Xavier Centre for Urban Management and Governance (XUMG), Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB) conducted its third Annual Research on Cities Summit with Knowledge Partner ‘UN Habitat’ at the Xavier City campus, on January 24th and 25th, 2019.
Attended by the enthusiastic and eager learning batch of future Urban managers, the gathering was graced by the presence of experts from both, core industry as well as experts from industries tangible to urban sector and faculty members, including Prof. KajriMisra (Co-ordinator XUMG), Fr. Augustine (Registrar, XUB), Fr. Paul Fernandes (Vice Chancellor, XUB), Prof. Tathagata Chatterjee (XUMG), Prof. Mayank Dubey (XUMG), Prof. Nalin Ranjan (XUMG), and Prof. Atanu Chatterjee (XUMG). The day one of the summit started by lighting of the ceremonial lamp, followed by an address delivered by Prof. Kajri Misra, Vice Chancellor Fr. Paul Fernandes and Registrar Fr. Augustine, who briefly delineated how the theme “Transformative Urban Governance in the Developing World and the New Urban Agenda” should be widely discussed and how the students of urban management and governance can contribute and learn the industry scenario from the experts addressing today. They also highlighted how the new venture of urban management and governance came about and how the industry has responded in the most positive way appreciating the college for pioneering the course. Honorable Chief Guest Dr. Sudhir Krishna, (former Secretary, Delhi State Finance Commission, MoUD (Ministry of Urban Development) who briefed the audience on “India’s Urban Leap: Challenges and Opportunities” and described the demographic trends in India. A two day summit, ARCS (Annual Research on Cities Summit) was conducted in three parallel sessions both the days with varied sub theme with experts and students both enthusiastically listening to over 60 research papers.
With research papers coming in from various parts of India and across borders, the first session of the three parallel session began with the subtheme ‘Governance Reforms’ with Mr. Ashok Kumar and Dr.Sudhir Krishna (Chairman, Delhi State Finance Commission) chairing the session. He presented on ‘A recipe for making the local government financially strong’, opportunities and approaches in unpacking new urban agenda-perspectives on three tire of integrated governance in South Africa and many more. With corresponding technical session on ‘Environmental policies’ and ‘Water and Waste Management’ moderated by Mr.Devender Singh (National Programme officer, UNFPA) and Mr.Sanjay Deshpande. Third parallel session for the day was on ‘Transportation and Mobility Policies’ chaired by Prof.Mayank Dubey and Prof.Prashant Prasad. Each of the three sessions ended with a question and answer round concluding the day one of the summit.
With the first day ending on such a high note, the second did too. With the organizing committee leaving no stone unturned, the day two sessions started with session one of the three parallel sessions on subtheme ‘Small and medium towns’, ‘Participation and Empowerment’ and ‘Environmental Policies’ chaired by Prof.Tathagata Chatterji, Ms.Gopa Samanta, and Mr.Dilip Kumar Bhanja with numerous papers. With corresponding technical session on ‘Economy and Finance’, ‘Transportation and Mobility Policies’, ‘Cultural Economy’ and ‘Contestation and Interventions in Urban India’ moderated by Prof.Sagarika Misra, Mr.Aurobindo Ogra, Prof.Nalin Ranjan and Prof.Atanu Chatterjee respectively with keen attention of presented papers on assessing the efficiency, sustainability and opportunity cost of sewage treatment in East Kolkata wetland, Application of space syntax, space matrix and mixed used index for property tax assessment using GIS, Women commuters in urban India and Sustainable mobility, Electric mobility-The new face of smart mobility, Evaluation of urban transport governance in India, Leveraging culture for revival of Kolkata’s economy, Heritage buildings and their legal contestations in Neo-Liberal cities, Development induced displacement in Mumbai metropolitan region, Spatial segmentation in urban India: A case of Bokaro steel city, and A thing of beauty: An enquiry into slum re-painting in Mumbai.
Prof.Kajri Misra and Prof.Tathagata Chatterjee thanked the industry experts, the presenters for sharing their insights with everyone, and all the students who organised the summit as well as the media partners. The summit concluded with Mr.Ashok Kumar (SAAB member, SPA Delhi) handing out the AURA (Annual Urban Research Award) to students from PG category and Research scholars where Mr.Vignesh T., M.Tech Geo-informatics, University of Madras and Ms.Sabiha Baig, Research scholar, CSRD, JNU grabbed the first positions respectively.
The Xavier Center for Urban Management and Governance (XUMG) was established in Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB) to build knowledge and professional capabilities for development of sustainable, just and livable cities. The Center, being first of its kind in India, offers a value-based two year Master’s program (MBA) in specializations which include economic development & livelihood, housing, water and waste management and mobility with a comprehensive understanding of urbanization as well as the full range of functional management and organizational skills. It comprises of a distinguished Strategic Academic Advisory Board (SAAB) to guide and inspire the Center. The SAAB members includes leaders from Industry, Academic Institutions like School of Planning and Architecture Delhi and CEPT Ahemdabad, Civil Society, Government and Research institutions, UN agencies like UN Habitat, and International Monitoring and Reporting Agency. Policy engagement, technical support and advisory efforts with government, corporate and civil society organizations aim to strengthen knowledge-based governance, planning and management of human settlements.