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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Identify the factors and highlight the steps taken to counter the menace of growing slum areas along with rapid pace of urbanization in India. (250 words)

    23 Feb, 2019 GS Paper 3 Economy


    • Write some data related to the slum population in India.
    • Identify the factors and highlight the steps taken to counter the menace of growing slum areas.
    • Give a way forward to further develop the urban landscape.


    • Slums are an essential urban phenomenon and are strung at the lowest rung of the socio -economic collection. They are the shadow zones of urban existence where poverty, crime, aesthetic pollution apart from other types of pollutions, disease and deprivation co-exist.
    • In census 2011 the level of urbanization was 31.16 percent. By 2050, 60% population of the country will live in cities as India’s rate of urbanization is dramatic. The 17.4 % of all urban households is slum, which account for roughly one-third of India's 1.2 billion people.


    The factors of growing slum areas are essentially related with the rapid pace of the urbanisation:-

    • Rapid pace of Urbanisation: It is the cause of growing slum as the growth of urban areas is not planned and futuristic. These slums occurred due to various factors :
      • the shortage of developed land for housing
      • the prices of land being beyond in reach of urban poor
      • large effect of population, rural migration to cities in search of jobs
      • Insufficient provision of basic services and infrastructural services in the urban areas.
    • Social exclusion and economic stagnation:  It forces the poor to adapt to conditions beyond his or her control. Poor families that cannot afford transportation, or those who simply lack any form of affordable public transportation, generally end up in slum settlements within walking distance or close enough to the place of their formal or informal employment.
    • Poverty: ‘Slum conditions are caused by poverty.’ (UN-HABITAT, 2003). In India millions of people leave the rural areas because of poverty and lack of future perspectives for earning a living. These desperate migrants seek to improve their circumstances in urban areas and more often than not end up living in slums in and around these cities.
    • Insecure tenure and informal jobs: One of the reasons that slums exist is the lack of secure tenure in the jobs due to informal nature of the economy.

    Steps taken to counter the menace of growing slum areas: -

    • The major programmes started by the Government of India towards inclusive city development with focus on slums, including the provision of basic services and affordable housing to the urban poor, were
      • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) – Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) & Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP)
      • Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) and Affordable Housing in Partnership.
    • Another major scheme by the Government for the slum dwellers and the urban poor (2013-2022) was Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). This scheme aimed at bringing existing slums within the formal system and enabling them to avail of the same level of basic amenities as the rest of the town.
    • The Government has launched a new scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- “Housing for All (Urban)” Mission, which will be implemented during 2015-2022. The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers.
    • ‘Smart City Mission’ and AMRUT are also major government initiatives. Both were jointly planned and launched by the government to transform urban living conditions through infrastructure upgradation.


    With the provision of housing scheme some more steps are also needed to be taken whole heartedly.

    • Ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection
    • Increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks)
    • Reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling).

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