Even after more than two decades of India's Look East policy, a UN study has put Mumbai and Delhi much below Asian cities such as Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing, Jakarta or Manila in terms of prosperity.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme has described the two Indian cities as "moderately prosperous".
The new city prosperity index, released on Wednesday, has tracked each on the basis of its performance on five key indicators: productivity, urban infrastructure, quality of life, environmental sustainability and equity.On a list of 95 global cities, Mumbai, ranked 52nd, and Delhi, 58th, are the only two Indian cities included.
However, urban experts questioned the limited choice of indicators.
"In emerging economies like India, there is a need to look at more indicators that should reflect the role of cities vis-à-vis the internal city structure," said Amitabh Kundu, professor at the School of Social Sciences, JNU.