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Volume: III, Issue: I, January-June 2012


GLOBALISATION AND DEVELOPMENT WITH A HUMAN FACE: MYTH OR REALITY? (A STUDY OF INTER-REGIONAL DISCREPANCIES AMONG THE STATES)







Abstract

Development refers to a process that combines the use of physical and non-physical resources to optimize the output for the welfare of the economy and its people. The perusal of history of planning shows that its concept and meaning has kept on changing from time to time in various plan periods. Earlier it was perceived to be attainment of higher economic growth, then it became growth with social justice and later assumed to be peoples' empowerment and participation! However, despite of providing various safeguard measures to control and channelise the growth, the problems that confronted the economy at the time of independence have not only persisted but have even grown and have assumed a far more threatening and menacing form; poverty, illiteracy, regional backwardness, malnutrition, marginalization of a vast section of society etc. are some of the plethora of issues that the country has not been able to address to adequately and squarely. The things had come to such a pass that the nation had to pledge the gold to the international agencies for help and also to avoid being declared as a defaulter. The international helps arrived but with certain structures, and that laid geneses of structural adjustment programme (SAP), besides opening up of the core sectors of the economy. Thus, the onset of globalization redefined the role of government and also brought to a major shaft in the development paradigm.

The ensuing paper attempt to study that impact of globalization on inter-state disparities. For analysis, four developing states and four developed states have been deliberately selected and impact on some broad socio-economic parameters like economic development, economic and social development, development and non development plan expenditure and use of institutional credit have been studied in the pre and post liberalization period. The study shows that not only have the inter-state disparities grown in the post liberalization and if the ongoing trend is allowed to continue, it may threaten the very process of development. The task before the planners is not only to spend up the development process of developing states but also bridge the socio-economic disparities on priority basis. It therefore suggests the reorganization and complete over haul of grass-root institutions and functionaries who are the key players of development.



Keywords Content

Globalisation is a monster that needs to be controlled san may devour us

                                                                                                                                -Annonymous

I

When the Constitution was formally adopted some six decades ago in our country, the planners, leaders, statement and academicians were all unanimous, in their view that the safest and quickest way to address and combat the issues of rampant poverty, malnutrition, backwardness, illiteracy etc. that confronted the nation at the time of independence was to switch over the planned development. Adequate steps were devised to ensure that the process of development is more democratic in nature. The Preamble of the Constitution adequately reflects their intensions and the Directive Principles of the State Policy and Fundamental Rights reinforces their commitment.  The federal set up adopted, at the time of inception of five year plans, ensured that not only the power of governance be shared between the Centre and the States but there should also be the appropriate distribution of resources.

It is ironical to see that despite of all these measures, taken about six decades ago, have failed to provide us an egalitarian and just society. The problems and issues that the country had inherited at the time of independence have not only remained unresolved but some of them have assumed a far more threatening and menacing form. What went wrong with the planning? Why even the decades of planned efforts could not mitigate the issues has become the major concern as well as a challenge before the planners!

The perusal of the history of planning shows how the concept of development has kept on changing in subsequent plans. In the first five year plan attainment of rapid economic growth was the main agenda. The basic premise, perhaps, was that faster economic growth would automatically take care of other critical issues like poverty, malnutrition, backwardness etc [Papola, 1984; Rajeev, 1999; Arumugam, 1999]. However, the failure of trickledown theory, which came as a big shock to the planners, forced them to change the focus planning in subsequent plans. The focus of development later became growth with distribution or social justice. In the later years the concept of development was perceived as peoples' empowerment and peoples' participation. All this goes on to show that there has been an element of ad-hocism in the nature and approach of the planners all through and the focus of various plans kept of shifting from one issue to another without addressing the issue in hand, in totality.

The impact of development has not been only been bad. In fact, it also has silver linings too. Firstly, it succeeded in pushing up the economy in many areas, it also than helped her to emerge from being a net importer to becoming an exporter in many critical fields, from being a despondent and a dependent economy to emerging as a self reliant and independent country and from being a poor and an impoverished stated to becoming a vibrant, thriving and a power economy in the last few decades.

However, the inability of the planning to address many critical issues and more specifically its failure to distribute the fruits of development evenly to all segments of the regions and all sections of the society has been the biggest disappointment to the planners. It has, in the process, triggered off a process of chain reactions that has resulted in a lop-sided development and finally precipitated in the emergence of developed pockets in some of the regions. These developed pockets, which later metamorphosed into urban centers, became the nodal points of development, that instead of acting as an engine of catalyst or growth, as was envisaged of them, virtually stifled off the whole process of growth and developmental activities in other regions by attracting both physical and non physical resources [Pant, 2002].

The other equally disturbing fact was that the commensuration of skewed development also heightened the other socio-economic angularities besides stepping up the process of rural to urban migrations. All this started exerting tremendous pressure on the fragile urban resources thereby threatening to de-stabilize the very process of economic development. Thus, besides speeding up the economic growth, reduction of regional disparities also became an essential objective not only for maintaining stability but also for national integration and political stability [Rao, 1984].

Unfortunately, these disparities did not remain confined to one domain but cut across caste, region and gender domains as well. It simultaneously isolated a vast majority of population from the main stream development process and that accentuated the problem despite governments numerous programmes and social interventions, the problem persisted. The situation, in the later part of the eighties of the twentieth century, had come to such a pass that the country had to pledge its gold to the international agencies is order to avoid becoming a defaulter. The international help did come but with stringent conditions. The nation had no option but to abide by their condition and that initiated that process that is identified as structural adjustment programme (SAP) besides opening the core sectors of the economy to the private and global players, which till then was a forbidden territory for them [Joshi, 2006].  

Thus, the onset of globalisation also heralded a new era in the history of planning in the country that brought a major shift in the development paradigm. Therefore, it could be said that globalisation was not a voluntary option before the nation but a liability thrust upon them by international agencies from which there was no escape. In the ensuing paper an attempt has been made to study how the process of globalisation has affected the economy. The presentation has been classified into two sections while the first section analysis the impact of globalisation at the inter-regional levels. The impact has been studied on some broad parameters like per capita GSDP, poverty ratio, infant mortality and life expectancy rates, per capita development of non development expenditure infrastructural facilities etc. The second section suggests the strategy to addresses the issue.

II

Is the Development having a Human Face in Globalized Era?

Impressed by the phenomenonal success of planning in the erstwhile Soviet Union, the country had deliberately adopted socialistic development pattern with the hope of providing an egalitarian society and repeating the success. All the safeguard measures provided in the Constitution were the instruments or tools to ensure that the fruits of development were equally distributed. Unfortunately, this did not commensurate and what we are witnessing today is a highly skewed pattern of development. It has nothing to do with a human