Day 30 – Q 2. What are the key observations from the ongoing trend of urbanisation in India? What potential challenges are they going to create in the future? Analyse. (10 Marks) 

  • IASbaba
  • March 1, 2022
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. What are the key observations from the ongoing trend of urbanisation in India? What potential challenges are they going to create in the future? Analyse. (10 Marks) 

भारत में शहरीकरण की चल रही प्रवृत्ति से प्रमुख अवलोकन क्या हैं? वे भविष्य में क्या संभावित चुनौतियाँ पैदा करने जा रहे हैं? विश्लेषण करें।


Students are expected to write about the basics of urbanization and associated trends in India. Then highlight the potential challenges to be created in future. 


Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities. Urbanisation occurs mainly because people move from rural areas to urban areas and it results in growth in the size of the urban population and the extent of urban areas. 


Trends in urbanisation:

  • India’s level of urbanization increased from 17.6 per cent in 1951 to only 23.7 per cent in 1981 and 27.8 per cent in 2001. 
  • Consistent with its low per capita income India ranks among the last thirty in the list of countries listed according to their urbanization levels.
  • Currently, India’s population stood at 1210 million in 2011, with an urbanisation level of 31.1% (Census of India 2011).
  • Over 75% of the urban population of the country is in 10 States: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala.

Potential Challenges:

  • Excessive Population Pressure: On the one hand, the rural-urban migration accelerates the pace of urbanisation, on the other, it creates excessive population pressure on the existing public utilities.
  • Overflowing Slums: There are about 13.7 million slum households in the country sheltering a population of 65.49 million people across the country.
  • Inadequate Housing: Among the numerous social problems of urbanisation, the problem of housing is the most distressing.
  • Weak Regulations by umbrella authorities: State governments, which retain effective control over urban development rather than city administrations, have failed to operationalise the umbrella authorities to regulate transport and other issues. 
  • Expensive Mass Transport: There is valid criticism that the existing paradigm is one of “exclusionary urbanisation”, which makes Metro and bus services expensive for the majority. 
  • Absence of protection from disasters and hazards in the fields of environmental safety, pollution, ethnic conflicts, violence, discrimination and exploitation.
  • Financial devolution: There is evidence of deterioration in almost all of the major financial indicators of empowerment for urban local governments in India from their already very low levels. 
  • Pandemic-Induced Problems: The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the misery of urban poor or slum dwellers. The sudden implementation of complete Covid lockdown severely affected the ability of slum dwellers to earn their living.


Integrated policies to improve the lives of both urban and rural dwellers are needed, while strengthening the linkages between urban and rural areas, building on their existing economic, social and environmental ties.

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