ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Not by Statistics Alone

or income distribution not impiioved significantly, it is certainly not because of the dearth of statistical data and their analysis, nor one may say, for lack of academic concern. The magnitude of the problem and the policy implications of planning for minimum heeds, with alternative time paths, have been fairlyv well known. But what the models visualised, planners could not fulfil; and what the planners proposed, the politicians undid. It may perhaps lie said that the scholars know more about poverty than about the poor; yet no other group of scholars in India was better -qualified to write on the subject than the contributors to the Volume under review.* It is also no coincidence that most of them were associated, in one capacity or another, with the late Pitambar Pant. Pant was one of those few persons whose passion for data was mingled with a purpose and who could give intellectual content to a sentiment, lie sought and seduced talent. There could not have been, therefore, a better tribute to his memory than a Volume of articles, by his friends and colleagues, on Poverty and Income Distribution. It is in the fitness of things that the first article in the Volume is a pioneering study of the Perspective Planning Division of the Planning Commission entitled "Perspective of Development: 1961-76, Implications of Planning for a Minimum Level of Living'', prepared under Pitamber Pant's guidance in 1962. As one rereads the article on the eve of the terminal year of the time frame of this study, one becomes acutely aware of the dream we lost, maybe because it was a planner's dream. No one would accuse this perspective of being over- ' ambitious; The postulated 7 per cent annual growth during 1966-76 was based on the goal of Rs 20 per month as a national minimum (at 1900-61 prices), to be attained by 1975-76, and a reduction in the concentration ratio of per capita consumption from 0,33 to 0.25. (Even so, in the terminal year, nearly 12 per cent of the population would have remained below the poverty level.) * Poverty and Income Distribution in India (ed) T N Srtolvasan an P K Bardhan, Statistical Publishing Society, Calcutta, 1974.

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