Factors and Consequences

•    Urban settlement is an area having high rise buildings, good roads and transportation, and engages predominantly in secondary and tertiary activities. An urban area is defined on the bases of different criteria, like demographic, economic, social, morphological and functional. Urban settlements are generally classified into urban village, town, city, metropolis, conurbation and megalopolis.
•    According to the census of India, towns are the areas that satisfy the following criteria:
a.    Inhabited by a minimum population of 5,000
b.    At least 75% of its male working population is engaged in non-agricultural activities
c.    A population density of minimum 400 persons per sq km
•    Towns with population of 1 million and above are termed as cities. Each city or town with its outgrowths is treated as an ‘Urban Agglomeration’.
•    The classification of urban areas is mainly determined by their:
a.    Social functions
b.    Economic functions
c.    Size of population, and
d.    Administrative functions
•    Urban village is an area with semi-urban characteristics. It is also known as urban center, market town, semi-urban town and rural town.
•    A town is the smallest unit of urban settlement. The population of a town should be less than 1 lakh. It is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city.
•    A city is a large, densely populated and permanent settlement. In India, only those areas are termed as cities that have more than 1 lakh population.
•    Metropolis is a very large and densely populated urban area. In India, cities having one million people or more are termed as metropolis.
•    A megalopolis is a chain of adjacent metropolitan areas. It is formed by the outgrowth of many metropolises. India has not yet attained this maturity of urban growth.
•    A conurbation consists of a large metropolis and a number of small towns and suburbs. It is formed by the coalescence of small towns or cities.
•    The growth of cities and towns is directly associated with the favourable economic, social and natural conditions.
•    Natural factors influencing the location and growth of urban centres are relief, climate, and presence of natural resources.
•    Break Transport Theory was coined by C.H. Hooley in 1930. A break in transportation is defined as a place where one mode of transport terminates and the other mode starts.
•    Industrialisation and urbanisation are closely related. In India, industrial towns like Jamshedpur, Durgapur, etc., are important iron and steel centres. Towns, like Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Surat, etc., have concentrations of cotton textile mills.
•    The commercial activities help small towns to grow and change themselves into big towns.
•    Religious faith has been a major driving force in the process of urbanisation. In India, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rameswaram, Varanasi, etc., are some of the good examples of religious towns.
•    Political factors have their own importance in the growth and development of cities. For example, the decision to establish Chandigarh was a political decision.


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  • Q1

    What are the criteria for census towns?


    The main criteria for census towns are:

    1. A minimum population of 5000 persons.
    2. At least 75% of male working population engaged in non agricultural pursuits.
    3. A density of population of at least 400 persons per sq. km.

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  • Q2

    Define statutory towns.


    All places which have municipal, or corporation, or cantonment board, or a notified town area committee are known as statutory towns.

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  • Q3

    Mention the types of towns identified by Census of India 2001.


    The census of India identifies two types of towns:

    1. Statutory Towns
    2. Census Towns

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  • Q4

    Give the classification of towns of India by urban historians.


    Urban historians classify towns of India as:

    1. Ancient Towns:

    There are 45 ancient towns in India which are over 2000 years old.

    2. Medieval Towns:

    There are about 100 towns in India which originated in the medieval period.

    3. Modern Towns:

    These towns were developed by the Britishers and other European colonizers.

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  • Q5

    Write short notes on evolution of towns in India?


    Towns florished since prehistoric times in India. Even at the time of Indus valley civilisation, towns like Harappa and Mohanjodaro were in existence. The following period has witnessed evolution of towns. It continued with periodic ups and downs until the arrival of Europeans in India in the eighteenth century On the basis of their evolution in different periods, Indian towns may be classified as: 1) Ancient Towns 2) Medieval towns and 3) Modern towns.

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