We have discussed so far various aspects of significant issues related to four concepts:
- socio-economic development,
- human development and
- sustainable development.
Based on our appreciation of these, let us now try to understand the socio-economic development taking place in India. Although various efforts have been made for the development of the country right from the day the country became independent, it is since 1990 that India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the developing world. It is said that the economy of India is the twelfth largest in the world by market exchange rates and the fourth largest in the world by GDP, measured on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.
This has been accompanied by an increase in life expectancy and literacy rates and attainment of food security. There has been a significant reduction in poverty, although official figures estimate that 27.5 per cent of Indians still lived below the national poverty line of $1 (PPP), (around 10 rupees in nominal terms) a day in 2004-2005. It is also said that India’s recent economic growth has widened economic inequality across the country. Despite sustained high economic growth rate, approximately 80 per cent of its population lives on less than the US $2 a day (PPP). Even though the arrival of Green Revolution brought an end to famines in India and ensured food for the entire population, 40 per cent of children under the age of three are underweight and a third of all men and women suffer from chronic energy deficiency.