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

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Mission Impossible

In the wake of the global enthusiasm for smart cities, the central government launched the ambitious Smart Cities Mission in 2015. Based on a detailed analysis of proposals of the top 60 cities, the mission is located within the larger urban reform process initiated in the 1990s. An attempt has been made to define smart cities to understand how they envisage questions of urban transformations, inclusion and democracy. The proposals reveal an excessive reliance on consultants, lack of effective participation, a common set of interventions that are accepted as “smart solutions,” and a shift towards greater control of urban local bodies by state governments.

Comparative Panchayat Systems

State Politics and Panchayats in India by Buddhadeb Ghosh and Girish Kumar; Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 2003; pp 243, Rs 475

D R Gadgil on Planning at the District Level

There is now very great need and scope for public sector planning in which district level planning must have a very important place. There is not only need but now a much greater possibility of transferring much larger resources to district level planning. Such plans, as D R Gadgil argued and his Wardha Plan demonstrated, have to be prepared with the help of experts and local level representatives and concerned people. The development needs of the vast rural India require this. Social scientists, activists as well as the Planning Commission and the state governments should now start afresh on this vital task.
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