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Published on Sep 8, 2015
The standard narrative of India’s demographic dynamics has been based on a historical assumption that India lives in its villages. Though this narrative has contributed significantly to the plans and policies of the Government of India, especially those governing urbainsation and employment. India’s urbainsation is assumed to be top-heavy in nature, resulting in the formulation of infrastructure investment plans that focus on large cities (population greater than 100, 000 persons). During 2010-2014, this was visible in the structure of the JNNURM, and currently in the structure of AMRUT. Additional employment is expected to be generated in cities, resulting in the urban focus areas of skilling programmes and rural unemployment benefit schemes, such as Sklls India and NREGS. This presentation takes a closer look at how the demographic characteristics of the country are changing, primarily over the last decade, and assesses the robustness of the standard narrative.