Chapter 1 Development
How is development of a country determined ?
The development of a country can be generally determined by average income or per capital income.
Which neighbouring country of India has better performance in terms of human development than India?
Assume there are four families in a country. The average or per capita income of these families is 5,000. If the income of the three families is 4,000, 7,000, and 3,000 respectively, what is the income of the fourth family?
What is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries? What are the limitations of this criterion, if any?
The average income, i.e. per capita income is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries.
According to the World Development Report 2006, published by the World Bank, countries with per capita income of $10066 per annum and above in 2004 are called rich or developed countries. On the other hand, countries with per capita income of $825 or less are called low-income countries.
Limitations: It does not tell us about how the average income is distributed among the people in the individual countries. The countries with the same per capita income might be very different with regard to income distribution. One might have equitable distribution of income, while the other might have great disparities between the rich and the poor.
In what respects is the criterion used by the UNDP for measuring development different from the one used by the World Bank?
The criterion used by the UNDP for measuring development is different from the one used by the World Bank in the following respects:
The World Bank – The World Bank uses per capita income as the sole criterion for measuring development.
The UNDP – It uses the Human Development Index (HDI) based on a combination of factors such as health, education, and income as the criterion for measuring development.
Thus, the UNDP does not rely solely on per capita income, as the criterion for measuring development, as in the case with the World Bank.
Why do we use averages? Are there any limitations to their use? Illustrate with your own examples related to development.
We use averages because they are useful for comparing differing quantities of the same category. For example, to compute the per capita income of a country, averages have to be used because there are differences in the incomes of diverse people. However, there are limitations to the use of averages. Even though they are useful for comparison, they may also hide disparities. For example, the infant mortality rate of a country does not differentiate between the male and female infants born in that country. Such an average tells us nothing about whether the number of children dying before the age of one are mostly boys or girls.
Kerala, with lower per capital income has a better human development ranking than Punjab. Hence, per capital income is not a useful criterion at all and should not be used to compare states. Do you agree? Discuss.
No, I do not agree with the statement that per capita income is not a useful criterion at all. Kerala, with lower per capita income, has a better human development ranking than Punjab because, human development ranking is determined using a combination of factors such as health, education, and income. So, this does not imply that per capita income is not useful. Rather, per capita income is one of the development factors and can not be neglected. The World Bank uses per capita income as the criterion for measuring development and comparing states. But this criterion has certain limitations because of which determination of Human Development Index (HDI) is done using this criterion along with some other development factors like health, education etc.
Find out present sources of energy used by people in India. What could be possibilities fifty years from now?
(1) The present sources of energy used by the people in India are as given below :
- Conventional sources: Coal, petroleum, natural gas, electricity.
- Non-conventional sources: Solar energy, wind energy and energy produced by using biogas, geothermal energy, tidal energy, and wave energy.
(2) Position of energy after 50 years in India: The position of energy in India after about 50 years will not be good due to the reasons mentioned below :
- The consumption of non-renewable resources at present is very high in comparison to production and reserves.
- The reserves for the world as a whole would last for 43 years.
- The countries like India depend on importing oil from abroad because they do not have enough stock of their own.
If price of oil increases, it becomes a burden on the country’s finances. India too has to spend a lot of foreign exchange for importing oil and petroleum and its products. It is putting a heavy strain on India’s economic development. However, India has many advantages due to its geographical features. Thus India could be in a better position to face the energy crisis, if any, as mentioned below :
- There should be judicious utilization of the abundant renewable energy resources, such as biomass energy, solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy.
- Apart from augmenting the energy supply renewable resources will help India in mitigating climate change.
- Solar power has got the tremendous potential of energy which can be harnessed. Solar energy systems are available for industrial and domestic use with the added advantage of minimum maintenance. Solar energy could be made financially viable with government tax incentives and rebates.
- Wind energy is one of the most efficient alternative energy sources. India now ranks as a “wind superpower” having a net potential of about 45000 MJV only from 13 identified states.
- India has huge hydropower potential, out of which around 20% has been realized so far.
- Biomass energy can play a major role in reducing India’s reliance on fossil fuels by making use of thermo-chemical conversion technologies.
Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?
Sustainability for development or sustainable development refers to the development which is done without damaging the environment and other resources. In other words, balancing the need to use resources and also conserve them for future is known as sustainable development.
The issue of sustainability is important for development because development must happen in tandem with future. If natural resources are not sustained, it will cause stagnation of development after a point of time. Exploiting resources unethically will ultimately undo the development that a country may have achieved. This is because in the future, those resources will not be available for further progress.
“The Earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person.” How is this statement relevant to the discussion of development? Discuss.
It is a fact that earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person because one person may exploit the natural resources recklessly. The reckless exploitation of resources may lead to their exhaustion and may damage the environment. In such a situation what will happen if no natural resources are available? It will hamper the development process in all the countries in the world because fossil fuels and minerals are essential for development. The reckless use of minerals may disturb the balance in nature. Thus, it is necessary to use resources judiciously for development and to adopt a strategy of economic development that is environment friendly.
List a few examples of environmental degradation that you may have observed around you.
Environmental degradation manifests itself in different ways. Deforestation, falling levels of groundwater, soil erosion, water pollution, burning of fossil fuels, the hole in the ozone layer, and combustion from automobiles causing extreme air pollution especially in urban areas are some of the examples of environmental degradation.
For each of the items given in the following table, find out which country is at the top and which is at the bottom.
SOME DATA REGARDING INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS FOR 2004
Per capital income in US$
expectancy at birth
Literacy rate for 15+ yrs population
Gross enrollment ratio for three levels
HDI rank in the world
For each of the items given in the above table, the country at the top and at the bottom is as given below :
Country at the top
Country at the bottom
(1) Per capita income
(2) Life expectancy at birth
(3) Literacy rate for 15+ yrs
(4) Gross enrolment ratio
for three levels
(5) HDI rank in the world
The following table shows the proportion of undernourished adults in India. It is based on a survey of various states for the year 2001. Look at the table and answer the following questions :
- Compare the nutritional level of people in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
- Can you guess why around 40 percent of people in the country are undernourished even though it is argued that there is enough food in the country? Describe in your own words.
- The undernourished adults in Kerala are males 22% and females 19% only whereas in Madhya Pradesh, it is 43% males and 42% females. It is, thus clear that the number of undernourished adults in Madhya Pradesh is higher than Kerala.
- Around 40 percent of people in the country are undernourished even though it is argued that there is enough food in the country due to reasons as mentioned below :
- The Public Distribution System has failed in its objects.
- The average consumption of PDS grain at the All India level is only 1 kg per month per person.
- The average consumption is as low as less than 300 gm per person per month in the states of Bihar, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh.
- Sometimes PDS dealers are found resorting to malpractices like diverting the grain to open market to get better margin, selling poor quality grains at ration shops. People generally do not buy such low-quality grains.
- When ration shops are unable to sell, massive stock of foodgrains piles up with the FCI. Such stock gets rotten or eaten by rats. This leads to a shortage of foodgrains and to a situation as described above that there is enough food in the country but around 40 percent of people are undernourished.