Urban India: Trajectories of Development

A course to help students discern sociological, political-economic, and phenomenological tenets on urbanisation and urbanisms in India that aid the students to map and analyse the interconnections, flows and processes of development.

Urban India is becoming a mirror’ and shining example’ for India’s growth, development, and imagination of the nation’s future. Today urban India continues to expand both in terms of size and its networks and consequentially has become the site of high intra-city spatial inequalities due to contestation over resources, spaces, and identities. Therefore, twenty- first century India’s urbanization trajectories make Indian metropolises and its rapidly growing Tier‑2 cities, immediate sites of critical intervention and analysis. More than ever before, cyclicity of crisis witnessed in Indian metropolitans to newer cities- induced by lop- sided knowledges of people, aspirations, resources and precarity- are becoming a perennial phenomenon.

A growing necessity for all Indian development practitioners working through the
bewildering diversity of people, deprivations, conflicts would be to understand how the
historical, structural, and symbolic systems of inequality, segregation and marginalization
operate through the grids of a city. In addition, to the core courses on foundational ideas that inform an understanding of Indian society’s itineraries of development and the wide range of electives that equip to think through various architecture and processes of survival and well-being in contemporary societies- this course would be a valuable addition for students to think critically about the urban spaces they encounter and possibly aspire for. Beyond the statues of governance and policymaking alone, the course would aid the critical evaluation of processes of urbanization.

The course contributes to the overall practice-based learning objectives of the University
curriculum. The course will enable a continuous process of rethinking about development. and its interventionist tendencies through the city as a space and a place. It will enable students to employ perspectives from critical urbanisms to explain various negotiations and contestations along the lines of caste, class, gender, religion that frames everyday life in Indian cities.