How many census towns will there be?

CPR and CSH are pleased to invite you to a workshop on
Predicting 2019: How many census towns will there be?
Shamindra Nath Roy, Kanhu Charan Pradhan
Tuesday, 26 June 2018, 3:45 p.m.


India’s rural landscape is dotted with numerous villages where people do not work on the farm. The 2011 census highlighted the enormous growth of such areas, with new census towns (CTs) accounting for more than one third of the urban population growth during 2001-2011. The process of urban transformation in India is therefore not much about movement of people from rural to urban areas, rather it is about ‘morphing of places’ from rural to urban. Since the rural-urban identification process in India is ex-ante, using the past census data, this talk seeks to estimate the number of CTs that will be identified in 2019 for the 2021 census. It does so to ask whether the large increase in the number of CTs from 2001 to 2011 census was a one-off phenomenon or part of a longer process of rural-urban transformation. Since such prognosis requires a detailed review of the census methodology of determining CTs, it will also clarify certain challenges that arise during such identification. Along with this methodological review, this talk will present the regional distribution of CTs on the basis of last two censuses and the upcoming predictions; and offer insight on their spatial characteristics in relation to the larger cities and attempts to throw light on their economic characteristics in the broader context of rural-urban transformation. A better appreciation of this transformation is necessary to contextualise how well the policy framework is placed to manage and govern these areas, not only in the present but also in the future.

Shamindra Nath Roy and Kanhu Charan Pradhan are Senior Researchers at the Centre for Policy Research. Their current research includes patterns of rural-urban transformation, migration, labour force participation, and issues related to spatial segregation, urban informality and governance. Shamindra has an MA and MPhil and is a doctoral student in Geography at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Kanhu has an MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University and is currently a doctoral student in economics at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.

This workshop is free and there is no registration required. Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.

This is the hundredth and one in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Olivier Telle of CSH at, Partha Mukhopadhyay at or Marie-Hélène Zerah at

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