We need 300 to 400 new cities: C.K. Prahalad

We need 300 to 400 new cities: C.K. Prahalad

Thursday, 30 July 2009, 11:21 Hrs   |    33 Comments
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We need 300 to 400 new cities: C.K. Prahalad
New Delhi: India's proposed unique identity project would help the government reduce corruption in the implementation of welfare schemes and ensure that the benefits of such programmes reach the right people, renowned management thinker C.K. Prahalad said Thursday.

"Never has it been implemented anywhere in the world. This would help minimise leakages and corruption will itself get reduced," Prahalad said while speaking at an industry conference here.

The government's ambitious identity project seeks to give a unique identity number to each of the country's 1.17 billion people.

The government has set up a special agency, Unique Identification Database Authority of India (UIDIA), to execute the project.

Referring to the recent controversies over land acquisition for industrial purposes in India, Prahalad said there has to be "transparency" in the land acquisition process.

"While we acquired land for major industrial units earlier, we made it a point to offer jobs to the owners of the land. I think what lacked in recent acquisition for SEZs (special economic zones) was lack of a clear-cut policy that could have made the process simple," he said.

The management guru added that it was difficult to reverse the flow of migration from rural to urban areas.

"We need 300 to 400 new cities. But despite all this 40 percent of India's population would remain in villages," he added.

Prahalad is a professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in the US and has written several well-known books on corporate strategy.
Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(33)
1: Dear Mr C.K. Prahalad,

After all these comments, may we know your thoughts and plan of action? It is not merely defining / creating cities, but other important areas to take this new challenge.
Posted by:Sudharak - 05 Aug, 2009
What is this site all about.... I got a msg for this link..
what these people want actually.... I simply did'nt get the moto of this site.....
Aditya Replied to: Sudharak - 16 Nov, 2009
3: I would have imagined CKP to be capable of talking beyond the ordinary. Quick fix solutions like are nice to hear but far too different in exceution. Is this what age and migration (to US) does to people? You talk just because you are invited or don't have much else to do..

PS: I do not work for the GOI nor belong to any political party in India
Posted by:Ravinder Bhan - 31 Jul, 2009
4: It is easy to buid a new city from scratch then to uplift villages. Good example is Chandigarh. If we can plan a city in 50's then why not now. Rural people have a choice either to stay in their village or move to new city.
Posted by:G.Singh - 30 Jul, 2009
5: Corruption is rampant. Among the highest in the world. I invested my hard earned money but the bureaucrats kept stealing through corruption. They have a total sense of entitlement. Finally I got rid of the investments for a loss. There is no recourse for corruption. It has gotten worse over the years.
Posted by:Babu - 30 Jul, 2009
6: Even Satyam Computer was not spared by corruption.
The Management Mantra to make rich more richer was the case in Nandigram and Singur in WB where the poor foresaw the SEZ arrived to them as Special Exploitation Zone.
My humble advice is to leave the politician lay off for 10 years only and let the country run by non political honest people who have proved proven track record.
Next to politicians or more than them our public servants who like to be called bureaucrats and media is corrupt. At least politicians have to serve a little to to mandate and some time accountability but public servants like our bosses and media persons have no accountability.
Posted by:Reza - 30 Jul, 2009
7: I would say rather creating new city, we should think how to provide city like facilities in all villages without disturbing Nature.
Posted by:Ali - 30 Jul, 2009
"India lives in its villages". Make each village a republic - each a fully sustainable unit which generates a net surplus and "gives out" like the Kalpavrisksha.

Prof. Prahalad is floating in "Trishanku". Please do not offer more "bubbles" and rob Peter to pay Paul. You will generate more numbers of absolute poor, more numbers to feed with subsidies, food, water.. Let us stay put in Michigan, the state with 22% unemployment and do stuff for our own state, Michigan, Prof. Prahalad.
Mohandas Replied to: Ali - 30 Jul, 2009
thats a cool thought
raul Replied to: Ali - 30 Jul, 2009
Yes, good point. There are sustainable, ecological tools available today that make a difference today - they just need to be communicated, implemented and not blocked by lobby and corruption. It is hard, but possible.
Helmut Replied to: Ali - 06 Jun, 2010
11: Its the right thing to do. Create new planned townships with necessary infra structure and connectivity to bigger cities. India has to allow private enterprise to participate and encourage decongestion of hyper cities. We have a long way to go but we have to start now so that the next 15 years sees some great results.
Posted by:manjunath - 30 Jul, 2009
12: With right system, we need leaders with right attitude who are transperent, non-selfish, non-power-hungry. We also need proper citizen charter, Equal Human Rights, un-biased judicial system, Law and order and mind-set to adopt new system. India can set the example and become super-power.
Posted by:Sudharak - 30 Jul, 2009
Very good thought Sudharak,, but let's not focus on becoming Super Power. Focus must paid towards improving the internal infrastructure, development and betterment of the citizens. If India improves itself in every aspect such as better education for all its citizens, healthcare, utility facilities, modernization in every sector of industry from power grids to agriculture, from transportation to waste management in city and villages,, then it will automatically will become a powerful country. In my opinion the mindset should be to continually improve in every section of society for the sake of citizens, and not to improve yourself just for a powerful title. Let's enter the never ending cycle of Kaizen, japanese philosophy of "improvement throughout all aspects of life" just for improvement sake.
KG. Replied to: Sudharak - 30 Jul, 2009
14: In these days of climate change and global warming, why is the need for more cities
Posted by:Shiva - 30 Jul, 2009
15: It definitely would help with a proper planning in enhancing the living standard of a common man and at the sametime would create lot of jobs which will develop the economic status of the country.
Posted by:sathish kumar petety - 30 Jul, 2009
16: I was expecting you to elaborate on the topic as to why Mr. Prahlad thinks that India needs 300-400 new cities, what was the logic and the basis for his conclusion. I was expecting to read his analysis.
Posted by:Anand Sinha - 30 Jul, 2009
17: No schemes on the earth can reduce corruption, I bet.
Posted by:Akash - 30 Jul, 2009
Hi akash, We should at least try na?
Vicky Replied to: Akash - 30 Jul, 2009
Why not, do we see corruption in the Automobile sector, manufacturing sector, IT sector, but we see it in the governement sector. Let us appreciate and welcome the initiative taken by the PM for such a project.

This project will reduce the level of leakage and corruption to be best possible extend.

Jai Hind
Gordon Martin Replied to: Akash - 30 Jul, 2009
Hopefully Unique Identification Database Authority of India (UIDIA) should be escape from our corrupted Politicians or else...Nandan Nilekani should save it from the corruption gurus....
RRG Replied to: Gordon Martin - 30 Jul, 2009
we must reduce petroleum the most imported item,secod after importing there shulod be full accountablity,there should no fuel losses,particularly flaring,2-3%is being flared,before it reaches pressure safty valve(1.5times)beyond normal opration pressure,it is becoming uncontrolable hence you routed to fuel gas header,storage sphere,thant recover after the safety valve has popped and the gas ha gone to flare header then we say this as flare losses and put all unaccoutable pilfirages in the account.please prevent at source than install a flare gas recovery system,the educated man is more accountale give support to do right things irrespective of he is graduate,mba,phd,diplomait is not the education is most important it is moreimportant what is correct
mjsastry Replied to: RRG - 30 Jul, 2009
I did not understand one thing in Prof's comments."Never has it been implemented anywhere in the world",as i think he must be aware of Social Securtiy Number in US on similar lines which has been set up much before and it helps them track every individual's activities and identity and no fake person can enter in their country unlike ours...
Puneet Replied to: mjsastry - 04 Nov, 2009
23: really building new city is very good, I recently visited kavasa to buy the apartment all the apartment were fully booked and only villas were available only for Rs.80,00,000/-(Rupees Eighty Lakhs Only)my budget was Rs.15,00,000/-I think my navi mumbai is okay until the apartment rate in Lavasa is available within 10-15 lakh budget.
Posted by:Pravin SP. - 04 Jan, 2010
Corruption is universal and mainly is of two categories. one is corrupt person and another is made corrupt person. It is 100% true that presently politicians by cajolement or threat push both public servants and more so the general public at large to get corrupt. One can see by statistics that a person from a very low status becomes crorepathy overnight and the authorities responsible knowing fully well, could not catch them for once but are behind someone who has earned two lacs or five lacs un-proportionate to his known income and ruin his life, not knowing the same fate may come to them very quickly, if they don’t oblige once to any politician. I am not talking side to public servant as they certainly deserve a severe punishment. But where is the equality before law? PM is roaring in Parliament " don’t leave any one!" and things happens under his very nose. We have successfully made the Rajas from riches to rag and more successfully created crorepathys in thousands who are now grabbing every inch of the this country to make their kingdom. Yet no one is there to ask as the votes will divide. Hence eradication of the corruption is impossible with current election policy and trends.
There is yet one way to reduce major portion of the corruption. What I am suggesting is not a joke.
Make it legal but how?
For every government activity fix a reasonable time frame for action completion time and make the head accountable with a strong punitive clause. This could be arrived at by time study process by out side agency ( Who do not in the process get corrupted). Fix quick service and normal service for every activity. Fix a fee for quick service just like railways etc. For example if there a free service to be completed in 10 days fix the quick service to three days and fix a three times the departmental calculations for a normal service.
Pay fifty percent to the person or group who handles the job and take the rest to government. That will be a big incentive and people can put their claim if their work is not done in the given periods. The persons responsible must be held for accountability and punished.
All including the president should abide by the rule and those flouting it should be brought to book by an Independent Governing Body comprising all party representatives including independents and some eminent personalities.
I am sure this will reduce the corruption to a large extent as still majority of the public servants do not want to loot, but are forced to do so.

Posted by:V MUTHUKRISHNAN - 06 Dec, 2009
25: What are we talking about here? I differ from the idea of professor Prahalad of recommending to bulid more 300 to 400 new cities and in spite of that he writes 40% of India's popukation will still remain in the villages.

What good state are we living in socially in spite of these already existing so called metropolitan(big)cities for last so many years, Aren't these cities any different than even some villages in terms of lack of infrastructural growths even today?
Here I would like to mention lets us concentrate first developing these already exsisting cities start providing with basic infrastructures like proper shelter & toiletry facilities that are poping up illegally frist of all right under the nose of the local government & state authorities -A shame that we are living for so long which is a must to be addressed to than building up new cities for any developing nation to become a successful & a powerful nation.
Posted by:Piyush Roy - 23 Nov, 2009
26: That we need many more cities, if we want to live decently, is not at all in question. the number quoted by Mr. Prahalad could be debated. In fact in post independence India the number of 'new' cities created can be counted on fingertips. Biggest problem, however, will be getting consolidated land at appropriate place. If we can get land and can get economic acitivity going then concept of new city will become commercially viable.

Vijay Sharma
Posted by:Vijay Sharma - 22 Nov, 2009
27: I had proposed the building of 500 new cities in India in a full-page article in The Hindu as early as July 11, 1964. It explains how it is within the resources of India - physical, financial and administrative - to implement such a massive and ambitious scheme within a period of about 10 to 15 years through public-private partnership. This is the only practical scheme which will lift millions of Indian population above the poverty line in the foreseeable future. It will also be an effective solution to the Naxalite problem. The article can be accessed in http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/07/11/stories/2004071100201400.htm
KS Ramakrishnan, IAS (Retired)

Posted by:KS Ramakrishnan - 21 Nov, 2009
The numbers that you quote are too high. We do not have the wherewithall to create so many cities in a short time span. We are simply not producing adequate number of civil engineers for a project of this magnitude. However we must start and that also in a proper planned manner.
Vijay Kumar Sharma Replied to: KS Ramakrishnan - 22 Nov, 2009
29: Depoliticize the Municipalities from cities No person representing a political party should be eligible to stand for election as Municipal councillors only independant candidates Elegibility should be based on the persons eminence qualifications track record of social service or corporate governance No criminals or undertrials. New rules with a strict benchmark of eligibilty I believe pre-independance had such candidates and they became Mayors
Posted by:E.B. Pereira - 18 Nov, 2009
30: Yes, If you want impliment your aim in our area ,I can help you,
Posted by:shyam - 17 Nov, 2009
31: What is this site all about.... I got a msg for this link..
what these people want actually.... I simply did'nt get the moto of this site....

I guess this site is good ....but for nothing..
Posted by:Aditya - 16 Nov, 2009
32: we need good leaders, means transperent,and lot of good areas(important)to take this challenge.
Posted by:Rajesh Raju - 15 Nov, 2009
33: we have enough cities,but we dont have good enough organization to manage those cities.
Posted by:Arnab - 14 Nov, 2009