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UNIT I ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT Although this course is about economic development in India it is important that you understand a few concepts that are used in the realm of developmental issues in general and to have an idea so that you can follow the debates about our economy and the rest of the world. Four basic concepts, which we shall discuss in Chapter 1, are: (i) Economic Growth, (ii) Economic Development, (iii) Sustainable Development, and (iv) Quality of Life. These concepts have some historical evolution. We shall try to follow this historical evolution of concepts. If there are important digressions to the text, we shall put them in boxes. We also suggest you some activities so that you learn things by doing them. In Chapter 2, we shall discuss alternative indices for measuring level of development reached by a country in a particular year, We shall specifically deal with Per Capita Income, Physical Quality of Life Index and Human Development Index.
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Introduction Economies grow and develop, they expand and advance, and they progress and prosper. There are phases when they decline too, and there are economies that experience continuous decay. If one considers long stretches of human history, one knows that economies (civilizations) disappeared altogether. We will not take into account such long stretches of time. We shall not consider too distant a past either. We will leave them to historians, may be, economic historians. Let us take a normal view. We shall then accept decline as an occasional, temporary phenomenon. We shall, therefore, use positive terms only. Of the positive terms, which have been used to describe changes as well as to prescribe changes, two have survived. They are growth and development. Because we shall primarily look at nations and countries as economies, and use terms such as ‘ economic growth ’ and ‘ economic development ’. We shall often try to distinguish ‘economic’ from ‘non- economic’ though there are cases where it becomes difficult to do so. In order to accommodate decline in level, we use phrase ‘negative growth’ and to describe perverse tendencies, we may use words ‘de-development’ or ‘mal- development’ though, we will not have occasions to use them. You may find that, sometimes in many scientific treatises and very often in colloquy, words ‘growth’ and ‘development’ are used in inter- changeable fashion. But, normally a distinction is made between the two, particularly in economics literature. It is maintained along the following lines. You might have noticed that the word ‘growth’ is used to describe increase in stature or size. It is used to describe a uni-dimensional change, as in the case of stature of a child or a uniform expansion in all directions, as in the case of size of a balloon. Even when we refer to development of a child, we refer to various dimensions of its personality.
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2010 for the course CEDT 601 taught by Professor Ypr during the Spring '00 term at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

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