"Economic growth means more output … Development goes beyond this …".In the light of your answer, comment on the performance of the Indian economy since Independence.

Economic growth refers the long term increase in real national output or real national income. Growth can be measured by an increase in a country’s GDP (gross domestic product). Economic development is broader in nature. It not only includes the quantitative change but also includes certain qualitative changes in the economy, such as HDI and life expectancy etc.
Economic growth is possible without development and like many others, Indian economy also presents a growth development paradox. Economy growth is measured on GDP and India’s GDP has changed massive from a mere Rs2.7 lakh crore to Rs57 lakh crore in 67 years of independence. The reason for such massive change lies in increase in industrial production and better agricultural production and service facilities. Further since 1992, the average growth rate of India has been above 6% and it has attracted global attention as a resilient economy that was able to keep itself tamperproof against the effects of the subprime crisis and the global financial slowdowns. However, India is also home to a large concentration of people living in debilitating poverty and social deprivation. This is because the pace of poverty reduction and human development has not kept pace with the economic growth. The key reasons for this paradox are inequitable distribution of land and income, lack of adequate funding on social development, adverse impacts of liberalization on poor, lack of political will, lack of economic agenda towards etc. and to a great extent the trade regime led by WTO. Thus; India maintained good economic growth, but lacked in economic development since independence.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“Economic growth means more output … Development goes beyond this …”.In the light of your answer, comment on the performance of the Indian economy since Independence.

Published: February 7, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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