By Dr Saraswati Raju
The author is Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, JNU, New Delhi
Despite being projected as engines of growth, towns and cities in India have a high incidence of poverty. However, the poverty rates vary significantly across states as also across urban centres.
A large part of urban growth in the less developed countries has historically been linked with stagnation and volatility of agriculture and an absence of nonfarm diversification in the agrarian economy. India is no exception to this phenomenon. This, in turn, has led to out migration of the poor from backward rural areas and their absorption within the urban informal economy. The primary concern in urbanisation-related policies has therefore been finding a solution for these out migrating regions. Although restricting...