The 21st Century India lives in cities which will be increasingly densified as crucial opportunities grow in the cities. The urban landscapes in India are unplanned, chaotic and lack in infrastructure and services. There is a need for planned development of the cities and provision of urban infrastructure like water supply, sewerage, sanitation and connectivity etc. Other facilitating services including information and communication technology (ICT) are required to be given to citizens. However, urban local bodies and the city administration neither care nor capable to provide this infrastructure and services. There is a need to build up the capacities of local bodies in India. Thus, dedicated professionally trained staff looking into different aspects of urban governance, strengthening of institutions, connecting technological institutions with cities and focus of capacity building for planned urban development is needed
Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are crucial in implementing development and reform interventions in urban sector. However, there is a dire need of capacity building of ULBs. Training is an important component of capacity building. Systematic Training Needs Assessment (TNA) helps improving effectiveness of training programmes. Various studies and reports of TNA of ULBs in India are reviewed in this paper and a comprehensive framework for TNA of ULBs in India is afforded. The objectives of TNA, sample size and distribution vary widely and depend on the scope of TNA. Almost all TNAs reviewed are conducted by an external consultant, majority from the private sector. Setting objectives of TNA is directs the course of a TNA study. Job/functional analysis and competency gap analysis are important steps in TNA. Workshops are increasingly being resorted to assess training needs. Training Needs, training modules and a training strategy including potential training institutes are common outputs of TNA.
With the rising levels of urbanization and the growth of urban population, the pressure on development of cities is increasing in India, as elsewhere in countries of developing world. The development of cities primarily constitutes the development of land, housing and provision of civic infrastructure services for the growing urban population. The development and maintenance of urban infrastructure would require large amount of resources – material, manpower and money. Urban governance in India is inter-twined with three-tier system of government. With the addition of more functions through 74th CAA, the resource requirements have further increased in urban local governments (ULGs). Therefore, the ULGs need to harness human resources and build their capacity to meet with the pressures of urban development through urban reforms and better governance. In this context, the experiment of Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) through Capacity Enhancement Needs Assessment (CENA) framework is a useful reference to ULGs in other States. This paper discusses the features and application of CENA framework to urban sector Capacity Building (CB) by GoAP, which also gave inspiration to similar exercises by other states like Karnataka and Gujarat.
"An erroneous notion that capacity building relates only to training and imparting new skills to employees and improving their existing skills needs to be clarified. Capacity building is much more than training..."
Second Administrative Reforms Commission
Capacity Building (CB) of urban local self-governments (ULSG) has become a buzz word. An unprecedented wave of decentralisation that swept developed, developing and transitional economies across the world in the eighties of the last century, its culmination in India by pushing a big bang decentralisation through an amendment of the Indian Constitution in 1992, propounding of principles of local government and subsidiarity by the European Union and the catalytic role played by the institutions of ULSG have flagged the issue of CB that was never seen before. Focus on CB has acquired added significance also because of experience gained recently about the constraints observed in implementation of the urban sector flagship project – the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). A number of official committees, working groups and a commission have recently commented on fragile institutional capacity of ULSG and have argued for its strengthening for enabling them play their role by effective, efficient, inclusive and responsive discharge of functions mandated to them. Though their weak institutional capacity is well known, the experience especially about tardy implementation of JNNURM has highlighted a significant issue, i.e. the inability of states and cities to implement CB programmes at a scale and pace that will make a significant difference to the way in which our cities are governed and large scale programmes are implemented. While renewed emphasis on CB of urban local bodies is well placed, the modality for this, by and large, has been traditionally confined to training only. Training is seen as a panacea for CB. This paper, therefore, discusses the conceptual groundings of CB/development framework for demystifying CB as a concept and strategy. It argues that CB is much more comprehensive a concept than mere training. Subsequently, it identifies the elements of a CB framework that could help in a adopting a strategy for a CB initiative. This is followed by looking at the contemporary fascination for training as a means for CB, its limitations, and the gaps in existing training programme.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was launched to be a catalyst for urban development and poverty reduction to match India’s growing global leadership status and to allow the Government of India and states, to play the role of a facilitator by funding projects and sponsoring reforms. The fact is that no amount of investment, new infrastructure or additional finance could bring a miracle – ultimately the institutions charged with responsibilities have to be able to execute those responsibilities, draw on the resources available, and make sound decisions. Moreover, institutions at state and local level could provide powerful instruments to let the voice of ordinary citizens be heard, and to respond most directly to the requirements of consumers of services. A key issue of this review is to study the institutional arrangements that have been established under JNNURM to realize the objectives for urban development and assess their effectiveness to sustain the program.
The poor state of municipal finances in India is considered as responsible for the severe backlogs in the provision of urban infrastructure. Several studies and reports by expert committees including the Mckinsey Global Institute (MGI) Report and the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) Report in recent years have estimated the financial requirements for urban infrastructure and articulated strategies for mobilization. The MGI Report estimates reveal much higher requirements as compared to HPEC estimates towards both capital and O&M expenditure. The capital expenditure requirements over 20 year period as estimated by MGI Report stood at Rs 55.55 lakh crores as against the HPEC estimates of Rs 39.2 lakh crores and the O&M requirements stood at Rs 48.88 lakh crores as against the HPEC estimate of Rs 19.90 lakhs. The paper observed the need to adopt a normative approach to financing urban infrastructure at the national, state and city level as articulated by several studies to avoid under spending and ensure higher level of services. The paper observed that the required level of finances for urban infrastructure may not be impossible to mobilize if the growth rates in capital expenditure observed during 2002-03 and 2007-08 are sustained over the following years. The paper suggested that each state and city should undertake the exercise of assessment of infrastructure requirements on the lines of the HPEC estimates at the national level and a state level plan for streamlined allocation of finances as per the State Finance Commission Reports as well as city level action plans for revenue improvement should be prepared. The paper highlighted the need to bring out revenue improvement benchmarks (RIB) by the Ministry of Urban Development on the lines of service level bench marks (SLB) brought out in 2008. The paper suggested for speedy and effective implementation of various recommendations made by expert committees towards enhancing municipal finances by the national, state and local governments.
cities, in recent times, have become the worst victims of globalization processes. The consequent tribulations i.e. rapid urbanization, inadequate infrastructural facilities, environmental degradation and so on emphasize the need to revisit planning strategies and to undertake capacity building of ULBs so as to resolve these issues at local level. The enactment of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to empowers local bodies to undertake administration of urban areas. The paper, therefore, aims at examining the role of the ULBs in the administration of urban planning. The case study of the Municipal Council, Sahibzada Ajit Singh (SAS) Nagar revealed that ULBs, in present scenario, has been reduced to the subordinate agencies of development authorities. The development authorities, over the period, have encroached upon their constitutional functions as well as their financial resources. Thereby relegating the role of ULBs in administration of urban planning. Furthermore, the non-functional District Planning Committees has adversely affected the incorporation of participatory approach in urban planning and management. Hence, building up the capacity of ULBs by means of increased devolution of functions, upgrading their financial base, constitution of district planning committees and so on have became imperative.
The piece is based on a recent study on ‘The State of Cities in North-Western India: A case of Selected JNNURM Cities’ seeks to explore issues in urban governance and reforms in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in the context of JNNURM with special reference to Srinagar metropolitan town. The efforts have been made to highlight issues in institutional, functional and fiscal domain of the urban governance and give an overview of implementation of state and city level reforms under JNNURM in J&K in general and Srinagar in particular.
This paper is an attempt to highlight the vulnerabilities of stationary and mobile street vendors operating informal retail trade on urban space in Chandigarh. The survey is based on the sample of 500 migrant stationary & mobile street vendors. Findings of this study are useful to take administrative and welfare measures to remove vulnerabilities of street vendors. Street vendors provide goods at affordable prices to the consumers of middle and low income groups, while making their living. The maximum proportion of street vendors are land less labor migrated from rural areas of north India. Most of them are unregistered/ un licensed, hence prone to evictions/ confiscations and penalties by the municipal corporation in the pretext of encroachment of public space and creating nuisance. The economic status of mobile street vendors is relatively better than stationary street vendors, but all of them living below international poverty line ($1.25 per capita income per day). Street vendors encountered with number of problems like improper earnings, high cost of living, indecent working conditions such as lack of shelter, lack of drinking, improved sanitation, frequent evictions and confiscation of merchandise, uncertainty of sales and earnings etc. In addition to implement the newly enacted law on street vendors this paper also suggests measures like training, provision of allocation of public space to the vendors on first come first serve basis to improve their living standards.
Healthy Cities: Public Health through Urban Planning by Chinmoy Sarkar, Chris Webstar and John Gallacher, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, U.K, (ISBN 978178195)
Reader in Geography, School of Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi
Revisiting Land Acquisition and Urban Process, A.K. Jain, (2014), Readworthy Publication, New Delhi.
Former Director, Ganga Institute of Architecture & Town Planning
Support Programme for Urban Reform (SPUR) Project in Bihar
Thematic Leader- Municipal Finance & Accounting, SPUR