India may increase its number of planning institutes following Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN) discussions, held at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Cept) University.

Jamal Ansari, former director of the School of Planning and Architecture, said that India has only 15 planning institutes in comparison with the 37 institutes in China and also has a severe dearth of urban planners.

In a presentation on planning for housing in Indian cities he is quoted as saying that 32.6% of the population is poor and shortage of housing in urban areas is rife, there are inadequate homes for the urban poor.

He said that the middle-income group benefits from the public sector housing programmes more than the poor.

Public-private partnerships can help improve access to serviced land, land sharing, incremental development and urban basic services for the poor.

YK Alagh, former union minister for power, planning, science and technology; Dr Vanessa Watson from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; Lee Lik Meng, President of the Asian Planning Schools Association (APSA); and Utpal Sharma, dean of CEPT University were the other panellists at the roundtable conference.