ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Gautam BhanSubscribe to Gautam Bhan

Spatialising Urban Vulnerability Perspectives from COVID-19 Food Relief in Delhi

To address hunger, the Government of Delhi had issued temporary ration e-coupons in the first COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020. This article uses a data set of nearly 17 lakh households that applied for e-coupons to measure and spatialise food insecurity in the city. It does so to measure unmet demand for social protection as well as to draw learnings for the design of urban social protection systems.

Recovery as Resilience

Drawing upon the two surveys of domestic workers in Jaipur in May and November 2020, this paper traces the contours of “recovery” from the pandemic beyond just returning to work. Instead, it argues that the estimations of recovery must have a deeper consideration of savings and debt, looks at the changes in employment dynamics, and marks the shifting bargaining capacities of workers. 

Reading Spatial Inequality in Urban India

Where one lives matters because patterns of spatial inequality shape the horizons of urban lives. They also critically affect urban policies, especially in large metropolitan cities where intra-urban differences can be of very large magnitudes. Gaining insights from recently released ward-level census data for urban settlements, this paper uses a set of constructed indices and geospatial maps to focus on spatial inequality within cities and across scales of settlements. Arguing that the slum is not a proxy for urban poverty and inadequate housing patterns, it underscores the need for newer methods to spatially trace multidimensional urban poverty and vulnerability.

My Name Is Suzette Jordan

She did not allow the sexual attack on her to define her and cocoon her in victimhood. Rather, Suzette Jordan was a brave woman whose adamant fight for justice has done so much to restore the dignity of survivors of sexual assault. A personal tribute.

Planned Illegalities

Chaos, irrelevance, incompetence and exclusion, what do these "failures" tell us about the apparently self-evident understandings of plans, "planning" and "planned development" in Delhi? What implications does this have, in particular, for an urban politics and practice interested in the many forms and imaginations of a just and more equitable city? This paper argues that in Delhi the "chaos that is urban development" is not planned but is an outcome of planning. Plans do not control but they influence, determine and limit.

Liberal Education: The Road Not Taken

The proposed Foundation Courses promise a well rounded liberal education with enhanced employability and the ability to meet national challenges, but their rigid structure and poor content breaks this promise.

Of Slums or Poverty

The slum data in Census 2011 needs to be interpreted with caution on three counts: the correlation between the definition of "slum" and urban poverty; the dimension of quality when estimating access to basic services; and the question of why so few cities and towns report any slums.

(Un)Settling the City

The experience of displacement - of single and multiple evictions and resultant resettlement or homelessness - has defined the process of inhabitation for a vast majority of the poor in Delhi. Analyses suggest that at least 218 evictions have occurred between 1990 and 2007 in the capital, covering at least 60,000 households. Using analytical and geospatial data on the evictions that took place in this period, this paper seeks to answer some key questions and argues in support of policies that favour in situ upgrading over resettlement. The political challenges to this are discussed, particularly in the light of findings that evictions occur with similar intensity regardless of which political party is in power.

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