At the core of every IndiaNext competition hosted by UltraTech Cement lies the determined endeavour to take up some of the biggest challenges currently facing the country. At the same time, it also understands that the solutions to these challenges are likely to be too huge for one set of professionals to put together. Hence, the initiative creates a collaborative environment and brings together the best of minds to address them.

Over the past few years, critical areas like smart city planning, skill development, efficient mobility and public transport, water, sanitation and waste management, along with housing for a bursting population have been successfully ventured into. In the last three years, IndiaNext has leveraged the vision and skills of engineers, architects and builders from across the country to design for tomorrow's India.

As it enters Edition 04, IndiaNext, true to tradition, delves right into the heart of a vision that is steadily turning real. India lives in its villages and that is where our future is evolving. The initiative is set to explore the compelling dynamics of development through a reality that cannot or rather, should not be denied anymore. Even before we live the 100 years of freedom between 1947 and 2047, this competition is poised to go beyond preconceptions and prejudices and design Village 2047.


In 2047 India will celebrate a hundred years of independence. While there will be various parameters to measure the nation’s progress, the yardstick that will ultimately define our country’s ‘development’ in the most succinct terms is already emerging and shaping itself in the most transformative of ways - the rural landscape. 70% of India’s population – roughly one-tenth of humanity – live in the villages. Isn’t it logical then to assume that their ability to offer fulfilling lives to their inhabitants is germinal to India’s future as a great global power? In fact, an India with 6,49,481 self-sufficient progressive villages is a far bigger and more sustainable opportunity to drive growth than trying to convert the already stifled chaotic urban environments into “smart cities” like the rest of the world is attempting to do.

Fortunately for us, the question is rhetorical; the Indian rural landscape is no more a dormant mine of potential. It is well on its way to realising and optimising its inherent possibilities. Statistics clearly show that a rural to rural migration is far greater than the rural to urban one, and is an indicator that larger villages are now seen as a more viable economic option than cities.


Rural to Rural 62%
Urban to Rural 19%
Rural to Urban 6%
Urban to Urban 13%

The current government, clearly seeing the opportunity to redress the skewed path of economic development for India has tipped the balance of energies towards the Indian villages through the introduction of two of the most publicised policies, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (SBM) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), along with the cluster of 7 schemes under the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan - PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - Saubhagya, Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana and Mission Indra-Dhanush. These initiatives also underline the fact that rural India is growing in strength and is claiming a greater share of the budget allocation.

However, the fact remains it is not in the progress of rural India that opportunities lie for India; it is in today's evolving rural India that progressive opportunities lie for the rest of this country.

Annual Disposable Household Income in Rural India

Population breakdown of India (million)


Most engineers and architects are based in and practice in urban or periurban areas. The current urban professional and educational view is far removed from the reality that is the new Indian village. IndiaNext is meant to be both a reality check and the opportunity to align the course of development along the lines of progress. It is the one big chance to ride the renaissance of rural resurgence that will call for the questioning of long held conventional beliefs in building and make way for participation in the making of the nation's future.

Question all assumptions; the contemporary Indian village is beyond the urban dictionary.

Rural India is no longer the stereotypical gaon with thatched roofs looking towards the big city in star-struck wonder. In reality, the local village child sports the latest haircut, listens to the latest chartbuster, while his father is busy navigating the web to look for global solutions to crop-yield issues. His mother, like the others in the village, though illiterate, isn't idle either. In all likelihood, she is adding to the family income through well-organised home- stays and the sale of local crafts. What's more, today's nouveau rich farmer is clear he wants the house of his dreams to look like the image he Googled yesterday.

In rural India, are tomorrow's clients. See the opportunities?

Data indicates:

  1. The migration is not solely rural to urban but rural to rural, as smaller villages are getting subsumed by larger ones.
  2. The increase in per capita monthly expenditure of rural edging out urban India in 2009-12 by a clear 2%.
  3. 20% of the villages with a population above 2000 account for 60% of rural wealth.
  4. Rural India has a mobile base of 383 million subscribers.
  5. There are more rural supermarkets in India than in all of the USA!

Percentage increase in monthly per capita expenditure

While the ambitions are articulate and income is available, house builders and local contractors rarely benefit from the breadth of the knowledge and experience available with the urban educated architect or engineer. The opportunity therefore lies in developing a unique identity that is cognizant of the need of the landscape without the shallowness of an 'urban imposition'.

The challenge of this competition is to disabuse any perceptions of the rural segment as being in need of deliverance. On the contrary, the idea is to interpret their aspirations, infuse it with world-class design sensibility and create an architectural template that suits the new progressive rural consciousness.

The competition aligns itself closely with The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin and the objective of the Union Ministry of Rural Development to provide pucca homes to each rural household by 2022


The Jury will evaluate entries on the basis of a balanced approach between interpretation of the concept through the medium of local materials including cement/concrete, design aesthetics, technical excellence and ability to inspire a global audience. Weightage will be given on the due translation of the following parameters:

1 Clarity in Interpretation of the Competition Intent
  • The entry/entries will be judged on how its design has the ability to resolve the existing rural housing challenges and provide for a specific solution.
  • The entry/entries will be judged on the originality of the idea in which the concept is translated. Participating team/s are encouraged to establish the intent to communicate the same through the support of visual and textual materials.
  • The entry/entries will be judged on the basis of the longevity of its concept so that its relevance continues to apply and inspire.
2 Speed of Construction
  • The entry/entries will be assessed on how fast and accurately the proposal can come to life and provide for the people under consideration.
  • Special considerations will be given to proposals specifying the details of the technology and material used in quantities, which can aid faster project management methods to ensure speed of construction.
3 Balance between Aesthetics and Structural Efficiency within Given Area
  • The entry/entries will be assessed on how it strikes an appropriate balance between form, function, sustainability, longevity, aesthetics, finish and detailing.
  • Across all stages, the Jury will take into consideration how the entry/entries pay heed to structural efficiency, stability and building performance in the long term.
4 Innovation in Material Usage
  • The entry/entries will be evaluated on how it has presented cement/concrete as the main medium through innovation, in association with any other local material. This can address aesthetic expression, structural systems, fabrication or even finishing methods.
  • The entry/entries will also be judged on the basis of how the primary material has been used in juxtaposition with other mediums (e.g. wood, glass, technology etc.) to highlight concrete's properties and present the overall idea with ingenuity.
5 Responsibility to Economy & Environment
  • The entry/entries will be judged on how the design maintains a responsibility towards the environment in terms of fabrication, transportation, assembly and use of green methods and the design's ability to sustain green processes and practices by the occupants of the houses.
  • While resources and budget are listed as main criteria of evaluation, the entry/entries will be assessed on how it can be constructed within reasonable means to avoid unjustified expenditure.
  • The economy of construction will be major criteria and participants are encouraged to pursue the cost as low as possible.


Please note that the entry/entries must be submitted as per the mentioned guidelines for it to be considered valid. Any missing or incomplete information will be considered as a basis of disqualification

  • The entry/entries must be submitted before 12-midnight Wednesday, 06 March 2019.
  • The entry/entries can only be submitted online.
  • Please plan accordingly to ensure that the entry/entries are uploaded within the given deadline. Any submission/s delivered later than the above-mentioned date will be disqualified, regardless of the reason.
  • The entry/entries should not have the name of the participating team/s at any place. Any non-compliance will render the entry/entries as disqualified.
  • Each entry needs to be sent in separately with its unique identification code.
  • Please do not combine multiple entries in the same entry.
  • Each independent entry must be compliant with the following guidelines;
Submission Format Visual Representation
  • Engineer and architect team/s will be required to submit detailed drawings (plans, elevations, sections, 3D finished views etc.) and all relevant documents that will explain the idea from the point of construction.
  • This must be composed on a maximum of two A1 panels (2mb).
  • If the participating engineering and architect team/s choose to submit a 3D walkthrough, they must do so in FLV/AVI formats only.
  • You can send it over to us via wetransfer or upload on any cloud storage[ Google Drive ] and send link to us for download, along with your challenge-id provided in admin profile after registering on
Submission Format Synopsis
  • The participating engineer and architect team/s must accompany the visual representation with a description of the concept in a synopsis of not more than 750-1000 words.
  • The synopsis must be in English. Any handwritten notes or regional dialect texts will be deemed invalid.
  • The synopsis must be typed in size 12 Calibri font and be double-spaced.
  • The synopsis must address the following issues:
    • Establishing the Context – The issue at hand, problem identified and its scope, potential hurdles in resolution.
    • Establishing the Concept - Description of the solution proposed, the approach and its appropriateness.
    • Establishing the Idea - Description of the merits of the idea vis-à-vis the evaluation criteria.
    • Brief profile of the participating engineer and architect team with full contact details.
Please Note:
  • Publishing copyrights to the winning entries will remain with the competition organiser, who also reserves the right to publish the entries in any media it sees fit.
  • Competition entries must not infringe the copyright of any other work, either in whole or in part. Do not use images from magazines, books, or websites. If copyright infringement is found, the proposal in question will be disqualified.
  • In all the categories, entries must be adapted to a specific site in India, (any Indian village having a population of over 10,000 as per 2011 census) with specific reference to its surroundings, climatic conditions etc. The solutions should be seen as a mass housing response sited on a specific identified village.

B. V. Doshi – Ahmedabad

The plot for the house/housing must be an actual site with accurate dimensions and the site details should be corroborated by photographs, basic outline of the plot and its surroundings, existing and possibly proposed infrastructure, as part of the brief. It could be a house currently under development that would give in-depth information on the infrastructure and environmental conditions.

Project : Aranya Low Cost Housing
Type : Housing Location: Indore, India
Design Team : Vastushilpa Consultants

Aranya, 6km from Indore, will eventually house a total population of 60,000 in 6,500 dwellings, on a net planning area of 85ha. The master plan, prepared by the Vastu-Shilpa Foundation in 1983, is designed around a central spine comprising the business district. Six sectors, each with populations of 7000-12,000, lie to the east and west of the spine and are diagonally bisected by linear parks. Ten houses, each with a courtyard at the back, form a cluster that opens onto a street. Internal streets and squares are paved. Septic tanks are provided for each group of twenty houses, and electricity and water are available throughout. The site plan accommodates and integrates a variety of income groups. The poorest are located in the middle of each of the six sectors, while the better off obtain plots along the peripheries of each sector and the central spine.

Somaya & Kalappa Consultants – Mumbai

Architect Brinda Somaya is an Indian architect and urban conservationist. In May 2012 she was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Smith College. In 2014 she was awarded the Indian Institute of Architects Baburao Mhatre Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. She was also appointed an Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University from 2017 to 2023.

Project : Rehabilitation of Bhadli Village
Type : Community Location: Kutch, Gujarat