ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unpacking the Black Box of Urban Governance in India

Governing Locally: Institutions, Policies and Implementation in Indian Cities by Babu Jacob and Suraj Jacob, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp xxv + 293, $110 (hardback).

Efficient and equitable urban service delivery is the key to make cities “engines of economic gro­wth” and liveable. A majority of the ­Indian cities are riddled with serious infrastructural deficits and high incidences of poverty. Theoretical debates as well as empirical evidence around local governance argue for “getting institutions right” and participatory governance to improve urban service delivery. However, even after 25 years of the 74th amendment to the Constitution—provisions of which relate directly to decentralised mode of delivering urban services—cities vary considerably in terms of provisioning of key urban services, inclu­ding water supply, sewerage, drainage, solid waste management, street lighting, and roads. It is a puzzle to urban studies scholarship, yet the literature on this is sparse and what little exists often misses the details of institutional structures and participatory processes. For this reason, Governing Locally Institutions: Policies and Implementation in Indian Cities is a timely and useful contribution to the burgeoning literature on local governance and its pursuit to build inclusive cities. This book dives deep inside the black box of urban governance in India and presents the complexities therein.

The Core Argument

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Updated On : 27th May, 2022
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