The Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS) is a one of a kind institute in India, which focuses on the sustainable rural to urban transformation of Indian settlements. The institute takes into consideration the requirement of the developing India and the need for professionals, who understand the intricacies of the transformation of settlements from rural to urban regions.

The urbanization in India is the second largest transition in human history. It is anticipated that the urbanized population will constitute more than 50% of our population, which will have dramatic effects on the Indian economy, society, culture, politics, and environment. People with a deep understanding of this niche subject will be crucial for this transformation to be successful and sustainable.

India faces some challenges while accomplishing this urban transformation. The lack of interdisciplinary urban practitioners, innovators, and scholars with the essential knowledge and skills as well as that of new information and research practices, which can be used to overcome these challenges. This is where IIHS comes in the picture.

IIHS proposes an institute named IIHS Institution of Eminence (IOE), which offers education on urban transition as one of the key drivers of national development and sustainable goals, under which the following programs are offered:

  1. Bachelor of Urban Practice
  2. Master of Urban Practice
  3. A Multidisciplinary Doctoral Program
  4. Urban Fellows Program

These programs are offered under different disciplines of the following IIHS schools.

These IIHS schools have individual key areas, which are particularly emphasized.

Schools Key focus areas
School of Systems and Infrastructure


Settlement planning


Environmental service

Urban transportation and mobility

School of Environment and Sustainability


Environmental law, policy, and governance

Global environmental change

Urban science and data

Human ecology

Sustainability transition & development pathways

School of Governance


Law & politics

Spatial justice & governing complex geographies

Political infrastructure

Land governance & land systems

Environmental laws & governance

School of Human Development


Urban inequality

Affordable housing

Food security

Urban health

Social protection & social policy


School of Economic Development


Urban & regional economics

Urban & public finance

Development economics

Economic history

Economics, governance, & institutions

Emerging economic settlements

Research and Practice

The IIHS offers a research program, with emphasis on transformation into an equitable and sustainable world through rural to urban transition worldwide and international policy developments. It provides a platform for encouraging knowledge transition that is essential for addressing the current developmental problems.

The IIHS Research Program combines the interdisciplinary knowledge and intricacies of urbanization, with the simultaneous focus on using grounded theory and applied research to provide knowledge on not only theory but also practices for national development, social impact, and urban transformation.

The research program focuses on the knowledge base required for efficient, equitable, and sustainable urban transition; the ability of the current research environment to produce this base; and the specific gaps deterring this process and approaches to overcome them. It also highlights measures that can be taken to translate the urban policy making in India and contribute to the international research landscape.

To improve data availability and access as well as knowledge sharing and strategizing skills across different disciples, the institute conducts labs, which help develop new knowledge and facilitate learning opportunities for the related entities. The institute conducts the following labs: Urban informatics lab, Geospatial lab, Word lab, Media lab, and Design lab.

The IIHS practice program provides advisory services to national and state governments; public, parastatal, and municipal agencies; international development agencies; and private firms that are involved in human settlements and urbanization worldwide.

As a crucial part of the IIHS mission, the practice program contributes to sustainable urban transformation. Practitioners teach learners through theory and actual implementation, and learners are facilitated with opportunities to work on various practice projects and gain exposure in the real world. One of the core objectives of the IIHS practice program is the development of institutional relationships, particularly for the public and non-profit sectors.

Projects undertaken at IIHS are selected with a clear focus on the type and scale of impact, and the practice is committed to an interdisciplinary approach. The robust research program at IIHS further facilitates access to the latest research, which is used for enhancing practice.

Capacity Building

IIHS also conducts an education and capacity building program for urban practitioners in different disciplines and in public, private, academic, and civil society sectors. The transition of the society depends on the collective efforts of practitioners, who overcome these challenges through informed, reflexive, and creative approaches. The teaching programs at IIHS provide new frameworks of knowledge and a unique emphasis on practice in Indian regions.

The programs are taught by the internal faculty as well as academic and professional advisors, who have achieved recognition in their respective fields. The programs focus on strategic perspectives and orientation of the practitioners, knowledge frameworks employed to appraise the encountered challenges, and execution skills to effectively and sustainably overcome these problems.

The institute collaborates with crucial institutions for conducting training and capacity-building programs. It conducts workshops and courses in a wide range of thematic areas, including Affordable Housing, Urban Water Supply and Sanitation, Geospatial Technology, Building Resilience to Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction. Many public sector functionaries across different hierarchies and geographies in India have collaborated with IIHS for training and capacity building.

To know more about IIHS, Join Indian Institute of Human Settlements Official Admissions Thread 2020-21

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