Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

India Initiative Launches at Brown

February 21, 2012

The India Initiative has been launched at Brown, based at Watson under the leadership of Institute Professor Ashutosh Varshney. The initiative will have two profiles – one research-related and the other dealing with India's public sphere and policy debates.

An initial project on urban governance has already begun. Jointly directed by Varshney and Institute Professor Patrick Heller, the project is building collaborative arrangements with two Indian institutions: the Center for Policy Research (Delhi), a leading policy research institute; and Janaagraha (Bangalore), a major urban non-governmental organization. Early work is focused on Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.

By 2030, India's population will be 50 percent urban for the first time in history. With rapid economic growth rates, rural to urban migration is swelling cities, causing new urban settlements to be built, and putting huge pressures on the environment and governance. What happens to Indian cities will shape India's rise and fortunes in the coming decades.

The new urban research project will not only enhance understanding, but also aim to propose workable solutions.

Additional research is foreseen in such areas as national security, domestic conflict management, political economy, and the environment.

Further details about the initiative will unfold in the coming semester.