“In India, everything and it’s opposite is true.”
The term economic growth implies an increase in the nation’s real GDP, and more importantly, an increase in the nation’s per capita income. When we are analyzing a nation’s economic growth, we are basically studying as to how that economy is advancing in quantitative terms. Economic development, on the other hand, is a much more encompassing term which includes both the qualitative as well as the quantitative dimensions of economic progress. Not only does it include the aspect of economic growth, but it also considers the process by which an economy improves the economic and social well being of it’s citizens. A mere look at the figures is not enough. We have to judge the progress of an economy by assessing a number of other factors like the level of infrastructure, health, education etc. Economic growth is no doubt important, but so is the development of the social sector. Economic growth, economic development and the social sector are all intertwined and are key elements in a nation’s progress. We shall now go on to discuss the role that they have played with respect to the Indian economy.
Since Independence, India’s policy makers have been implementing the Five Year Plans with the aim of taking the nation forward. The objective of the 1st Five Year Plan was to revive the economy from the after effects of the British rule and to increase the volume of domestic savings. The 2nd Five Year Plan, known as the Nehru-Mahalanobis Plan, focussed on strengthening the manufacturing sector with special emphasis on the development of heavy industries. The public sector had a key role to play with respect to Industrialization. However, the growth rate of the Indian economy, during the first...
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...y? Are the poor and needy benefiting from the policies which are being implemented? Is the trickle down effect working? As we move more and more towards a ‘laissez faire’ economy, what is the role of the public as well as the private sector in ensuring a stable socio-economic setup? These are the queries which need to be answered. There is a consistent diversion of opinion among economists as to which aspect needs to be more stressed upon. Will more economic and industrial growth lead to more socio-economic development or does it work the other way round? This debate continues to rage. However we need to strike a balance between the two to optimise the socio-economic development of our nation.
1. ‘An Uncertain Glory: India and it’s Contradictions’ by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze
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