How should India urbanise?

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Focus on urban centers and focus less on far-flung regions in terms of infrastructure development (even providing reliable high-speed Internet access can open up numerous business opportunities). Instead divert those resources on making our metropolitan regions more productive and efficient. Foster an entrepreneurial climate by creating knowledge corridors around institutions of higher learning. Do not fight the natural trend of clustering by trying to spread economic growth around. Some regions will always be more productive than the others. We can instead focus on making them stronger by playing to its strengths.

If there is anything we can learn from the urban development of Silicon Valley or Research Triangle in the U.S., it is the underlying importance of the feedback loops of higher education institutions and the talent they attract. The trick in making the graduates stick around by offering them a climate of entrepreneurship through social & professional networking and heavy investment in infrastructure that focuses on quality of life. Urban areas with great weather already have an upper hand and India seems to be blessed with such regions.

Obviously, this is just a big-picture comment and specific details will be subject to debate.

My answer to “How should India urbanize?” asked here Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 8: How should India urbanise? was selected as one of the 11 winners in the Big Ideas for India contest. Rajesh Jain and Atanu Dey have been exploring solutions on India’s future developmental challenges and they rightly believe in the strength of the cities as an important factor.

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