UPSC » UPSC CSE Study Materials » Geography » Urbanisation In India

Urbanisation In India

Fundamental changes for ancient towns have occurred because of India's unprecedented speed of urbanisation.

The first municipal corporation in India was established at Madras in 1687-88. Municipal Corporations were established in Bombay in 1865 and Calcutta in 1876. In 1882, a resolution was passed mandating the formation of panchayats at the village level and district councils, taluq councils, and municipalities. Lord Ripon was the Viceroy of India, and he is regarded as the father of Indian local self-government.

Since independence, urbanisation has been centred on the following five-year plans:

The first two plans concentrated on establishing institutions and organisations, and the states were encouraged to do so too.

Reasons for urbanisation in India:

  1. Industrialisation:

One of the principal drivers of urbanisation is industrialisation. Individuals from backward districts have moved to metropolitan areas looking for better work possibilities.

  1. Social Reasons:

Many social aspects, like metropolitan areas’ attractions, better living, more fundamental freedoms, and the desire for individualistic pursuits, urge people to move to cities.

  1. Business Opportunities:

In the rural area, people depend largely upon agriculture for survival. Agriculture is dependent on rain for harvest in India. People want to join a different profession and move to cities for new opportunities.

  1. Modernisation:

Large highways, access to communication, better health conditions attract people from the rural areas towards cities. People know that they can live a better life in the city compared to their villages.

The Impacts of urbanisation in India:

Some of the effects of urbanisation:

Positive Impact:

  1. An improvement in one’s degree of living. 
  2. Opportunities for work in metropolitan regions.
  3. Transportation and communication accessibility.

When urbanisation is restricted to an acceptable level, it is suitable for everyone. Uncontrolled Migration of people from rural areas to cities have many negative impacts.

Negative outcome:

  1. Overpopulation Issue: The massive population is an enormous issue in metropolitan areas. It has incited lower personal satisfaction, the increment of slums, etc.
  2. Joint Family Disintegration: It is challenging to keep a joint family because of the unprecedented ordinary expense for essential things in the metropolitan areas. Individuals prefer nuclear families.
  3. Increased cost for essential items: The huge average cost is the fundamental issue of interest in metropolitan areas. Places like Mumbai and Bengaluru are costly, and people have to work hard to sustain themselves.
  4. Unsurprising Relations: Impersonal relations depict metropolitan centre interests. In urban areas, the possibility of privacy and peaceful life is non-existent. Life in the city is incredibly challenging, and people might have mental health issues along these lines. Individuals are selfish and uninterested towards people.
  5. Pollution: Pollution is a massive issue in industrialised metropolitan areas. The main factor behind the pollution is a large number of vehicles for transportation.
  6. Stress: Stress is a part of city living, affecting family relationships.

Planning in urbanisation :

Planning is primarily centralised, and state planning boards and commissions have yet to issue specific planning strategies, relying instead on the Planning Commission. It is expected to change under the current administration. As the planning commission has been eliminated, the emphasis is now on improving the federal system and strengthening the states.

In fact, for large cities, the plans have grown outmoded and do not represent the concerns of local urban residents; this is something that the Metropolitan Planning Committee must address under the 74th Amendment Act’s regulations. To meet the requirements of city people, decentralised and inclusive planning is now required.

There is also a scarcity of human resources for large-scale planning. State planning bureaus and national planning bodies desperately need qualified planners. Land use, infrastructure, ecological sustainability, social integration, risk mitigation, economic output, and economic diversification are areas where planners should expand their reach from physical to integrated planning.


Industrialisation is the period of social and economic changes transforming human society from an agrarian society into an industrial society for manufacturing. The industrial population is divided into a small group of owners for production. A larger group of workers sell their labour-power (i.e., capacity to work) to their capitalist employers in exchange for wages.

The Industrial Revolution had various effects on different groups, as one might imagine. The gentry and aristocracy prospered as the rents on the estates they possessed increased (due to more extensive demands of agricultural products and the mines and railways which passed through their lands). The changes in social structure were unaffected.

After Industrialization and Urbanisation in India, the vast majority of the new group became the foundation of the new ‘middle class.’

They were politically active and more well-represented and took intellectual inspiration from liberal economic concepts, which grew in popularity.

The most significant disorganisation and disturbance occurred in the lives of the workers. They were now solely reliant on pay for survival. They acclimate to the regularity and monotony of industrial employment, frequently under duress and always with difficulty. Workers’ primarily spent their lives in the Dickensian squalors of the new cities, where illnesses were common.

Conclusion :

As a result, we can conclude that urbanisation is increasing in India daily, with full support for possibilities and a high standard of living. However, as urbanisation accelerates, it creates obstacles to balanced, fair, and inclusive growth. People learn about each other’s cultures and share knowledge, which helps break down the boundaries between people. In reality, societal structures are dispersing, such as family structures transitioning from joint to nuclear.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

Winds in deserts have what kind of effect on the environment?

Ans. Wind abrasion sculpts the rocks and boulders in deserts. Wind abrasion can damage rocks and boulders in windy areas where sa...Read full

What is weathering?

Ans. The blowing of material against cliffs and large rocks is how weathering is caused by the win...Read full

How is Loess formed?

Ans. These deposits are known as loess when they are formed by the wind depositing fine particles ...Read full

What are the effects of wind erosion on the landscape?

Ans. Wind erosion creates a variety of features, including rock pedestals, yardang, deflation holl...Read full