Dr BK Mukhopadhyay
A noted magement economist and an intertiol commentator on business and economic affairs. He may be reached at [email protected]
Development is more than improvements in people’s well-being. It also describes the capacity of the system to provide the circumstances for their continued well-being.
It is clear by now that economic growth and economic development are two different things. Economic development is a broader criterion of measuring progress. Economic growth is a prerequisite for economic development. Various measures and indicators have been located which can help policy makers alyse country-wise situations better. The indicators represent various aspects of economic growth – GDP growth (annual percentage), GDP per capita (current US$), import of goods and services (percentage of GDP), inflation (annual percentage) and total reserves (includes gold, current US$), among others.
Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that World Development Indicators (WDI) are an extensive and holistic compilation of data by the World Bank on global development — having more than 1,300 time series development indicators featuring 214 tions and around 30 country groups. These indicators can be compared horizontally across countries, and are helpful to students, policy makers, alysts and officials, among others. The compilation of World Development Indicators, which is published annually (updated quarterly online in April, July, September and December), is definitely a result of years of hard work put in by many people, private organizations, officially recognized sources and government agencies at various levels.
Obviously, the development indicators located by the World Bank are a store of high quality data with coverage going back to 1960 (for most data) — extremely useful for many reasons, be it understanding the country-specific development or monitoring the progress in less developed tions. These indicators give a deep comparative and individual insight into all of the aspects which are linked to development and not just growth. What is more, these indicators additiolly provide great information to investors or companies looking to invest outside their home tion, as they present a reliable and accurate picture of a country or region.
Actually, any study or scanning of development is important and at the same time interesting. It is important because in any economy, developed or developing, the scope for further economic and social development is always there through optimal utilization of resources over a finite time and space. The challenge before the biggies is how to maintain the level of development already reached for ensuring a better life to its citizens and to aid trailers so that the latter can climb on the development track. For the developing block, the challenge is all the more crucial and at the same time difficult especially considering the complexities of the globalization process.
Newer techniques and innovention (innovation plus invention) call for continuous search. Thus, the are is interesting, more so because the process of development today is not well defined, nor does there exist any short-cut route.
Development is a characteristic of the system; sustained improvements in individual well-being are a yardstick by which it is judged. This has important implications for development policy, both for developing countries themselves wishing to put their economy and society onto a path of faster development, and for outsiders who want to help that process.
As of now, the change has been so fast that it has become increasingly difficult to adapt quickly to the ever-changing processes where one technology is being fast substituted by the next one. The orthodox view — considering development as relating to the process of increasing the relative and absolute wealth of the least economically developed countries usually through notions of increased output of either industrial or agricultural goods — has also been under the scanner. New-age economists contend that development of LDCs (least developed countries) to the wealth levels of the richer OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) tions, using extractive production and trading processes similar to those of OECD tions, is unteble because of the ecological and environmental damage which would ensue. New paradigm of development has, no doubt, validity considering the reality that has been increasingly there globally.
Who had thought that cheaper flights will be contesting with the railways, sub-prime crisis paving the topsy-turvy way to global meltdown, and Satyam be under the scanner?
In fact, development means ‘upward drift of the entire social system’, as rightly opined by Prof Samuelson. Truly, development studies as an area calls for an inter-discipliry and multi-discipliry approach where the economic factors are equally important as the non-economic factors are, so that all of the relevant issues of concern to developing economies in particular are addressed in an wholesome manner — regiol studies, demography, economics, anthropology, magement and essentially sociology, pedagogy, social policy, migration, human security, philosophy and ethics, intertiol relations, and gender issues.
It has the especial focus on issues related to social and economic development and the relevance goes to communities and regions beyond the developing world. That is one of the foremost reasons why the area is attached much importance by the leading global institutions.