Balancing Social and Economic Development for All: How Has India Fared?

The Discussion Map charts important debates from the pages of E​PW.


In his 2011 article, Montek Singh Ahluwalia reviewed the health of the Indian economy and evaluated the effectiveness of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (FYP). Ahluwalia also listed the priorities and challenges for the Twelfth FYP (2012-2017) and emphasised the goal of “inclusive growth.”

S P Shukla responds to Ahluwalia, stating that his suggestions and the decisions of earlier governments created an environment that was inhospitable to the goal of inclusive growth. Specifically, Shukla argues that earlier policies, as well as Ahluwalia's recommendations, are designed to further the interests of multinational companies, large landowners and the wealthy.

M A Oomen replies to Ahluwalia as well, stating that “inclusive growth” must be defined and prioritised appropriately, instead of the argument that the concept is multidimensional and cannot be measured in a comprehensive and timely manner. Oomen argues that the gap between “Shining India” and “suffering India” will widen if sustainable and inclusive growth is not made the central focus of policies.

A few other works that are broadly related to this discussion:

  1. Did Jawaharlal Nehru’s Five Year Plans Set the Foundation for Economic Growth and Social Equality? EPW Engage, 2019
  2. State Welfare Policy and Women, 1950-1975, Nirmala Buch, 1998
  3. Gendering the Twelfth Plan: A Feminist Perspective, Mridul Eapen and Aasha Kapur Mehta, 2012
  4. Rural Employment Schemes Rhetoric and Reality, Bharat Dogra, 2005
  5. Turnaround in India’s Employment Story: Silver Lining amidst Joblessness and Informalisation? Mehrotra et al 2013
  6. Planning for Growth, Redistribution and Self-Reliance in the Fifth Five-Year Plan—I, Suresh D Tendulkar 1974
  7. Five Years of Participatory Planning in Kerala: Rhetoric and Reality, Jos Chathukulam and M S John, 2002

Ed: To contribute to a more comprehensive discussion map, please share links to other relevant articles in the comments section or write to us at with the subject line—"Development and Equality"

Curated by Abhishek Shah []

Image courtesy: Modified. Canva [Multi-use License Agreement]

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