“India must not obsess with how fast its economy is growing and instead pay more attention to its human development indicators which are worse than even that of Bangladesh”
-Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate)
Day in day out, all the national newspapers, journals, magazines, web portals etc are talking about the international economic situation, its palpable effects on the Indian economy, its survival chances and the cushion factors to avoid the major international impact on the domestic markets. It’s all about growth rates, inflation figure, purchasing power figures, GDP numbers and more economic numbers. But does a country’s overall growth depends only on economic numbers? Can a country prosper only with one section of society flourishing at a greater speed than the other? And can the economy only depend upon the production rates or the inflation rates? An assertive NO is the answer to all the above questions.
To make a country move on the right path of progress there are many factors other than the economic figures that play a vital role i.e. The Human Development and the societal gains. It has been starkly mentioned by Mr. Amartya Sen that just running behind the 8-9% growth rate won’t make India’s image in the world more superior until its economic factors pushes the human development and the societal factors in the same direction.
We as a nation are bound to break the unenviable record of the most densely populated country of the world and we also feel proud to cherish the demographic dividend which our country would benefit from in the coming future but this can only be possible if the entire population has the basic demands of food, shelter, clothing and education within their reach. And towards this direction the incumbent government has formulated The Food Security Bill which would definitely help the poor for the basic intake of the nutrition and in order to avoid the appalling malnutrition data which shows the backwardness of our human development factor.
Though in the Human Development Index we are growing at a good pace but still there is a daunting task which needs to be addressed. The literacy rate directed towards the Millennium Goal looks elusive. The rate of unemployment is also on a rise coupled with lack of sufficient shelter and food for the 1.2 billion plus countrymen. If the government pays a little more attention towards these aspects and tries to break the reform paralysis, then the magical economic figure of 8-9% growth rate of GDP can be achieved without much effort. These underlying factors’ growth is the real reason for an economy to boom.
So be it 6.9% or 9% GDP growth rate, it would not matter much if the real underlying factors are not given enough space to grow. Let the economy stand on the robust fundamentals.