issues in his talk, specific to the current pace and future of urbanisation of India.

In his opening remarks, Shri Puri put forth a proposition that the West’s ideas of India being a ‘reluctant urbaniser’ needed to be put into a perspective. He emphasised that India’s growing urbanisation was largely born out of her growing economy as also a reduction in the share of Agriculture to GDP. Speaking of the future of urbanisation, the Minister stated that the Government has not only embraced the challenge of urbanisation as an opportunity, but has also taken appropriate measures for the same.

To reiterate, Shri Puri gave examples of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna’ (Urban and Rural) or ‘Affordable Housing for All’, the ‘Amrut Scheme’ focusing on water management, the ‘Swachta Scheme’ providing a scientific waste disposal framework and the ‘Smart Cities Program’. Given the wide array of measures taken under these Schemes, he reflected that, “This is the most comprehensive and ambitious program for planned urbanisation.”

Highlighting the importance of the Swachta Campaign, the Minister emphasised that the Campaign has caught on and has become a ‘Jan Andolan’. Narrating instances of the successes of the campaign in cities and the functionality of the ‘Swachta App’, he said, “The Swachta Campaign has to be the very basis on which other urban programmes are anchored.”

Shri Puri then went on to add that Smart Cities, one of many flagship initiatives launched by his Government, are also contributing to the pace and scope of urbanisation in India. Elaborating on the ‘Smart Cities Programme’, the Hon’ble Minister underscored that it has strong citizen participation, while the cities are selected via a process of competitive bidding of which a majority are ‘brown field’ cities. He brought to light the Integrated Command and Control Centres which help to monitor and control the services provided by the cities in a scientific manner.

At the latter half of his talk, the Minister dwelt upon the challenges of urbanisation. He brought to attention the need for upgrading urban infrastructure, infrastructure financing, green and resilient construction of urban spaces and sewage management, among other urbanisation related challenges. Further, he underscored the link between climate change and urbanisation.

In his concluding remarks, Hon’ble Shri Hardeep Puri stressed on the need to concentrate on a whole set of measures, including incorporating various stakeholders, especially citizens, and empowering local bodies, among other measures, to the onerous task of meeting India’s growing urbanisation challenges.

The talk was followed by an interactive Q&A session.

Event Date 
July 23, 2018

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
9 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Contact Us