Indicators of of Progress and Development

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Income, growth and prosperity were accepted as key indicators of progress and development till the first half of the twentieth century. This was a preoccupation of classical economists. But in present century there is a great conflict, which relates development with equality, growth without equitable distribution and prosperity alongside rising gender inequalities. None of which are natural but rather influenced by social and cultural factors. There is need to broaden the concept of development to encompass the overall well-being of people rather than just denoting rising income. The national income as calculated by the Gross National Product (GNP) measure is no indication of the standard of living of nation’s people. The condition of poverty, illiteracy, diseases and mortality in backward agrarian countries generate the concept of Development Studies. The demand to replace the previously supreme income measure by some alternative, based on a concept of overall welfare was juxtaposed to basic principles of economic theorization in the later half of twentieth century. All these circumstances created the discipline of Development Studies, which is inspired by more humanitarian consideration. Both the pre and the post-globalized worlds have witnessed tremendous inequalities in manner in which development gets distributed (Kuznets 1953, 1966). Historical differences in ownership of resources continue even today. Ignoring the broad concerns of people results in misery, ill health, unemployment and poverty to many while a few flourishes, prosper, progress and develop. We can not consider this to be true, real development. That is why the need for goals of development that are broad enough so as to take into accounting both positive and... ... middle of paper ... ... countries’ debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term, in cooperation with the developing countries, developing decent and productive work for youth, providing access to reasonable essential drugs in developing countries in cooperation with medicine companies, and making available the benefits of new technologies especially information and communication technologies in cooperation with the private sector. Eighteen (18) targets were set as quantitative benchmarks for attaining the goals. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in its 2nd Guidance note (endorsed in 2003) on ‘Country Reporting on the Millennium Development Goals’ provided a framework of 53 indicators (48 basic + 5 alternative). These are categorized according to targets, for measuring the progress towards individual targets in the table 1.1.
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