A report by McKinsey Global Institute says that India will have 68 cities by 2030 with a population of over 1 million, 13 cities with more than 4 million people, and 6 megacities with populations of 10 million or more. India is what poets call an amalgamation of millions emotions, aspirations, people, colours, festivals, frustrations and history.
Here are India's top 10 metros based on standard of living, infrastructure, jobs, education, safety recreation and per capita income.
Mumbai is all about big money and extreme poverty. The living irony of the city is visible across the city because Mumbai houses some of the tallest sky scrapers in the country and Asia’s largest slum Dharavi. The city is a complex mix of different people and cultures.
India's commercial capital is not only the city with the highest GDP in India; it also ranks among the world's top ten trade centers. The city contributes 25 per cent of industrial output and 70 per cent of capital transactions to India's economy.
The city accounts for about 1 per cent of the total population in India but has a per capita income which is almost three times that of India. Mumbai accounts for 14 per cent of India's income tax collections and 37 per cent of the corporate tax collections in the country.
The city is the berth of significant financial institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.
Numerous corporates and multinational companies have their headquarters in the city that attracts migrants from all over India. The city offers countless employment opportunities and is known for its interesting and high standard of living.
The city, with a population of 19 million, is also known as the Indian seat of entertainment as it is the home to the Hindi film industry, the largest in the world.
Most of the city's inhabitants rely on public transport to commute. Transport systems in Mumbai include the Mumbai suburban railway, also known as the lifeline of Mumbai, BEST buses, taxis and auto rickshaws.
The national capital has the second highest GDP in the country. And although it cannot rival Mumbai in terms of contribution to the growth of the Indian economy, Delhi is no pushover. It contributes 4.94 per cent to all-India GDP. It boasts of landscaped gardens, wide roads and plenty of flyovers.
The city is much cleaner and greener and better planned than the distant Mumbai. It has some of the most beautiful structures of India history such as Qutubminar and Red Fort.Connaught Place, one of India's largest financial centres, is located in the heart of Delhi. Being an important commercial centre in South Asia, Delhi has a per capita income of Rs 78,690, which is more than double the national average.
Delhi's key service industries, backed by as strong and well laid out infrastructure, include IT, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourism. Construction, power, telecommunications, health and community services, and real estate form the backbone of Delhi's economy. The capital's retail industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India.Public transport in Delhi consists of buses, auto rickshaws, taxis, suburban railways and metro rail.
However, Delhi is absolutely unsafe for women. The city also has the highest rate of crime against women (27.6 compared to national average rate of 14.1 per 100,000).
Kolkata, West Bengal
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, has a population of over 5 million. Like its many other metropolitan cousins, Kolkata suffered from economic stagnation in post-independence India.
However, since 2000, the city has witnessed an economic rejuvenation, thanks to the development of IT industry in Rajarhat in Greater Kolkata. The city's IT sector is growing at 70 per cent yearly -- twice that of the national average.
The city has seen a surge of investments in the housing infrastructure sector. Several new projects have come up in recent times.
Some reputed companies are headquartered here. Of them, Bata India, ITC Limited, Birla Corporation, Domodar Valley Corporation deserves special mention. Opening of the Nathu La in Sikkim as a trade route has put Kolkata in an advantageous position.
Like other metropolitan cities of India, Kolkata continues to struggle with problems like poverty, pollution and traffic congestion.
What was knows as a quite urban city 10 years back has now developed into a bustling metro with excessive development.
Bangalore also boasts of having the largest number of households with an annual income of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) or more.
With an estimated population of 6.5 million, Bangalore is one of India's most packed cities.
Bangalore's main business activity is information technology and information technology-enabled services. Being the leading contributor to India's IT industry, the city is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India.
The city comes alive at night with is home to over 200 clubs and bars. It is also a preferred destination for rock concerts and live shows and over 20 international bands have performed.
Businesses involving large corporate that is either multinational companies or Indian firms dealing with or catering to MNCs employs a very large workforce in Bangalore.
And although the city's infrastructure has been unable to keep pace with the rapid growth of the city, Bangalore still remains one of India's boom towns.
The economy of the city is supported by industries like automobile, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare. According to a recent report in The Hindu, economists have predicted that Chennai's per capita income would increase to $1,149 in 2015 and $17,366 in 2050.
The city houses India's major automobile companies and happens to be India's second-largest exporter of information technology and information-technology-enabled services, behind Bangalore.
Hyderabad, the financial capital of Andhra Pradesh, is also known as the city of pearls. With an estimated population of 7 million, the city is the biggest contributor to Andhra Pradesh's gross domestic product, state tax and excise revenues.
Hyderabad, which used to be primarily a service city, is now the seat of many businesses, including trade, transport, commerce, storage, communication and lately IT.
Like Bangalore, Hyderabad too has witnessed a real estate boom in recent times, mainly because of the growth of IT and retail business in the city.
Major pharmaceutical companies like Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Matrix Laboratories, Aurobindo Pharma Limited and Vimta Labs are located here.
Hyderabad has also made considerable progress in the field of bio-technology through initiatives like Genome Valley and Nanotechnology Park.
For the advancement of infrastructure in the city, the Andhra Pradesh government is building a skyscraper business district at Manchirevula.
Ahmedabad is the largest inland industrial centre in Gujarat and has been an important base of commerce, trade and industry. Ahmedabad has seen great prosperity because of its proximity to Surat and its access to the hinterland of Gujarat.
Though dusty roads and bungalows used to dot the city once, Ahmedabad is now witnessing a major construction boom and an increase in population. In recent years, the city has seen a significant rise in information technology and scientific industries.
Apart from these, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries contribute to the state's economic growth, with two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies of India -- Zydus Cadila and Torrent Pharmaceuticals being based here.
Ahmedabad also forms the corporate headquarter of the Nirma Group of Industries and the Adani Group. Of late, many foreign companies have set up their units here. Among them, Bosch Rexroth of Germany, Stork and Rollepaal of Netherlands deserve special mention.
The growth of this major industrial city, located roughly 150 km east of Mumbai, has become the topic of discussion these days.
Starting from automobile majors like Tata Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Pune will soon house units of global biggies like General Motors, Volkswagen, Fiat, et cetera. A number of important engineering goods industries like Cummins Engines Co Ltd and Bharat Forge Ltd, electronic goods companies like LG, Whirlpool, food companies like Frito Lay and Coca Cola are also located here.
Of late, Pune's software industry has grown by leaps and bounds. IT parks like Rajiv Gandhi IT Park at Hinjewadi, Magarpatta Cybercity, MIDC Software Technology Park at Talawade, Marisoft IT Park at Kalyani Nagar are seats of technology that the city can boast of.
To meet the demands of this explosive economic growth in Pune, the state of Maharashtra is planning a 1,000 MW power plant to exclusively cater to the need of Pune. MIDC is the lead agency for the project.
The per capita annual income of people in this city is about Rs 26710. Chandigarh, a Union Territory, is known as â€œCity Beautifulâ€and is acquired international fame for being the best urban planned city with architectural dominance that has seen projects like Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Mathew Nowicki and Albert Mayer come and go.
Shimla has annual per capita income of Rs 21348. Shimla, is also known as the â€œQueen of Hills. Draped with abundant greens and lush green forests, the city is popular for its cool summers and snowy winters. Shimla thrives on the tourism industry and it is the administrative capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla has grown to be a pompous city with million of tourists flocking the region at peak times and with its exquisite display of malls, colleges, health care centers and the St Michaelâ Catholic Church.
Panaji, the capital city of Goa has a per capita annual income of Rs 26075 and is the third largest city in Goa after Margao and Vasco. Located on the banks of the Mandovi estuary, Panaji is home to about 65000 people. The city incorporates educational institutions, government offices and major research centers like the National Institute of Oceanography in Dona Paula.