Atanu Dey On India's Development

BBC Program on Cities and Rural Development.

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I have been promoting that idea — that the solution to rural development lies in urban planning — for a few years. The RISC model (Rural Infrastructure & Services Commons) is about planting the seeds of in situ urbanization in rural India. Glad to see that the idea that urbanization is essential for development and growth is gaining momentum. One of these centuries, the government of India may even wake up. Although by then, I will be with yesterday’s seven thousand year.

This program was broadcast on 24th Jan, and then repeated on the following two days.

Should governments go with the flow and encourage the growth of cities or should they instead be spending money on rural development?

For the first time in history more than half of the world’s population live in cities -home to some of the poorest, as well as the richest, people on the planet

This mass migration from the countryside to urban areas is now being championed by the World Bank, which believes that cities – slums and all – offer the best hope of ending poverty. Cities, the argument goes, drive economic growth – encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation and wealth creation.

So should governments go with the flow and encourage the growth of cities?

Or should they instead be spending money on rural development?

Featuring some of the world’s foremost economic thinkers – from Nobel laureate Paul Krugman to anti-poverty campaigner Jeffrey Sachs – ‘Slums and Money’ explores the arguments for and against. At stake is the poverty or prosperity of billions.