Team

Jagan Shah
Director, NIUA

Jagan Shah is the Director of National Institute of Urban Affairs, the premier think-tank associated with the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. The institute conducts research, policy and evaluation work for the Ministry and is presently also executing projects supported by the Cities Alliance, ADB, World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Tata Trusts, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the City & Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra. NIUA is the national PMU for the HRIDAY Scheme for heritage cities.

Shah has 20 years of professional work experience in various aspects of urban development in India. He studied Architectural Design from School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi and Architectural History & Theory from the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University in New York. He has served as the Director of Sushant School of Architecture, Gurgaon and has taught at the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) from 1998 till 2006. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Chief Executive of Urban Space Consultants, providing consultancy in policy formulation, spatial planning, heritage conservation, transportation and livelihoods development.

Shah was deeply involved with revision of the Regional Plan 2021 for the National Capital Region, has devised intervention strategies for the India Foundation for the Arts and the Sir Ratan TataTrust, and has executed large scale urban design assignments such as 27 stations for the Regional Rapid Transit System for the NCR and the Master Plan for the Mizoram University campus in Aizawl.

Shah was a founding member of the Modern Asian Architecture Network. He has authored Contemporary Indian Architecture (Roli, 2008) and co-authored Building Beyond Borders (NBT, 1995) with Satish Grover. His next book, 5000 Years of Indian Architecture: From River Valley to Metropolis will be published by Roli Books.

Ajith Kaliyath
Team Leader

Ajith is a Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Urban Affairs. He has 18 years’ experience in areas related to preventive environmental management, land use planning and urban ecology. Ajith has an M.Sc. in Applied Geography (University of Madras), M.Tech in Urban and Regional Planning (CEPT University, Ahmedabad). He earned his PhD in Human Geography with specialization on sustainable cities with a focus on Chennai (Queen's University Belfast, UK). Ajith has won awards/scholarships including Chevening Scholarship for Young Indian Environmental Managers and Overseas Research Scholarship from Queen’s University Belfast.

At NIUA, apart from the Child Friendly Smart Cities, Ajith also leads the CapaCITIES Project focusing on urban resilience in Indian cities and an initiative to establish Urban Observatories in selected Indian cities. Ajith is currently the Convener of the Committee for International Cooperation of Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI). He is also the India Ambassador of Regional Studies Association based in the UK.

Divya Jindal
Research Associate

Divya Jindal, is an Urbanist, with a masters degree from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands and a Bachelors in Architecture from Chandigarh, India. Divya is a Research Associate at the National Institute of Urban Affairs(NIUA) and is currently involved with a project funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF),Netherlands on developing Child Friendly Smart Cities. Within the project team, her work is focused on developing urban design guidelines for livable, safer and healthier living environment for children in urban India. She has collated an exhaustive compendium of global good practices for child friendly cities, which can encourage cities to take innovative child friendly initiatives. She has keen interest in strategic urban design development with focus on environment and infrastructure planning.

Prior to NIUA, Divya worked with Dutch urbanist and professor, Frits Palmboom in the Netherlands and did research on porosity in cities focusing on larger parts of Antwerp, Belgium (with Palmbout Urban landscapes) and peri-urban governance and urban planning from infrastructure and environment point of view taking the case of Chandigarh, India. As an architect, Divya worked for over four years in Ahmedabad, India with Prof. B V Doshi, a renowned Indian architect and urban planner.

Debashrita Chatterjee
Research Associate

Debashrita Chatterjee holds a MPhil-PhD Degree in Population Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was awarded a fellowship from Brown University's International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), USA. She has experience in handling large scale data sets related to the health sector. Debashrita has also presented papers at national and international conferences on issues related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and survival interventions for children Under 5(U5) years. At National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), she is currently working on proposals for developing Child Friendly Smart City. Her main focus is on health issues in association with urban planning.

Prior to joining NIUA, she worked in National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), Amaltas and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation on different health projects and Child Friendly Village Model.

Neelam Jena
Research Associate

Neelam Jena is a Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist with 6 years of diverse experience in various projects. Currently she is working as a Research Associate at National Institute of Urban Affairs, India and is involved with the ‘Child Friendly Smart Cities’ project. At NIUA she has been involved in developing research based proposals on the health issues of children pertaining to urban India with regards to the available societal infrastructure.

Prior to joining NIUA, she worked with Save the Children, India as a Knowledge Management Specialist where she mostly provided technical knowledge support to the programme team for the execution and monitoring & evaluation of various projects under varied thematic interventions. She has even worked with the Population Research Centre (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) as a Research Analyst and mainly worked on monitoring and evaluation of the Program Implementation Plan(PIP) of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and in studying the gaps and outliers in the existing health system in India.

Gargi Mishra
Intern
Prasenjit Shukla
Intern