Indian Cities: Characteristics and Correlates

Ahmad, Qazi Shakil

     The purpose of this investigation [is] to identify the critical properties of Indian cities that together constitute a system. More specifically, an attempt [is] made to discover the dimensions of variation among which Indian cities are arrayed -- in short, to describe the state of the system.
     In other words, this study asks, What are the basic kinds of differences that exist among Indian cities? What dimensions shape India's urban system? Many variables relating to the population, housing, social, occupational, migration, spatial, and other characteristics of the cities [are] studied and 'boiled down' to answer this question. In this study, sixty-two such variables are studied in their simultaneous co-variation, a far larger number than has ever before been assembled for Indian cities and studied together, and it is shown that there are ten general kinds of differentiations underlying these sixty-two and responsible for the correlations among them.
     The organization of this study is as follows: the first chapter states the objectives of the study, provides background information, and surveys previous approaches to the classification of cities. Chapter 2 begins with a discussion of the various multivariate statistical procedures used in this study. This is followed by a preliminary discussion of the sixty-two variables examined in the analysis -- variables which cover a variety of the relevant aspects of urban structure in India. Finally, results of two factor analyses are given, with emphasis upon interpreting the underlying dimensions of variation in each case. Each of the major dimensions of variation along which Indian cities vary was quantified, and, as a result, it was possible to develop an optimal classification comprising relatively homogenous groups of cities. Results of the grouping analysis are presented in chapter 3, which also includes results of several discriminatory analyses. The concluding section, chapter 4, serves as a summary of the more pertinent findings of the study, It takes note of some of the major implications of these findings for understanding and further analysis of urbanization in India. In addition, results of similar studies recently completed in other Western and non-Western countries are compared with those produced for India.

Brian J. L. Berry (chair), Norton S. Ginsburg, Chauncy D. Harris