Three Indian Cities are now in UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: UNESCO Learning Cities

Mains level: Not Much


Warangal, Nilambur, and Thrissur have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).

What does UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities mean?

  • An international policy-oriented network, the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities is a network of inspiration, know-how and best practices.
  • It is coordinated by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).
  • The Network has member cities that it supports in aspects like promoting policy dialogue and peer learning, documenting effective strategies and best practices; building partnerships; capacity development; and more.

What is a learning city?

  • According to UNESCO, a learning city is one that
  1. effectively mobilizes its resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education
  2. revitalizes learning in families and communities
  3. facilitates learning for and in the workplace
  4. extends the use of modern learning technologies
  5. enhances quality and excellence in learning
  6. fosters a culture of learning throughout life
  • In doing so, the city enhances individual empowerment and social inclusion, economic development and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development

Inclusion of Indian cities

  • The Indian cities, Nilambur and Thrissur in Kerala, and Warangal in Telangana became the nation’s first entrants in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.
  • As per UNESCO, 77 cities from 44 countries across the globe have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.
  • The group of global cities also includes cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hamburg, Athens, Incheon, Bristol, and Dublin.
  • The inclusion will foster sharing of ideas with other cities, provide already applied solutions to issues and much more.

About the cities

(1) Thrissur – the cultural capital of Kerala

  • Popularly known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is home to academic and research institutions.
  • It is also known for its jewellery industry, especially gold.
  • As a member of the UNESCOI GNLC, Thrissur hopes to contribute to the intellectual and peer learning processes, focusing on equitable access to learning for all, digital learning ecosystems and skills for sustainability.
  • Thrissur ticked UNESCO’s check boxes in aspects of good practices, equity and inclusion among other factors.
  • For e.g., the presence of a MSME-Development Institute of India regional centre in Thrissur offers institutional support in promoting decent work and entrepreneurship through upskilling.

(2) Nilambur, Kerala’s eco-tourism destination

  • Nilambur is an eco-tourism destination in the Kerala.
  • It is a city with various socio-economic patterns marked by an urban and rural mix.
  • The majority of the population depends on agriculture and allied industries.
  • The city offers free healthcare facilities to all citizens and utilizes health volunteers to provide door-to-door treatment for bedded patients.
  • It also promotes first-aid training for students and young citizens.
  • Nilambur aims to promote sustainable development, gender equality, inclusivity and democracy through community ownership.
  • Nilambur also aspires to become a women-friendly city by ensuring equal opportunities in all sectors, promoting capacity-building and reducing harassment.
  • As a learning city, Nilambur aims to work to innovate in agriculture and handicrafts, promote eco-tourism and improve water management.

(3) Warangal, the tourism spot

  • Warangal has a rich cultural heritage. The city is a major tourism venue, welcoming 3.2 million tourists every year.
  • Warangal’s economy is primarily composed of agricultural, industrial and service sectors.
  • The city promotes equity and inclusion, for which it has implemented several strategies, including Women and Child Welfare policy, Urban Policy etc.
  • Further, it also provides free training to the transgender community which helps in employment opportunities.



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