Governing the City

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSGA1SU2014

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Pritpal Singh Randhawa

Email of course coordinator: pritpal[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Non

Aim: This course is aimed at developing an understanding of the ways in which our cities are governed and managed by different actors, agencies and institutions, through various planning and policy initiatives in liberalized India, using the lens of urban inequality and sustainability.

Course Outcomes:

  1. To gain an understanding of actors, agencies and institutions responsible for governing and managing the city.
  2. To gain an ability to read planning, policy and programme documents.
  3. To build critical understanding of contemporary plans, policies and programmes.
  4. To understand how judiciary, civil society, NGO and media influence the decision making process.


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Unit 1 - Urbanisation and Governance: The unit will begin with the discussion on the patterns and challenges of urbanization in India from the perspective of urban poverty in the liberalization period. Thereafter, it will introduce the concept of governance. By doing so, it will unpack the tripartite (structure of urban governance national, state and city level), as also briefly discuss the 74th constitutional amendment to empower the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

Unit 2 - Participatory Processes: The unit will discuss the urban governance reforms after the introduction of 74th constitutional amendment in 1992 till the initiative of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under Smart City Mission in 2015. It will also delve upon the other forms of participatory processes such Bhaghidari initiative and Mohalla Sabha in Delhi.

Unit 3 - Reading Plans, Policies and Programmes: Alongside giving an overview of urban planning and policy in India in the liberalisation era, the bulk of the unit will be delivered in a workshop mode wherein the students would be trained to critically read different kinds of planning, policy and programme documents.

Unit 4 - Advocacy and Activism: This unit will bring into focus the role of civil society, non-government organizations (NGOs), media and judiciary in shaping urban policies and plans. Interventions such as public interest litigations, research and media advocacy, and forms of collective actions would be studied.

Assessment Details with weights:

Types of Assessment



Types of Assignments



Formative Assessment

Short Response note to evaluate reading, analytical and writing skills (10%).

Hands-on activities in the class – reading, understanding and analysing plans and programmes (30%)

Field trip based group work (Field report) – understanding the issue in the field and relating it with course material (10%)

Summative Assessment



Mid Term Exam (25%)



End Semester Exam (25%)




Reading List:

  • Batra, L. (2009). A Review of Urbanisation and Urban Policy in Post-Independent India. Working paper Series (CSLG/WP/12), Centre for the Study of Law and Governance. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University.
  • Bhagat, RB (2011). Emerging Pattern of Urbanisation in India, Economic and Political Weekly 46(34): 10–12.
  • Bhowmik, S. K. (2010) (eds). Street Vendors in the Global Economy, New Delhi: Routledge (Chapter 12: Advocacy Coalitions Influencing Informal Sector Policy: The Case of India’s National Urban Street Vendors Policy).
  • Doshi, S. (2013). The Politics of the Evicted: Redevelopment, Subjectivity, and Difference in Mumbai's Slum Frontier, Antipode,45 (4), 844–65.
  • , S. T. (2011). Urban Governance: How Democratic? In Zérah, M. H., Dupont, V. and Lama-Rewal, S. T. (eds), Urban Policies and Right to the City in India, New Delhi: UNESCO and Centre de Sciences Humaines.
  • Mohanty Aditya (2014). When Participation Trumps Governance: From Bhagidari to Mohalla Sabhas in Delhi, Economic and Political Weekly, 49 (14),pg
  • Munshi, S., Abraham, B. P. and Chaudhari, S. (2009). The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Good Governance, Delhi: Sage Publication India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Priya, R. (1993). Town Planning Public Health and Urban Poor: Some Exploration from Delhi, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 (17), 824-834.
  • Reut, J., Lama-Rewal, S. T. (2009). Governing India’s Metropolisis, Delhi: Routledge (Chapter 1: Engaging with the Concept of Governance in the Study of Indian Metropolises).
  • Sivaramakrishnan K C (2013) Revisiting the 74th Constitutional Amendment for Better Metropolitan Governance. Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (13), 86-94.
  • Zimmer, A. (2011). Everyday governance of the waste waterscapes A Foucauldian analysis in Delhi’s informal settlements, PhD Dissertation submitted to Rheinische Friedrich‐Wilhelms‐University of Bonn (Chapter II: Governmentality and Everyday Governing Practices in the Waste Waterscapes: Theoretical Consideration for the Analysis).