A university, claimed to be India’s first devoted to urbanisation and settlement issues, will be started by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), most likely in Bangalore.

Aromar Revi, well-known development consultant, researcher and academic, will be the first executive head of the university and its allied institutions. The academic programme of the university is expected to commence in 2011.

The university will have a 100-member faculty from across the world, Mr. Revi told presspersons here on Friday.

IIHS is a creation of a group of entrepreneurs, intellectuals and professionals, including Nandan Nilekhani, Shirish Patel, Rakesh Mohan, Keshub Mahindra, Deepak Parekh, Deepak Satwalekar, Jamshyd Godrej, Kishore Mariwala, Nasser Munjee, Rahul Mehrotra, Bansi Mehta, Pradeep Saxena, Xerxes Desai, and Aromar Revi, according to a press release.

He said that India’s urban population was expected to increase from around 300 million to 800 million, accounting for more than half the total population of the country. Large numbers of well educated professionals from across the country and diverse social, economic and regional backgrounds would be needed to manage this transformation process, he added.

Mr. Revi said that the multilingual e-learning outreach programmes were expected to reach out to many mid-career participants and e-learners, and the multilingual curriculum would facilitate the inclusion of many learners hitherto excluded owing to language barriers.

Proposed courses in IIHS include a multi-disciplinary four-year Bachelor’s degree in Urban Practice, a two-year Master’s degree in Urban Practice, doctoral and applied research programmes.