Indian cities, post liberalization have experienced accelerated economic and social growth, which in turn has attracted more people to urban centers in search of opportunities. Statistically, urban population in terms of the total population has grown five times over in the country since 1961. By 2030, urban areas are expected to house 40 percent of India’s population and contribute 75 percent of India’s GDP. Prior to 2014, such urbanization was primarily perceived to be in the five global cities of India i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. But now we are also witnessing this phenomenon in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. 

With the burden of an ever increasing population, local governments are finding themselves unable to provide critical physical, social, economic and institutional infrastructure to all its citizens. Urban Governments are currently grappling with issues such as provision of basic infrastructure and services, which is constantly strained due to overpopulation. Urbanization has also been accompanied by a disquieting rise in urban poverty. The 2011 Census reported that there are around 13.7 million slum households in India that are living in abysmal health and sanitary conditions, without adequate amenities and uncertain incomes. Slums are located across urban areas in the country, with 63 per cent of statutory home to these dwellings. 

Almost all Indian cities today are facing serious deficiencies in infrastructure and life line services. In2011, only 70.6 per cent urban households had access to tap water and only 60.6 per cent had access to tap water from treated sources. Sewerage, toilets, sanitation, drainage, electricity and transport areseverely deficient. The most affected by such deficiencies are lower-income households which enhances the vulnerability of such groups. Another major issue which contributes to the difficulty in provision of infrastructure such as transportation, sewerage and housing is the lack of proper planning in cities and such poor planning can be attributed to the existing legislative and administrative framework governing the same. 

Taking into account the issues faced by the State and Urban governments and realizing that cities and urban areas are crucial drivers of economic growth, the Ministry Of Urban Development, GoI launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), to promote cities that provide core infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘smart’ solutions to achieve these, thus, improving quality of life of all citizens. The aim of the mission is to leverage the existing technological tools to develop new smart cities and transform existing ones, and unleash their true potential as centres of opportunity. The Government of Karnataka as well has taken an initiative to reform, consolidate and codify the policy and laws concerning urban planning and urban development in the state of Karnataka and the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru has been chosen as the institution for implementing this Project. 

With the introduction of the Smart Cities Mission Mission what remains to be addressed is the Legal and institutional framework that is required for such cities. Are the current laws on urban governance apt and adequate to cater to the objectives of these cities or is there a requirement for modification and introduction of “smarter” and a more efficient legal structure to keep pace with the proposed urban reforms. Can the best practices from well performing cities across the world such as New York, Brasilla, Chandigarh, Zurich etc. be contextualized and adopted, taking into consideration the local realties. And if so, how and which such practices can be looked at as a possible solution to the issues faced by urban areas in our country. 

The Two Day National Seminar on Smart Laws for Smart Cities: Agenda for Reform, Consolidation and Codification aims to look at the above mentioned issues and analyze and discuss the same with relevant stakeholders 




  • Urban Planning and development 
  • Disaster response in urban areas 
  • Urban mobility and public transport systems 
  • Waste management in Urban areas 
  • 74th Constitutional amendment & Urban local governance 


  •  Provision of critical  infrastructure Goals and Smart Cities (Water, electricity, housing, sanitation etc). 
  • Provision of Social Infrastucture 
  • Role of state and non- state actors in provision of infrastucture 
  • Administrative structure and challenges posed in provision of infrastructure and service delivery. 
  • Management of common property resources in urban areas. 



  • Abstracts of not more than 500 words, for original researched papers on the above mentioned themes are invited. Authors of accepted abstracts shall have the privilege of presenting their paper at the seminar.  
  • There can be a maximum of only one Co-author. The full length research papers in case of short articles should be 3500 – 5000 words (inclusive of foot notes), and around 8000 words (inclusive of foot notes) in case of long articles. Potential contributors are required to adhere to a uniform mode of citation (20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is recommended).  
  • Abstracts and papers should be submitted as Word documents, with a covering letter containing the correct name, designation and phone number of the author(s). The above documents should be mailed to the email address listed below with the email subject line as Name of the Author_SCitiesAbstract for the Abstract and Name of the Author_SCitiesFinal for the Final Paper. 
  • After peer review, select papers/articles will be published by NLSIU in a Journal/Primer or other such publication. 
  • Kindly mail you abstracts and final papers to Mr. Raghav Parthasarathy Ph:[m] +91 8884188206 


Important Dates: 

  Abstract Submission: 5th October, 2018 

  Communication for Acceptance of Abstract: Before 6th of October, 2018 

  Last Date for Registration: 10th of October, 2018 

  Date of Seminar: 28th and 29th of October, 2018 

  Submission of Full Length Papers: 25th November, 2018 

For official Brochure & Registration details : Click here.


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