Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India: NITI Aayog, 16 SEP 2021, launched a report on measures to ramp up urban planning capacity in India.
- The report is titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’.
- It was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Shri Amitabh Kant and Special Secretary Dr K. RajeswaraRao.
- The event was attended by the Secretaries of the ministries of housing and urban affairs, higher education, and panchayati raj, and chairpersons of AICTE and TCPO, Director of NIUA and President of ITPI.
About the report:
- The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with concerned ministries and eminent experts in the domain of urban and regional planning.
- The report presents a condensed outcome of the extensive deliberations and consultations conducted over a period of nine months.
- The report has made several recommendations that can unblock bottlenecks in the value chain of urban planning capacity in India.
- Some of them are as follows:
Programmatic Intervention for Planning of Healthy Cities:
- Every city must aspire to become a ‘Healthy City for All’ by 2030.
- The report recommends a Central Sector Scheme ‘500 Healthy Cities Programme’, for a period of 5 years, wherein priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.
Re-engineering of Urban Governance:
- The report recommends the constitution of a high-powered committee to re-engineer the present urban-planning governance structure. The key aspects that would need to be addressed in this effort are:
- Clear division of the roles and responsibilities of various authorities, appropriate revision of rules and regulations, etc.,
- Creation of a more dynamic organizational structure, standardisation of the job descriptions of town planners and other experts, and
- Extensive adoption of technology for enabling public participation and inter-agency coordination.
Revision of Town and Country Planning Acts:
- Formation of an apex committee at the state level is recommended to undertake a regular review of planning legislations (including town and country planning or urban and regional development acts or other relevant acts).
Demystifying Planning and Involving Citizens:
- The committee strongly recommends a ‘Citizen Outreach Campaign’ for demystifying urban planning.
Steps for Strengthening Urban Planning Education System:
- The Central universities and technical institutions in all the other States/UTs are encouraged to offer postgraduate degree programmes (MTech Planning) to cater to the requirement of planners in the country in a phased manner.
Measures for Strengthening Human Resource and Match Demand–Supply:
- The report recommends the constitution of a ‘National Council of Town and Country Planners’ as a statutory body of the Government of India.
- Also, a ‘National Digital Platform of Town and Country Planners’ is suggested to be created within the National Urban Innovation Stack of MoHUA.
- This portal will enable self-registration of all planners and evolve as a marketplace for potential employers and urban planners.
About NITI Aayog:
- NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India (GoI).
- It was established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
- It was founded on 1 January 2015 to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- The Governing Council of NITI includes the Prime Minister as its Chairman.
- It comprises of Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories (UTs). The current Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog is Rajiv Kumar the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Amitabh Kant.