About us


About Us

The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)has been committed to reviving and improving the urban fabric of the country and has also accomplished creating a robust battery of youth to support cities. Reciprocating this fact NIUA has created a dedicated entity “The Urban Youth Unit” (uYu) for creating a youth-centric and youth-sensitive ecosystem in the country. This will nurture the development of youth and encourage their participation in the processes of policy formulation, decision making, and eventually becoming the change maker of the future. The Urban Youth Unit aims to empower youth through research, advocacy, capacity building, innovations, and partnerships as its foundational pillars.

Our Strategy

Analyzing the need

Identify the specific challenges and requircments of youth in Urban Areas.

Envisaging the solutions

Research Sid design a range of holistic programs and services that cater to the diverse needs and interests of urban youth.

Strengthening through Capacity Building

Focus for empowering young people by providing them with the skills and resources they inced to succced.

Promoting Knowledge Exchange

Ensure efficient generation and exchange of information and ideas.

Fostering the Networks

Collaborate the efforts to a more holistic approach to youth development and provide a comprehensive range of sorvices.

Our Pillar


Capacity Building

Knowledge sharing


Nation Building


Our Team

Debolina Kundu
Director (Additional Charge)

Dr. Debolina Kundu is a Professor at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, India and has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of development studies. She is a doctoral fellow with the ICSSR and has a Ph.D from Jawaharlal Nehru University on urban governance. She has worked as consultant with, ADB, LSE, IIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCAP, KfW, GIZ, Urban Institute, Washington, East-West Centre, Honolulu etc., on issues of urbanization, migration, urban development policies, municipal finance, governance and exclusion. She is currently Professor and Editor of journals Environment and Urbanisation, Asia (SAGE) and Urban India (NIUA). She is the Country Investigator – India, for the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Centre for Sustainable Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC), which is supported by UK Research and Innovation. SHLC is an international, interdisciplinary and collaborative project, which aims to strengthen capacity in order to increase understanding of sustainable neighbourhoods and address urban, health and education challenges in fast growing cities across Africa and Asia. A member of the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission, she has several articles published in books and journals.

Lovlesh Sharma, Lead Urban Youth Unit

Lovlesh is the Lead for Urban Youth unit (uYu) & a specialised Urban Water and Infrastructure expert at, NIUA

Lovlesh is Danida Fellow and hold an international certification degree in Local Environmental Economics from University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is also a trained Architect & Urban Infrastructure planner fromt CEPT University Ahmedabad and has water management fellowship certification from IIM-Bangalore. He also holds the prestigious certificate diploma in Big data analytics in Urban Management form IIT Roorkee, India.

Lovlesh has 14+ years of experience as a development expert & Urban Infrastructure Planner, Architect and Academician in India and UAE. His areas of expertise includes City master planning, infrastructure services including urban & waste management, Blue green Infrastructure and Urban Youth Development programs.

Lovlesh is also a writer at heart, his poetry compilation "Lamakaan" was launched and published in 2019, while his next Novel is in print.

Himani Verma, Manager Urban Youth Unit

Himani Verma is Managing the Urban Youth Unit at NIUA and also handle the outreach activities of NIUA. Her major responsibilities include work management, organizing programs, activities and coordination. Additionally, she is also involved in report writing and data analysis. She specializes in economics and has 5 years of experience in research, and Management. Himani has contributed in writing various reports like State of the Cities Report, Strategies for Developing Small Towns in Madhya Pradesh etc. Previously Himani was working for 15th Finance Commission and Department of Economics, Ministry of Finance.

Kaustubh Parihar, Manager Urban Youth Unit

Kaustubh Parihar is a Civil Engineer – Environmental Planner currently working with the Director's strategic team. At NIUA, he has worked on various projects related to sustainable cities and the WASH sector, such as Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot in India and Swachh Bharat Mission Exposure Workshop projects. With seven years of rich exposure in Solid Waste Management and the WASH sector, he has been a part of the capacity-building program for more than 5000 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) officials under SBM (Urban). He has been actively involved in strategizing and organizing workshops, preparing training modules, conducting technical training sessions during the training, and Project Monitoring & Evaluation.

Prior to NIUA, He has worked on Sustainable Rural Development at Solidaridad Network, South East Asia where he contributed to developing an assessment framework for sustainable farming practice and conducted training for farmers. He was engaged with Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre (under Surat Municipal Corporation) Surat as a Project Consultant for developing the Vulnerability Assessment framework, Climate Change Resilience, and other ACCCRN research projects funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Deepti Mehrotra, Executive Assistant

Deepti has joined as an Executive Assistant under Director’s Secretariat at NIUA with 15 years of experience working alongside the executive team of reputed government organizations. Highly organized and detail-oriented, proven to manage business office functions, provide executive-level support, and facilitate smooth operations and successful project deliverables. Specializes in thriving on diverse challenges and maintaining confidentiality, tact, and diplomacy when handling sensitive issue resolution.

She is pursuing MBA in Business Management from NMIMS University. She enjoys reading, travelling and exploring things.


About Us

Our Initiatives

Voice of Youth


Youth Library

Our Partners