Socio-economic Development
of India

The course aims at providing a broad-based knowledge of the socioeconomic development in India in the recent past. As a developing BRICs economy escaping the stranglehold of colonialism, India’s problems are both social and economic in nature. In the last two decades India has been able to liberalize its economy, abolish the licensing Raj system and strengthen its economic and social infrastructure. Despite ideological differences, both the BJP and Congress governments have pursued a policy of economic reform to foster economic growth. Consequently, the country has achieved a steady economic growth of 6.5 % GDP which has gradually slowed down. India still lags behind in providing education and employment to all, developing a sustainable griculture, building a robust urban infrastructure, establishing stable small/medium business enterprises and ensuring equitable distribution of wealth. There is a greater need for the government to focus on these areas by providing economic incentives and state subsidies. The emphasis of the United Progressive Alliance government on pushing an “Aam Adami” or common man’s budget and pursuing “reforms with a human face” is backed by this belief. India also needs to further liberalize trade to attract foreign investments. Recently new business partnerships between India and the United States and India and Japan in the areas of automobile manufacture, high-speed railway system, software development, civilian nuclear transfer of technology, bio-diversity conservation and transfer of energy saving technology have generated both excitement and concern in the world. However the laissez-faire capitalism of Milton Friedman and Jagdish Bhagwati has been criticized by many Indian economists. They feel that a Keynesian interventionist model of development would be the key to the economic success of India in the long run. Notwithstanding the ideological debate, the real challenge for India is to continue on the path of socioeconomic development and yet be able to accommodate/reject growing regionalism and politico-religious assertiveness.