India: Development and Participation

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 512 pages
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This book explores the role of public action in eliminating deprivation and expanding human freedoms in India. The analysis is based on a broad and integrated view of development, which focuses on well-being and freedom rather than the standard indicators of economic growth. The authors place human agency at the centerstage, and stress the complementary roles of different institutions (economic, social, and political) in enhancing effective freedoms.
 

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The amazing growth story of India in the new millennium and the countless problems that we face have spawned a cottage industry of books about the opportunities and the challenges faced by the nation. It has become very difficult to get the right book that identifies the challenges in the right perspective and suggests constructive solutions.
One way to choose is by looking at the profile of the author(s). Hence the work by the renowned economists Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen, who also have a good field experience in India was an obvious choice when I came across it in a book fair. The book India: Development and Participation is one of the most comprehensive work on the challenges faced by the nation in the socio-economic front.
Citing statistics and making comparisons with other parts of the world, it talks about the challenges in education, healthcare, women emancipation, liberalisation and decentralisation. The authors expose the myth of the inclusiveness of our growth story by showing that we lag behind sub-Saharan Africa in most of the health and nutritional indicators. The inter-state disparities is also brought into picture. Each chapter ends with a case study of the state in India that has been able to make definite progress on the subject when compared to the other states. A comparison with China, which has similar problems like us also help us in putting things in perspective.
Are we on the right track?
Even as they applaud China for its success in the socio-economic front, the authors are unambiguous in their disapproval for the authoritarian methods used by then to achieve the ends. By noting the achievements of Kerala which has better indicators than China, they call for local, community based approaches to the major issues.
The chapter on women emancipation talks about an issue that is conspicuous by its absence in other similar discourses: the problem posed by widowhood and prospective widowhood that leads to choices like male-child preference. As the life expectancy of females are higher than males and because of our patriarchal norm of large age gap between the wife and the husband, this is a very serious issue in India.
The current edition was published in 2001. Hence the statistics are old. Interested ones can dig up the latest statistics from the original source that is given under every table. Also having written in 2001, it doesn’t talk about Naxalism which has become a serious problem off late. Being a result of the socio-economic and governance problems in the rural hinterland, an additional chapter on Naxalism can be added in future editions.
Hence as a whole, this book is one of the best written books on the socio-economic challenges faced by India. Written by eminent authors with good field experience, backed by authentic statistics and put in the right perspective, the book is a must read not only for people interested in public service but for every Indian so that we are not blinded by the glitz of our ‘growth’ story and lose sight of the humongous challenges we face.
link : http://gokul1988.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/book-review-india-development-and-participation-by-amartya-sen-and-jean-dreze/
 

Contents

INTRODUCTION AND APPROACH
1
12 Inequality and Participation
8
13 Comparative Perspectives
11
14 Womens Agency and Social Change
17
15 Institutions and Opportunities
20
16 Democracy Environment and Militarism
23
17 Voice Assertion and Solidarity
28
18 A Concluding Remark
32
510 Education and Political Action
186
POPULATION HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
189
62 Malthusian Fears and the Real Issues
196
63 Gender Equity and the Demographic Transition
198
64 Health Care as a Social Responsibility
201
65 Reproductive Health and Beyond
208
66 Achievements of Tamil Nadu
213
67 Environment and Development
218

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL OPPORTUNITY
34
22 On Education and Health
38
23 The Social Dimension of Health and Education
41
24 The Government the State and the Market
44
25 Interdependence Between Markets and Governance
46
26 MarketExcluding and MarketComplementary Interventions
49
27 Market Mania and Market Phobia
53
28 Cooperative Action and Social Context
56
29 A Positive Focus
61
INDIA IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
64
32 Lessons from Other Countries
70
33 East Asia and GrowthMediated Progress
73
34 Human Capital and More Basic Values
81
35 Indias Internal Diversities
83
36 Selected Regional Perspectives
89
37 Political Action and Rural Development in West Bengal
94
Scrutiny and Significance
97
39 Social Opportunities in Himachal Pradesh
101
310 Concluding Remark
110
INDIA AND CHINA
112
42 Conditions of Life and Death
114
43 Contrasts in Basic Education
116
44 PreReform Achievements
120
45 PostReform Records
122
46 Health Care in the PostReform Period
128
47 PreReform and PostReform Connections
130
48 Authoritarianism Famines and Vulnerability
132
49 Coercion Population and Fertility
134
410 The Real Lessons for India From China
140
BASIC EDUCATION AS A POLITICAL ISSUE
143
52 The State of School Education
146
53 Educational Hopes and the Discouragement Effect
154
54 On Female Education
160
55 The Shifting Goalpost of Universal Elementary Education
164
56 Public Expenditure and Education Policy
168
57 School Quality and the Need for Accountability
172
58 The Schooling Revolution in Himachal Pradesh
177
59 Compulsory Schooling and the Right to Education
184
68 Consequences of Environmental Plunder
222
69 Environment and the Constructive Perspective
226
GENDER INEQUALITY AND WOMENS AGENCY
229
72 On FemaleMale Ratio
231
73 Womens Agency and Child Survival
245
74 Fertility and Womens Emancipation
253
75 Gender Bias in Natality
257
76 Widowhood and Gender Relations
262
Poverty vs Patriarchy
266
78 Gender Equality and Social Progress
271
SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY IN A NUCLEAR INDIA
275
82 The Moral and the Pragmatic
278
83 Sources of Strength and Dangers of Underestimation
280
84 Deterrence and Security
283
85 The Nuclear Debate
286
86 The Social Costs of Militarism
289
87 Defence Expenditure and Social Needs
292
Costs and Risks
294
89 Militarism and Democracy
299
WELL BEYOND LIBERALIZATION
306
92 Radical Needs and Moderate Reforms
310
93 Growth and Development in the Nineties
315
94 Economic Reform and Social Policy
333
95 Hunger Amidst Plenty
336
96 Globalization and Inequality
340
97 A Concluding Remark
345
THE PRACTICE OF DEMOCRACY
347
102 Inequality and Empowerment
352
103 Decentralization and Local Democracy
358
104 Transparency and Corruption
363
105 Accountability and Countervailing Power
368
106 Human Rights and Democracy
371
107 Democracy and Participation
375
Statistical Appendix
381
References
415
Subject Index
479
Name Index
500
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About the author (2002)

Jean Dreze is a Visiting Professor at the Delhi School of Economics and an international authority on development economics. His association with India goes back more than twenty years during which time he has studied the issues in India minutely and has authored many books, research papers,and newspaper articles on education, poverty, development, nuclear doctrine, freedom of information, and the Narmada Struggle. Amartya Sen is the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Science. He has been President of the Indian EconomicAssociation, the American Economic Association, the International Economic Association, and the Econometric Society. He has taught at Calcutta, Delhi, Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, and Harvard.

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