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Ashok Mitra’s Functional classification of Indian cities
Ashok Mitra’s Functional classification of Indian cities

Ashok Mitra’s classification is based on a categories of workers classification available in the census of 1961 and 1971. In 1991, an effort was made to classify all urban places in terms of their functional character with slight modification by adjusting the industrial categories into five broad economic sectors. The classification is as follows:

1. Primary Activity 
Agricultural labourers
Live stock, forestry, fishing, hunting, plantations, orchards and allied activities.
Mining and quarrying

2. Industry 
Manufacturing, processing, servicing and repairs.
 household industry
other than household industry

Construction workers

3. Trade 
Trade and commerce

4. Transport 
Transport, storage and communication

5. Services 
Other services

Asok Mitra used the 'Ternary Diagram' to analyze the functional classification of Indian towns based on 1961 Census data. Briefly speaking, the method makes use of an equilateral triangle the sides of which graduate from 0 to 100 percent so that the percentage of three variables industry, trade and transport and service can be represented on the diagram. The method of functional classification of Indian towns was based on the concept of the predominance of a particular function of a city

Functional Groups of Towns and their Categories 

A. Industry  : III (Livestock. Forestry. Fishing. Hunting and plantations. 
Orchards and allied activities).
                     IV (Mining and Quarrying).
                     V(a) (Manufacturing. Processing, Servicing and Repairs in Household Industry)
                     V(b) (Manufacturing. Processing. Servicing and Repairs in other than Household lndustry) and
                     VI (Construction)

B. Trade and Transport  : VII (Trade and Commerce)
                                     VIII (Transport, Storage and Communications). 

C. Services :  IX only (Other Services) 

The procedure adopted for functional classification in 1991 census was as follows:

(i) For each Urban Agglomeration/town, the percentage of total main workers in each of the five sectors was worked out.

(ii) The functional category of the UA/town was then determined on the following basis:
(a) if workers in one sector constituted, 40% or more, the UA/town was classified in the relevant mono-functional category;
(b) If the percentage in one sector was less than 40%, two sectors having the largest percentages were combined to see, if they together
constituted 60% or more. If so, the UA/town was classified in the relevant bi-functional category.
© If no two sectors added up to 60% or more, three sectors having the largest percentage were combined and the UA/town was classified in
the relevant multi-functional category.

(iii) To determine the functional category of each UA/town, in certain cases where at least 1/4th workers were engaged in one of the four activities, viz
(a) forestry/fishing (including livestock, plantation, etc.),
(b) mining and quarrying
© manufacturing in household industry, and
(d) construction, the respective UA/towns have been classified in the relevant sub-functional categories provided such activity happen to be the first or second leading function of those UA/town.

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