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India Infrastructure Report 2023

  • 07 Dec 2023
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Urban Planning, Urban local bodies, Municipal bonds, India Infrastructure Report, Urban Heat Islands

For Mains: Major Challenges Related to India’s Urban Space, Recent Initiatives Related to Urban Development.

Source: PIB

Why in News?

Recently, the India Infrastructure Report (IIR) 2023 on Urban Planning and Development was released, it is a comprehensive document that covers various aspects of infrastructure planning, finance and governance in the country.


  • IDFC Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports social infrastructure, research, and advocacy in India
    • It publishes reports and papers that offer new insights and solutions for infrastructure development.
  • iDeCK is a joint venture of the Government of Karnataka, IDFC Foundation and HDFC that works on sustainable infrastructure projects. It supports research and capacity building activities through IDFC Foundation and ICAP Trust.

What are the Key Highlights of the India Infrastructure Report?

  • Thematic Focus on Urban Challenges:
    • The IIR systematically addresses key themes that are central to India's urban challenges.
      • These include planning and governance, smart initiatives, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and financing, housing and migration, public service delivery, integrating infrastructure, and urban redevelopment.
  • Critique of Planning Mechanism:
    • Criticizes existing planning mechanisms, particularly restrictions on building construction, for rendering cities "unlivable" and contributing to the emergence of slums.
      • Highlights the role of poor planning as a major factor in urban challenges.
  • Low Floor Space Indices (FSIs) and Urban Sprawl:
    • Underscores the impact of low floor space indices (FSIs) or floor area ratios (FARs) on high-density development and urban sprawl (rapid expansion of cities and towns into undeveloped land).
      • A low Floor Space Index (FSI) means that a smaller area of a plot will be developed. It's a parameter used in urban planning to determine the maximum allowable construction density on a plot of land.
    • Links low FSI to the creation of slums, with a focus on planning errors leading to forced high population density.
    • The report advocates for cities to adopt a redevelopment policy, emphasizing the recovery of land from private owners in exchange for higher floor space indices (FSIs) and improved road connectivity.
    • Advocates for dynamic city building, stressing that the carrying capacity needs to increase in tandem with the growth of cities.
  • Financial Management of Urban Local Bodies:
    • Highlights the report's analysis of the financial management of urban local bodies, emphasizing the urgent need for financial sustainability.
    • Report advocates for PPPs and municipal bonds as essential tools for financing urban development projects.
      • The report noted that while India has led in PPPs, especially in roads, ports, airports and energy, few PPPs have happened in the urban sector.

India Infrastructure Report (IIR)

  • The IIR 2023 contains 25 chapters by prominent names in the urban development and policy ecosystem on the current state of urban development in India.
  • This annual publication has been instrumental in identifying and analyzing legal, fiscal, regulatory, technological, social, and conceptual aspects related to contemporary themes relevant to infrastructure development.
  • This makes it an invaluable resource for those involved in formulating urban policy, as well as for those interested in the development of India's infrastructure and urbanization, such as policymakers, investors, academics, financiers, and multilateral agencies.

What is the Current Urban Landscape in India?

  • India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and its growth is propelled by its cities.
    • Cities contribute 66% to the national GDP, a number expected to rise to 80% by 2050.
  • Urbanization has been relatively slow in India, with the share of the population living in officially classified urban settlements growing at a rate of just over 1.15% a year from 2001-2011.
  • India’s seven largest metropolitan areas are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad.

What are the Initiatives Related to Urban Development?

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year’s Question (PYQs)


Q. The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall isincreasing overthe years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. (2016)

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