(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA
Topic: Socio-Economic Development in India and Five
Decades of Planning Ahmad Shamshad
Social development as process and an approach to social
well-being is not an independent and autonomous concept. And further, social
development strategies are not mutually exclusive, but can be integrated to
achieve social development goals in conjunction with the dynamic process of
economic development. It is in this context of inter-dependence and strong
nexus, that social and economic development should be addressed together, since
neither can be achieved in isolation form the other. The declaration of the
Social Development Summit clearly underscores this inseparable and mutually
reinforcing relationship. It is rightly said that social development is a
necessary foundation for sustainable economic development and conversely, broad
based and sustained economic development is prerequisite for social development.
Based on the experiences of economic growth is the prerequisite and the Summit
recognized that while economic growth. Material properly is necessary for social
development, but is fare from being sufficient. In a World Bank document
Birdsall asserted that investment in social development is good economics.
Expert options favour this idea and come round the view that social values and
humanitarian goals must inform and direct the necessary ends and means of
economic development. The development think-tanks, throughout the world, now
recognize the inseparability of social and economic development and increasingly
argue that social development cannot take place without economic development and
economic development is meaningless if its not accompanied by improvements in
social welfare services for the population as a whole. To be successful,
economic development should mean an increased well-being of the whole society
and not for a small segment of the rich, resourceful and property owing class.
Alternatively, the most distinctive feature of social development is its-nexus
with economic development. And, in that backdrop, social development explicitly
seeks to integrate social and economic process, viewing both elements as
supportive to each other. Having highlighted the reinforcing relationship
between social and economic development, this discussion considers the question
as to whether the goals of both are different. Here again there are differences.
Many of the proponents of economic growth model of development cling to the view
that economic development in the newly developing countries must precede and not
succeed social development, for, economic development would enable such
countries to bring about social development. They argue that social development
occurs naturally as a result of economic growth. Furthermore, they argue that
there is hardly any contradiction between the goals of economic and social
development, since both aim at ‘progress' and ‘dynamic social change’. Material
progress, they say, leads to extinction of human misery and thereby to
improvements in the quality of human life.
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The proponents of social developments, on the contrary,
refute some of the basic assumptions regarding the percolation of economic
development effects to promotion of social development. The argument advanced is
that economic development parameters of development paradigm in the developed as
well as in developing countries have resulted in the creation of “Island of
prosperity in the midst of an ocean of poverty”. The growth, in terms of
material property, has made ‘man’ and economic being, blunting his social
sensitivities, freezing his finer instincts and emotions, converting him to a
self-centred, selfish and self-seeking person oblivious of his social
obligations to help all those who are run down in the race of development and
whose lives are characterized by fear, insecurity, want, death, disease and
despair. The trickle-down effect of economic growth hardly reach the mass of
pauperized persons. Had that been so, the developed Western nation may not be
having a substantial proportion of their population living in poverty.
The awesome and often astonishing implication of an
exclusivist growth model, with many disastrous social consequences, dissuade the
social development theorists from buying the dream sold by establishment
economists. They contend that social development, though related to economic
development stipulates different goals. The goals of social development, they
stay, squire continuous efforts of reducing and eventually eliminating the major
sources of social distress. In specific terms, social development goals aim at:
a. Promoting social progress and betterment of human condition based on human
dignity, equality, respect, mutual responsibility and cooperation.
b. Placing people at the centre of development and the economy at the service of
c. Integrating economic and social policies to make them mutually supportive.
d. Recognizing that sound and broad-based economic policies are necessary
foundation to achieve sustainable social development.
e. Promoting a just distribution of income and access to resources through
equity and equality of opportunity at all levels.
f. Strengthening of civil society and enabling people to achieve satisfaction of
basic needs and to realise their dignity, safety and creativity.
g. Empowering people to strengthen own capacities.
The central characteristics of social development revolve
round (a) the needs and aspirations of all people, (b) their empowerment to
maximise their capacities, resources and opportunities, (c) enhancement of
people’s rights, resources and potentialities to enable them to lead satisfying
lives and contribute to the well-being of their families, their communities to
their society at large, (d) a fair distribution of the benefits of development,
(e) facilitation of structural changes, and (f) the promotion of a development
perspective in social welfare.
In the context of these goals and characteristics, the policy imperatives of
social development emphasise the following:
a. Social development is essential to achievements of human-centred economic
b. The interlocking goals of social development and economic development are
necessary to achieve fundamental objectives of sustainable human development.
c. Integration of social development goals into micro-and-macro development
d. Action to enhance sustainable human development should concentrate on the
needs of such people who are most severely disadvantaged or vulnerable.
e. Ensuring that all citizens have reasonable access to education, work
opportunities, land and financial resources in order to facilitated
f. Ensuring that all citizens have access to a reasonable level of food, water,
shelter, clothing, health services and other welfare services.
g. And finally, the establishment of a human, egalitarian and democratic society
where the state remains constantly concerned with issues of human welfare and
remains committed to ensuring human well-being in both the material and
A determined act actualization of these policy imperatives
requires formulation and implementation of such strategies and approaches, which
have interdisciplinary focus and draw upon the insights of political economy,
which suggest the forging of strong linkages between social and economic
development goals. In more specific terms and strategies required the active
involvement of the state and civil society in the implementation of pro-poor
polices of social, and economic development.
Agriculture is one of the most important bases of
socio-agriculture sector is very small and is largely concerned with processing
of agricultural sector is very small and is largely concerned with processing of
agriculture products and meeting the requirements of agricultural inputs as well
as people engaged in agriculture. Therefore, in such areas development of
agriculture is essential to accelerate the overall process of socio-economic
Agriculture is a way of life, a tradition, which for
centuries, has shaped the though, the outlook, the culture and the economic life
of the people of India. Agriculture, therefore, is and will continue to be
central to all strategies for planned socio-economic development of the rural
masses. Rapid growth of agriculture is essential not only to achieve
self-reliance at national level but also for broader food security and to bring
abut equity is distribution of income and wealth resulting in rapid reduction in
Like agricultural development, industrial development is
another component of economic development. It has profound impact of economy,
society and habitat; provides more goods and services to consumption basket;
generates more jobs; and creates sound based for the development of tertiary
sector of the economy. Apart from this, the industrial development is the real
propulsive force in the process of development.
In India, agriculture is the bottom base on the economy,
which is also contingent upon industrial development. Most of the agricultural
inputs and demands for agricultural products come from industrial development.
The development experiences of present fast development. The development
experiences of present fast developing and highly developed countries of the
world show that industrial development is lever for the comprehensive economic
development. In other words industrial development is switch action for overall
The traditional orthodox economic reasoning is that
agriculture and other primary activities are subject to diminishing rerum, i.e.,
producing per unit decreases with the increase of inputs. But industry is
destined to have increasing returns. Apart from this economic logic for
industrial development, industrialization enhances and strengthens man’s
capabilities and reduces vulnerability of economy from natural calamities. It
increases the scope of human choice and reduces his dependence on the nature.
The industrial development accelerates rational and
scientific outlook among the people. A few scholars are of the view that
industrial development along with urbanization is synonym of development. All
the advanced and the developed countries of the word were far ahead in
industrial development. Marx, in his famous passage in the introduction to
Capital, observed; “the country that is more developed industrially only shows,
to the less developed, the image of its won future.”
In India where population is increasing rapidly, unemployment
is rampant, demographic, profile of workforce is imbalanced and regional
disparities in development are high, industrial development has additional
significance. Here industrial development is essential for the provision of
employment, diversion of population pressure from agricultural land,
diversification of economy and restoration of structure balance in economic
development. The areas poorly endowed and less destined for agricultural
development may opt for industrial development. This world reduces the
increasing malaise of inequality and regional disparities in the process of
The development in India have been a mixed story of hopes and despairs. The
stable and deep-rooted democracy, adequate food supply for the burgeoning
population, diversification of economic base were a few spectacular
achievements. Contrary to it, rampant regional disparities and structural
inequality, mass illiteracy and poverty, and over-centralisation of planning
process remained a great malaise. The cherished goal of socialistic pattern of
society did not succeed to the expected and anticipated extent.
A journey through several development reports makes one feel
like getting bagful of mixed stuff of hope and despair, of delight and
disappointment and of accomplishments and failures. On all indicators of
socio-economic development there is not much to cheer. Social policy documents
make rhetorical noise is big, bold and beautiful words. The commitment to
promote socio-economic development through planned programmes of development
sounds Excellent is a variety of government document (including the country
paper of Social Development Summit); it, however, does not fit well with ground
level condition with regard to poverty eradication, employment generation and
promotion of social integration-the three pivotal themes of Social Development