(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Socio-Economic Development in India and Five Decades of Planning Ahmad Shamshad

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

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.

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 human needs.
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 development.
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 policies.
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 self-developments,
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 non-material sense.

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 development.

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 poverty levels.

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 development.

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 development.
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 Summit.

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