Sustainable Architecture(s) - Humane Cities
The role of management institutes in developing smart cities in India
M. Jafary
5:45 pm - 7:15 pm


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As many scholars such as Sassen and Beck have stated, smart and globalized cities play an important role in today’s connected world. More specifically, such cities are crucial in social and economic transformations of developing countries like India. In this vein, the present study aims to reflect on the impacts that Indian management institutes have in development of smart cities in the country. Although several scholars have written about the importance of management education in economic transformations of India, few of them have talked about how the latter contributes to the evolution of smart cities. As scholars have indicated, there exist two main categories of management institutes in India: elitist institutes and popular ones. Consequently, in this study, I explain how these two types of management institutes impact the transformations of large Indian cities in two different ways. More specifically, I talk about the roles of entrepreneurial projects inside these two types of management institutes in transforming large Indian urban areas into smart cities. To further elaborate on my discussions, I relied on my observations in four different management institutes in the city of Bangalore in 2019. Furthermore, I benefited from interviews with MBA students in these management institutes. These interviews deal with students’ perspectives and experiences of formation of entrepreneurial projects which have partially been carried out by the students with the support of their respective institutes, on urban development. The findings show that there exist two forms of contribution of management institutes in Indian smart cities. The contribution of elitist institutes mostly consists of collaborations with large Indian and international companies and the contribution of popular institutes is mainly concentrated on students’ placements in local companies where they can further coalesce their managerial knowledge and professional works on urban development.


As a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Ottawa, Maziar Jafary studies how Indian business/management institutes’ students deal with the neo-managerial discourses offered in these institutions. In his studies, he applies ‘French pragmatism’ as a theoretical framework in order to better understand the way Indian students adapt their socio-cultural background with newly introduced curricula in the aforementioned schools