Indian Economic History Essay

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The Dragon and the Elephant: India and China in the Asian Century


Essay Topic No 1
“It is the context and circumstances prevalent in any nation that should determine its policies and strategies of growth” (Mahtaney, 2010, p. 159). Illustrate the truth or falsehood of this statement with reference to either India or China
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”
(Mahatma Gandhi, 1946).

Economic thought is an ever-adapting philosophy, which has been ‘preached’ by many differing schools of thought throughout the centuries. In this current global economic context, the majority of worldwide economic strategies and polices
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For example, it is among the most industrialised nations of today which leads the world in the Information and
Technology industry (IT), with their 350,000 IT and engineering graduates each year, and yet the majority of it’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is comprised from the agricultural sector where in 1991 it equated to 30% of all GDP (Rudolph, 1987, Table
One, p. 5). The rural sector of India remains vital today as 70% of the total Indian population dwell in either small rural villages or farms (World Hunger and Poverty
Facts, 2013). India has therefore managed to combine its impressive economic achievements, which can match that of the developed world, whilst continually facing humanitarian issues present in developing nations. This conclusion suggests that economic development does not necessarily have a correlation with human development. Until recently, a common view of development referred to rising income levels and overall economic growth of a country. However, in recent years a shift towards focusing upon humanity issues and circumstances rather than monetary concerns reflects the new definition of a nation’s development, which can be measured by the Human Development Indicator (HDI) produced by the United Nation
Development Programme in 1990. Discussions on the ‘goals of development’ now involve emphasizing the reduction of poverty, rather than raising the average levels of income per capita (Anand & Ravallion, 1993, p. 133).
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