Development performance is not merely economic growth and prosperity, but includes a multitude of goals. This monograph makes an attempt to conceptualize development, consisting of eight dimensions - material prosperity, education, health, economic security, personal security, environmental conditions, political voice and social connections. The authors implement this multidimensional concept to design not only an overall index of development (DI) for Indian states but also three sub indices, human development (HD), security (SEC) and voice and confidence (VC), that broadly represent three distinct aspects of development. The results clearly show that state level performances vary considerably across the various dimensions of development. No state does uniformly well or badly across all levels, thereby exposing the fallacy of branding the development experience of a particular state as ideal based on its achievement on some aspects of development. Since good performance in one dimension does not ensure doing well on other dimensions too, it would be inappropriate to ignore the performances on the three sub-indices and the eight dimensions. Recognition of such diversity of performance is particularly important in a federal structure, like India, where different states may have different development priorities. This study will enable states to reflect on whether they have been performing according to their priorities and if not, they may choose to tweak their policies or their development strategies.
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Amit S. Ray is a Professor of Economics at the Centre for International Trade and Development (CITD) of the School of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Manmohan Agarwal studied at the Delhi School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been teaching at the Centre of International Trade and Development at JNU for more than a quarter of a century.
M. Parameswaran is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Developing Studies.
1. Introduction 2. Evolving concepts of development 3. Measuring development: international approaches 4. Measuring development: studies on India 5. From conceptualization to implementation: designing a composite measure of development for Indian states 6. Where are the Indian states? 7. Concluding remarks