Urban Imaginations through Indian Small Towns

Institute of Public Policy, National Law School of India University (Bengaluru) announces nation-wide competition open to students enrolled in higher education institutions of India (graduates, post-graduates and doctoral) on the theme of imagination of a small urban settlement / city/ town in India.  

Urbanisation trends in India are metropolitan centric. Yet the country has a large number of small cities and towns which have the potential to contribute towards a more balanced urbanisation. Challenges this scenario provides needs ingenious imagination since the adaptation of urban planning lessons in different context may be counter-productive. It is in this context, we invite young persons to think and articulate imaginations in the form of papers (not more than 4000 words including images, graphics, tables, references) based on a concrete case of a small town in India.

The papers will be evaluated by a panel of jury on the criteria of: 1) ability to imagine grounded on empirical evidence; 2) inter-disciplinarity in the imaginations 3) lessons from the models to other small towns; and 4) creativity in finding solution to the urban problem.

Of the entries received by 31 December, ten finalists will be chosen. These ten finalists will be invited to NLSIU campus[1] during 13-15 February 2020 to the International Urban Planning conference. The finalists will have a chance to make presentations in front of a jury who will select the best imagination paper.


Timeline of competition

Last date to receive the entries: 31 December 2019

Selection of the Finalists: 15 January 2020

Presentation by Finalists: 15 February 2020.

Rules of the competition

  1. The entries should be received strictly by 31 December 2019 by post (postal delay is not a valid reason) to following address: Executive Director, Institute of Public Policy, National Law School of India University, Bangalore 560272.  Soft-copy submissions also should reach the email id: upcompetition@nls.ac.in
  2. The entries by the students should be accompanied by a certification (suggestive form available at the end of this call) from head of the department/college/institution or a senior faculty member.
  3. Only one entry is permitted by one applicant. A team (maximum up to two members) could also submit an entry.
  4. Entries are accepted only in English language.
  5. Entries should have a cover page. On the cover page following information should be mandatorily provided: a) title of the paper; b) names of participant(s), c) contact information of participant(s) including email address, postal address and mobile phone number.
  6. Names of participants shall not appear anywhere other than cover page. This is to facilitate an anonymized evaluation (after detaching the cover page with numbers assigned).
  7. Omission of sources of information and plagiarism automatically attracts disqualification of the entry.
  8. Both the written paper and presentations are given equal weight in the selection of final winner.
  9. The final winner based on the presentations during the conference in Bangalore will receive a cash award of Rs. 5000, and all finalists will receive certificates.
  10. The decision by the jury is final.

Queries regarding the competition may be sent to upcompetition@nls.ac.in

Form to be submitted along with the entry

Name of participant:………………………………………………

Course enrolled in(if participants are from two different courses, mention both)…………………………………………………

Level of course (Under-graduate, post-graduate, doctoral):………………………

Department/college (if participants are from two different colleges or department, mention both):……………………………………………………………………………

Address of the college:……………….

University:………………………………………………………………….

Signature of the head of the department/ Principal/Senior Faculty member


[1] Note that travel expenses of invitees are not covered by the organisers. The finalists will be given admission to the international conference, accommodation in NLSIU campus and hospitality.