IIHS will create India’s first independent National Innovation University focussed on the challenges and opportunities of its urbanisation. This will be a privately funded globally-ranked education and action-oriented research institution at par with the celebrated Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). The IIHS will host an integrated programme of high quality education, research and knowledge generation, executive training, distance learning, design and advisory services, advocacy and intervention.

The IIHS is committed to the creation and management of equitable, efficient, economic and sustainable urban settlements, regions and villages. It will draw upon the best available international talent, a global network of knowledge partners including leading universities like MIT and UCL, London; praxis partners like Ideo and Arup; a body of South Asia-centric knowledge and a state-of-the-art inter-disciplinary curriculum. The space between theory and practice will be bridged by drawing on the experience of leading firms and practitioners as well as academic and research institutions from across the globe.

A 100-strong, globally recruited faculty organised around six Schools will deliver interdisciplinary education to a domestic and international body of about 1,100 resident undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, in about six years, before scaling to other campuses. Another 150 professionals will reach out to over 25,000 distance learners and 10,000 executive education participants annually through a multilingual programme delivered locally and via e-learning.

Meeting the Challenge of India’s Urbanisation

Over the coming half century, India’s urban population is expected to increase from a little over 300 million to about 800 million, accounting for more than half of the nation's total population. India will make a historic transition from a largely rural and agrarian society to one that is predominantly urban. This will be more than just an economic transition. It will result in the transformation of Indian society, culture, natural and built environments and politics.

This massive population shift will result in an explosion in the demand for livelihoods; for more urban space, housing and services; for improved governance; and for a new politics – on a scale that no democracy has confronted in history.

The future of India will hinge on these challenges being handled with wisdom and alacrity. This could tilt the balance towards a more secure, sustainable and prosperous global future.

Education - the Prime Need

Ironically, the fundamental constraint to the orderly, equitable and sustainable growth and transformation of India’s urban settlements is not capital nor, perhaps, political competence, but the availability of sufficient numbers of well educated professionals, entreprenuers and changemakers committed to the common good.

Unfortunately, India’s higher education system has no professional programme built around inter-disciplinary skills (straddling engineering, architecture, urban design, planning, ecology, economics, politics, law, the arts and the other social sciences) or scale of learners necessary for the satisfactory development, management and governance of India’s 5,000-odd cities and towns and 0.6 million villages.

IIHS announces a short-course on
Re-Imagining the 'World-Class' City
for interested postgraduates students and young professionals.
short-course will be held at Bangalore 
from 14th to 18th June 2011.
  Click here for more details.

New at IIHS
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The Indian Institute for Human Settlements is being established to address these well-acknowledged and daunting challenges and facilitate appropriate responses and solutions.