Indian cities are yet to get the attention they deserve despite their role as the growth engines of the economy, felt speakers at the launch of Isher Judge Ahluwalia’s book “Transforming our Cities, Postcards of Change” on Monday.
(L-R) Chief Editor and Publisher HarperCollins Krishan Chopra, HarperCollins CEO P M Sukumar, Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, Author Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Finance Minister P Chidambram and GM Taj Mahal Delhi Satyajeet Krishnan at the book release in New Delhi. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
In his welcome speech, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, said that a big part of the Indian development story was how villages were transforming themselves into towns.
(L-R) Financial Express Editor Sunil Jain, Director for Geo-economics and Strategy Sanjaya Baru, Union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, BJP leader Arun Jaitley and NDTV Group Editor Barkha Dutt at the book launch in New Delhi. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
Releasing the book, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that with more than 40 per cent of Indians expected to live in cities within a decade, improving the living standards in urban areas would be a key to improve the quality of life for all Indians.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with wife Isher Judge Ahluwalia at the book launch. (IE Photo: Amit Mehra)
Ahluwalia’s book, published by HarperCollins and the Express Book Series, is based on a collection of columns written by the applied economist published in The Indian Express and The Financial Express. It was released to a packed gathering of policy makers, regulators and public figures who listened attentively to the panel discussion on ‘The State of our Cities’.
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi,Najeeb Jung, along with Montek Singh Ahluwalia and UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani at the book release function. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
Guests at Isher Judge Ahluwalia's book release in New Delhi on Monday. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
In the discussion, Sanjaya Baru of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said cities needed their own political institutions and one way to achieve that was to empower mayors.
Isher Judge Ahluwalia in conversation with Salman Khurshid. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
The book, as Ahluwalia described it, brings together living examples of local initiatives across India, which as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh notes in his foreword to the book, has deep implications for future strategies of urbanisation.
Isher Judge Ahluwalia poses with Gursharan Kaur. (IE Photo:Amit Mehra)