Exploring Multi-disciplinary Approach in Urban Planning: Need for a Paradigm Shift in Planning Education in India

Anil Kumar Roy
Associate Professor,
Faculty of Planning,
CEPT University,
Email: royanil@gmail.com
Debjani Ghosh
Senior Research Officer,
National Institute of Urban Affairs,
New Delhi,
Email: dghosh@niua.org
Ajith Kaliyath
Environment Specialist,
South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub,
National Institute of Urban Affairs,
New Delhi,
Email: ajithkaliyath@gmail.com


Largeurban centers are fast becoming multi-ethnic and multi-linguisticzones of settlement assimilating a cosmopolitan character due toinherent impact of globalisation. Urban settlements also act as aservice centre for large-scale human activities catering to needs oftheir hinterlands. Hence, the issues pertaining to urban settlementare diverse that demand a holistic and pluralistic approach to dealwith. To understand the diverse issues of modern cities especially inthe developing world, there is a need for a multi-disciplinaryapproach and perspective to widen the subject horizon of planningeducation. This study hence, tries to assess to what extent theglobal and national urban agenda are incorporated into the coursecurriculum of planning education in India. Secondly, while globalplanning education focus on multi-disciplinary skill development todeal with the global urban agenda, does Indian planning educationprovide adequate attention to the contemporary urban agenda? Thirdly,it also examines whether or not the existing curricula and pedagogiesare relevant to the present days needs of the planning profession.Historically the planning education in India started with colonialinfluence of regulatory provisioning of civic administration underthe town and country planning framework; however, there has been amajor diversification in specialisation within planning coursesincorporating the multiple-dimensions of urbanisation. While thereexists a model curriculum, public funded schools of planning havebeen innovative in addressing the contemporary needs of planningeducation tools compared to those run by private institutions. It isobserved that the outreach of planning education is low in Indiagiven the vastness and requirements of planning professionals in thecountry under rapid and higher economic growth and urbanisation.