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An Alternative Philosophy of Development

From economism to human well-being
Routledge India (Verlag)
Erschienen am 25. November 2016
260 Seiten
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978-1-315-38873-1 (ISBN)
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While development has been the foremost agenda before successive governments in India, it has been viewed narrowly - from the perspective of economic development and particularly in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). This book questions such an approach. It breaks from the conventional wisdom of GDP growth as being a definitive measure of the success of a country's policies and offers an alternative development philosophy.

The author contends that people's economic and social welfare, life satisfaction, self-fulfilment and happiness should be treated as indicators of real development. The book underlines that in a successful model of development, the country's economic policies will have to synergize with its cultural ethos and that the objective of development should be gross national happiness and well-being of the people.

This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of development studies, economics, public policy and administration, governance, political science and sociology, as well as to policymakers.
'The author brings the light of vast experience and deep reflection in critiquing the prevailing economic narrative based on the neo-liberal free market capitalist model that has failed in solving human problems of poverty, injustice and inequality. He offers an alternate model of wholesome development that ensures sustainable progress, universal justice and peaceful coexistence. In this effort he pits the Gandhian economics premised on freedom from greed, possession and violence against the Adam Smith and Darwin-inspired economics of private property, mindless competition and free trade, and convincingly shows the superiority of the Gandhian model in ensuring gross human happiness. A seminal work in understanding contemporary economic and social woes and finding alternate ways of effective problem solving.'

Swami Bodhananda, Vedanta exponent and Chairman, Sambodh Foundation India and Sambodh Society, USA

'This book gets back to the foundations of India's religion based on the concept of universal humanism (vishwa kutumb) rather than viewing religion as a political instrument. It is both provocative and practical, and blends India's culture with the international literature on "happiness". It is also very readable in its practical discussion of India's economy.'

Dr Y. K. Alagh, Chancellor, Central University of Gujarat and Former Minister for Power, Planning and Science & Technology, Government of India

'The book is a 'must' for anyone who is interested in composite human development not in a linear or mechanical, but in a holistic, progressive and spiritual way.'

Shambhu Ghatak,
B. P. Mathur is a former civil servant and member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service with extensive experience of working with the government. He has served as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General and Additional Secretary, Government of India; and Director, National Institute of Financial Management, India. He holds a PhD and DLitt in Economics from the University of Allahabad, India, and has been a visiting faculty member at Panjab University, Chandigarh; Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai; Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, and many other national-level institutes. He is presently engaged as a spiritual seeker, author and social activist with spiritual interests. He is Vice-President, Common Cause. He has authored several books on governance, finance and economics, besides two novels in Hindi, and is the recipient of the Paul Appleby Award for services rendered for public administration.
1 India's cultural and civilizational ethos and challenge of development

PART I The current socio-economic setting

2 Search for economic well-being

3 Education and health: key to nation's prosperity

4 Agriculture, rural distress and poverty

5 Industrial development: route to prosperity

6 India's foreign trade deficit, depreciating rupee and the fraud of modern economics

7 India's public finance mismanagement: exploding debt and threat of bankruptcy

PART II The current economic ideology and its problems

8 Free market ideology and its perils

9 Environmental unsustainability of India's economic growth

10 A new development scenario

11 Saving the economy from the economists

PART III Rethinking development

12 The Gandhian alternative to economic development

13 Revisiting socialism: solution to our socio-economic problems

14 Good governance: pre-requisite for development

PART IV Culture as foundation of development

15 Indian culture: a spiritual and humanistic approach to life

16 Indian culture and money: challenge of a materialist world

17 Quest for happiness: public policies and national happiness

18 Synergizing development with cultural ethos


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