|Source :NewsBharati Date :16-Apr-2018|
India i.e. Bharat has almost swung into election mode. Narendra Modi continues to be the biggest challenge which the Indian electorate has to face. In May 2014, the nation earned a prime minister- a hard-earned one, in the last several decades since the Independence. The future of not merely the Prime Minister and his government alone, but the future of the nation as well, too is at stake. The citizens are worried about their future welfare, the incumbent individual Members of Parliament are worried about their tickets, the present Ministers are worried about the performance of their portfolios, the opposition parties are worried about their dwindling number and diminishing participation, the ruling party is worried about its return to power and the nation is worried about its continuing peaceful existence.
The destiny is in the air over the fluctuating preferential wisdom of the electorate. The lesson has always been that the political parties including the ruling party cannot take the ‘active’ and sensitive electorate for granted. The recent Rajasthan 2017 poll and a little later, February-March 2018 UP and Bihar bye-elections to the Lok Sabha, have emphatically signalled the same to all those concerned.
Since the advent of political independence in 1947, in India, for the first time, indigenous planning process took shape and in 1950 a statutory body created by an Act of Indian parliament took upon the responsibility of planning for economic development of the entire country. Everybody was new in the public administration and planning process. The mentors were undoubtedly influenced by the then newly risen Soviet economic planning approach. The then Indian government members were patriots beyond doubt, but it is equally true that most of these were Macaulay products, who were perhaps not equipped with adequate ‘Indianness’ to comprehend Indian genes. Planning public administration for economic development was a great challenge to the then inexperienced political leaders in India. These leaders were worried over the biggest problem in India i.e. poverty and unemployment. It is interesting to note that the whole world was transgressing through a difficult period immediately after the Second World War. Several countries were liberated from different colonial Rules and were confronted with the problem of resurrecting their respective national economies aiming at eradicating poverty in their respective nations. Most of the newly born countries had before them either classical models of economic development or the latest arrival of Soviet Model. Economic development of several of these countries was affected by the side effects of the ‘cold war’. Political instability in the region was a major hurdle in stabilizing parliamentary democracy. African continent, Middle East, South and South East Asian region was severely affected by the ‘cold war’ on the one hand, and expanding interventionist strategies of the then two superpowers viz., the USA and Soviet Russia on the other.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru steered the economy carefully in the country but regional and the international trade and international affairs did influence his course of action. Deceitful China and the divided Pakistan region struck the naïve foreign policies of India and Pt. Nehru’s ideas of peace and coexistence were let down. Kashmiri complexities and debacle engineered by China and her mischievous skirmishes cost him perhaps his life. However, the most admirable dimension in the Indian region was a stable parliamentary democratic set-up in India, the only hope of ‘peace and coexistence’. Besides Pt. Nehru’s role in this regard, it was the ancient Indian socio-cultural heritage, which was the solid foundation of the concept of parliamentary democracy which remained the guiding lamp post in the tempest of uncertainty and chaos in the region. However, the Indian rulers from 1947, miserably failed to lead the society towards a well planned and studiously considered ‘long march’ for the nation building.
The earlier scenario of the development and welfare measures:
It is important to note that the duly elected earlier governments between 1947 and 2014 too had launched several schemes and development projects. The following are some of the noteworthy schemes:
1952- Community Development Programmes , 1960-61—Intensive Agriculture Development Programmes , 1964-65-- Intensive Agriculture Area Programme , Small Farmers Development Agency ., Marginal Farmers Development Agency , 1966-67—High Yielding Variety Programme , 1966-67—Green Revolution, 1969—Rural Electrification Corporation , 1973—Drought Prone Area Programme, 1974-75—Small Farmer Development Scheme , 1975—Command Area Development Programme , 1975—Twenty Point Programme , 1977—National Institution of Rural Development, 1977-78—Food For Work Programme , 1977-78—AntyodayaYojana , 1979—Training Rural Youth for Self Employment , 1980—Integrated Rural Development Programme , 1984—National Fund for Rural Development , 1985—Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme , 1986—National Drinking Water Mission , 1989—JawaharRozgarYojana , 1989—Nehru RozgarYojana , 1993—Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme , 1993—District Rural Development Agency , 1994—Child Labour Eradication Scheme , 1995—Mid Day Meal Scheme , !996—Group Life Insurance Scheme for Rural Areas , 1995—National Social Assistance Scheme , 1997-98—Ganga KalyanYojana , 1997—Kasturba Gandhi Education Scheme , 1997—SwaranJayantoShahariRozgarYojana , 1999—Jawahar Gram SammridhiYojana , 2000—Jan Shree BimaYojana , 2000—Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana , 2001—SampoornaGrameenRozgarYojana , 2001—Valmiki Ambedkar AwasYojana , 2004—VandeMataram Scheme , 2005—Janani Suraksha Yojana , 2005—Rajeev Gandhi GrameenVidyutikaranYojana , 2005—Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission , 2006—National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme , 2007—RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana , 2007—AamAadmiBimaYojana , 2009—Rajiv AwasYojana .
A review and reappraisal of all the above schemes would indicate the genuine intentions and honest political initiative on the part of the earlier yester-years leaders. Progress was certainly achieved, the needy were benefitted, the production did increase, trade expanded, all these developments were witnessed and realized. The past need not be condemned merely because these belonged to some other political ideology or party. The remarkable status which emerged in the first half-century of the Independence is certainly different, substantially improved, useful and on a progressive path. There has been growing all around, in the fields of an industrial sector, agriculture, trade, science and relevant technology and the individual to have developed a vast vision. Yet very few seemed happy and satisfied.Big unbelievable scam-stories hit the media and the citizenry and like a wildfire spread all over India. The political and administrative credibility reached a point of nadir. The Spector of near anarchy and uncertainty of everything loomed at large.
Has anything gone wrong? Then what went wrong? Some are unhappy. Only a few are happy. Several welfare and development schemes were launched during the last several decades and yet it was quite evident that the fruits of these schemes reached the privileged few and the needy were left out. These ‘left-outs’ reinforced Modi’s sincere appeals for a break-through and a revised national outlook.The ‘haves-not’ won.
May 2014 was a period appeared something like a harbinger of hope. Narendrabhai Modi emerged from Gujarat to foot the long-pending bill for economic development of the nation.
The citizens understand that every decision announced by the government is required to be referred to one or more Ministries in the Union Government for a coordinated and concerted administrative action for a better realization. There are 52 Union Ministries, 53 Departments thereunder and 2 Union Departments entrusted with the national responsibility to usher in welfare measures reaching the ultimate beneficiary i.e., the citizen.
The moot- points for evaluation and weighing while voting before the citizens in the ensuing General Elections of 2019 are several, but generally as of now they appear to be satisfied over the performance of the Government. These are wisely aware that the steps of different schemes are not ‘a magic stick.’ It takes its own time to materialize the yields. These are also aware that Narendrabhai Modi alone cannot do everything.The legal procedures are required to be followed, steps and counter-steps to be awaited, opportunities are to be made available judiciously to all those concerned, long rope to be given and opportune moments awaited to be struck. Democratically and duly elected representative governments prepare carefully designed plans for economic development of their citizens as welfare measures.
"Economic Development" defined:
It is difficult to define the concept of economic development as there is no unanimity on a common definition among the economists. Let us refer to some of these derived from the Wikipedia.
“ Economic development is a slow process and is guided and controlled by several interdependent factors. Economic development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. The term has been used frequently by economists, politicians, and others in the 20th and 21st centuries. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. "Modernization, "westernization", and especially "industrialization" are other terms often used while discussing economic development. Economic development has a direct relationship with the environment and environmental issues.
“Whereas economic development is a policy intervention endeavour with aims of improving the economic and social well-being of people, economic growth is a phenomenon of market productivity and rise in GDP. Consequently, as economist Amartya Sen points out, "economic growth is one aspect of the process of economic development”. Economic growth deals with the increase in the level of output, but economic development is related to increase in output coupled with improvement in the social and political welfare of people within a country. Therefore, economic development encompasses both growth and welfare values.
“Concisely, the relationship between human development and economic development can be explained in three ways. First, increase in average income leads to improvement in health and nutrition (known as Capability Expansion through Economic Growth). Second, it is believed that social outcomes can only be improved by reducing income poverty (known as Capability Expansion through Poverty Reduction). Lastly, social outcomes can also be improved with essential services such as education, healthcare, and clean drinking water (known as Capability Expansion through Social Services). John Joseph Puthenkalam's research aims at the process of economic growth theories that lead to economic development. After analyzing the existing capitalistic growth-development theoretical apparatus, he introduces the new model which integrates the variables of freedom, democracy and human rights into the existing models and argues that any future economic growth-development of any nation depends on this emerging model as we witness the third wave of unfolding demand for democracy in the Middle East. He develops the knowledge sector in growth theories with two new concepts of 'micro knowledge' and 'macro knowledge'. Micro knowledge is what an individual learns from school or from various existing knowledge and macro knowledge is the core philosophical thinking of a nation that all individuals inherently receive. How to combine both this knowledge would determine further growth that leads to economic development of developing nations.” (Source: Wikipedia).
In fact, the theme of economic development is not an ordinary matter of part-time thinkers-narrators i.e. the media experts. Economic development is thus a multivariate concept; hence there is no single satisfactory definition of it. Economic development is a process where low-income national economies are transformed into modern industrial economies. It involves qualitative and quantitative improvements in a country economy. Political and social transformations are also included in the concept of economic development in addition to economic changes.
“The International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Reference Guide :
“No single definition incorporates all of the different strands of economic development. Typically economic development can be described in terms of objectives. These are most commonly described as the creation of jobs and wealth, and the improvement of the quality of life. Economic development can also be described as a process that influences growth and restructuring of an economy to enhance the economic well-being of a community. In the broadest sense, economic development encompasses three major areas:( a ) Policies that government undertakes to meet broad economic objectives including inflation control, high employment, and sustainable growth.( b ) Policies and programs to provide services including building highways, managing parks, and providing medical access to the disadvantaged. ( c ) Policies and programs explicitly directed at improving the business climate through specific efforts, business finance, marketing, neighbourhood development, business retention and expansion, technology transfer, real estate development and others.The main goal of economic development is improving the economic well being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of life.As there is no single definition of economic development, there is no single strategy, policy, or program for achieving successful economic development. Communities differ in their geographic and political strengths and weaknesses. Each community, therefore, will have a unique set of challenges for economic development.” (Source: Wikipedia) .
The new Indian government which assumed power in May 2014 launched the following welfare schemes since then, during the next four years. It is important to note that most of these schemes were introduced as necessary pre-conditions of the perspective long term plans. These were essential parts for the future successes. For example, the ‘Jan-dhan yojana’ where under, every citizen of any financial stature was entitled to open his accounts in a bank with zero balance and the bank was obliged to do the same.