An Analysis of the Myth of Economic Growth in India with Special Reference to Human Development

Mridul Dharwal, K. R. Gola, Ankur Agarwal, Somboon Panyakom


Is India is shining well, or is it failing terribly? We can know the answer of this popular question by reading or by analyzing this paper.

From the last two decades the Indian economy achieved unprecedented improvements in income per head, was driven largely by market initiatives.

Historically economic growth is accompanied by greater industrialization and greater commercialization. Though this concept of economic growth is correct in essence, it lacks precision and makes its measurement difficult. Theoretically economic growth is conceptualized as any of the following:
• A rise in GDP
• A rise in GNP
• A rise in NNP
• A rise in PCI

The economy of India is the tenth-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the third largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). India’s growth achievements are indeed quite remarkable. We can understand this remarkable growth by following economic indicators:
1. Real GDP growth rate: 6–8% Average
2. India’s foreign reserves are $295.29 billion in 2012.
3. India is a preferred destination for FDI.
4. Bombay stock exchange touched the magical figure of 2,1077 points.

By seeing above said facts we can say that India is shining, India is rising but what about the following questions?
What has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to Unemployment? What has been happening to Inequality? What has been happening to human development?
India ranks a low 134 among 187 countries in terms of the human development index (HDI), which assesses long-term progress in health, education and income. From the total number of World’s Poor people, 1/3rd is from India.

Unemployment: India’s level of unemployment is so much higher than the developed world.
Income inequality: It is also clear that inequality in the Indian society has gone up manifold.
Malnutrition: One in three of the world’s malnourished children is in India, more even than in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a United Nations study.People understand that the GDP growth record is very impressive, and provides an important basis for all-round development. But there has also been a failure to ensure that rapid growth translates into better living conditions for the Indian people.”
Child labour: According to Census 2001, there are 12.6 million child labourers in India.
Environmental Degradation: Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife.
Health issues: India has largest number of diabetes patients: India accounts for the largest number of people — 50.8 million — suffering from diabetes in the world.
Slums in India: About 49 thousand slums were estimated to be in existence in urban India in
2008-09, 24% of them were located along nallahs and drains and 12% along railway lines.

Governments are now becoming increasingly aware that unless they take corrective action, economic growth can become lopsided and flawed. ‘Lopsided and flawed’ economic growth would mean economic growth that is jobless, ruthless, voiceless, rootless and futureless.

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