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Global cities in India

This section takes us to the south Indian city of Bangalore

Key questions

How is life changing in India’s cities?

How is globalisation affecting people’s lives in Bangalore?

How is life changing in India’s cities?  

  • India is becoming a more urbanised country although it is only the larger cities where the population is growing. Surat in Gujarat state has doubled its population in less than 15 years to 3.5 million. This is mainly due to rural-urban migration. Such growth puts a great strain in urban infrastructures

  • In medium and small sized towns populations are decreasing

  • Increased consumerism and western lifestyles

  • In 2006 more than 38 million Indians were online

  • Mobile phones: 70 million (2006)

  • India’s cable TV market is one the world’s largest with more than 60 million subscribers

How is globalisation affecting people’s lives in Bangalore? 

Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka state and is India’s 3rd largest city with a population of around 6.5 million. Bangalore is the fastest growing city in Asia but with little planning this growth has often been chaotic. Between 1991 and 2001 Bangalore’s population increased by over 60%. Rural poverty pushes young people from rural areas to Bangalore to find work. Only 41% of Bangalore’s population are indigenous.

It has the highest number of software companies in India – over 200. It is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), which includes call centres, has contributed to India’s growing economy and Bangalore’s in particular. In the 3 years between 2000 and 2003 the number of call centres in India rose from 50 to 800, many in Bangalore providing jobs for young graduates. In 2002 it was estimated that 35,000 people worked in call centres.

The per capita income for Bangalore is around US$1,160 making it the highest in India and has over 10,000 individual dollar millionaires. However a fifth (about 2.2 million people) of Bangalore’s population live in slums and this number is growing. There are 733 slums in Bangalore.
People are becoming more influenced by western culture. They drink more alcohol, go to clubs and pubs, date people from different religions and are less happy to undergo ‘arranged marriages’.

Bangalore has the highest density of traffic in the world causing considerable air pollution problems. The amount of nitrogen oxides in the air is 34 micrograms per metre cubed, the amount of suspended particulate matter is 200 microns per metre cubed and there are 44 microns of sulphur dioxide per metre cubed of air. It is estimated that over 50% of Bangalore’s children suffer from coughing, wheezing and other respiratory ailments.



You have arrived in Bangalore to find everyone talking about globalisation.

Few places in the world have seen the dramatic effects of globalisation more than Bangalore, which is experiencing a huge IT boom.

Find out what globalisation means, and take a tour of the city to see what is going on.

What are your first impressions? 

Did the tour answer any of the questions you had in section three?

What else do you want to know?

Main Activity

Fill in the Globalisation matrix about how it is affecting the lives of people in Bangalore.

To do this, divide into small groups and choose one person’s interview from the list.

  • Hotel manager

  • Call centre supervisor

  • Steel fixer

  • Property developer

  • Taxi driver

Read the interview a couple of times, and find examples of how globalisation is affecting their life.

Underline positive examples in one colour, and negative examples in a different colour.

Then use this information to fill in the matrix. Add a symbol and/or an image to represent each example.

When all of the matrices have been filled in, compare your findings with the class. Each group could talk about their interviewee, whilst everyone else makes notes.

What are the different experiences of globalisation in Bangalore?

Are there more positive or negative experiences?

Which person is most excited by globalisation?

Which person suffers most from it?

Do you think the situation is ideal?

If not, what needs to change?

Imagine that an Indian journalist is in the UK interviewing people about globalisation.

What five types of employee should s/he talk to in order to get a range of positive and negative experiences?

How does Bangalore fit with your first impressions?

How does it fit with your view of New India?

Think of one word to sum up life in the city.

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New India Lesson 4 Globalisation Matrix


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New India Lesson 4 Globalisation Matrix (1)


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New India Lesson 4 Hotel Manager


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New India Lesson 4 Steel Fixer


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New India Lesson 4 Call Centre Supervisor


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New India Lesson 4 Taxi Driver


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New India Lesson 4 Property Developer


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