Economic and Human Development in Contemporary India: Cronyism and Fragility

Economic and Human Development in Contemporary India: Cronyism and Fragility

Economic and Human Development in Contemporary India: Cronyism and Fragility

Economic and Human Development in Contemporary India: Cronyism and Fragility

Synopsis

This book deals with issues in economic development in India. It highlights those factors that are indicative of India's emergence in the global economy yet indicates negative "trickle down" effects, such as malnutrition, poverty, bonded labourers, high adult unemployment and the widespread use of child labour.

Focusing on structural deficiencies for a steady growth rate, and how to make growth inclusive, the book examines duality in development and the factors standing between national economic prosperity and human development. The author analyses issues concerning international trade, technology, access to food, inequality and poverty, and the "catching up" of developing countries. A novel approach to the analysis of the Indian economy and other developing countries in the 21stcentury, this book advocates development as a form of governance.

With India as a case study, this book provides a solid framework for looking at developing economies which will be useful to policy-makers and to graduate and post-doctoral students and researchers in the areas of development studies and economics, industrialisation and structural change.

Excerpt

The completion of the draft of this monograph coincided with the beginning of global meltdown. Which order of sequence the national economic prosperity (narrowly defined as growth in per capita income) and human development should follow is still a live intellectual issue in India. I began with the objective of inquiring into the sources of India’s income and wealth, and the ways of translating those into well-being of the population as a whole, at a time when Indian planners and India Inc. started thinking of the economy as finally launched on the steadystate growth path. the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007–12) document notes:

India has entered the Eleventh Plan period with an impressive record of
economic growth. After a lacklustre performance in the Ninth Plan period
(1997–98 to 2001–02), when gross domestic product (GDP) grew at only
5.5 per cent per annum, the economy accelerated in the Tenth Plan period
(2002–03 to 2006–07) to record an average growth of 7.7 per cent, the high
est in any Plan period so far. Besides, there was acceleration even within the
Tenth Plan period and the growth rate in the last four years of the Plan has
averaged 8.7 per cent, making India one of the fastest growing economies in
the world.

(Planning Commission 2008, vol.1: 1)

Generally, the government and international funding agencies became content with a high gdp growth rate and bullish stock market, and regarded these as the “black box” of the economy. Since many other indicators of development were found to be inconsistent, an examination of the constituent components of the gdp growth rate was felt necessary. True, the current rate of growth has been persisting for the last four consecutive years, but in the past India did achieve in quite a number of years an annual growth rate of greater than 8 per cent. These figures used to be followed immediately by opinionated rhetoric (as found in GoI, Economic Survey, various issues) such as: ‘we have the capability of being in line with the best in the world and aiming beyond that’; ‘India is well-poised to reach the stage of developed countries and is set to make rapid strides’; or ‘the country is in the periphery of developed countries and would soon enter the stage of . . .

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