Working Paper No- 437
Shedding light on unnoticed gems in India: Small towns’ development perspective Mitra, Arup and Tripathi, Sabyasachi 2021 Employment, Labour and Informal Sector Though a large portion of India’s urban population is living in large cities, the latest Census period (2001-2011) showed that small towns (population less than 0.1 million) such as Census towns have contributed 30% of the country’s urban growth. This phenomenon calls for bringing small towns into the limelight of the current urban development policies of India. In this context, the present paper investigates the determinants of the growth of small towns and their locations. The empirical exercise is performed by considering cluster analysis. Descriptive analysis suggests that in terms of coverage of cities and towns under different important urban policies the small towns are highly neglected. Cluster analysis suggests that different groups among the small towns are noticeable. The availability of infrastructure and amenities is very important for the growth of small towns in India and they are emerging in the vicinity of large cities with low variation in distance and population size. The results reveal that their emergence is the second-best solution after the scope for expansion gets exhausted within the city proper. Finally, policy options are recommended to make small towns more productive in the future so that they contribute to sustainable and higher economic growth in India.
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