In the year 2005, the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, launched a reform-led national investment program aimed at developing cities in India through strategic infrastructure investments titled Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
In order to respond to the emerging needs of capacity building through cross learning and knowledge exchange between JNNURM cities, the PEARL (Peer Exchange and Reflective Learning) program was initiated in 2007. NIUA was designated as the national coordinator for the PEARL program.
The objective of the PEARL program is to enhance knowledge exchange and cross learning between JNNURM cities through creation of manageable networks by peer grouping.
The Cities Alliance supported Knowledge Support for PEARL was initiated in the year 2010 to strengthen then horizontal learning network through strategic support in terms of accessing knowledge needs of cities, provide inputs in designing knowledge exchange initiatives in terms of concept notes, program briefs, etc., and finally plugging PEARL to other national and international knowledge exchange networks to access their expertise in knowledge sharing and exchange.