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

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Political Economy of Land and Development in India

Land has emerged as one of the bigger constraints on development in recent years. Particularly contentious is access to "appropriate land", which the non-agricultural sector requires for its expansion, and which is scarce because the State is not creating conditions conducive for farmers to sell their land. This article discusses the different phases in land acquisition since Independence, issues of adequate compensation, and the space this has created for different kinds of activism by members of civil society.

(2) There is an unlimited supply of labour and the surplus labour can be shifted from agriculture to the industrial sector, without any fall in the agricultural output, and without any rise in the agricultural wage rate. (3) In general, land has not received as much attention in development literature

D evelopment economics has experienced many highs and lows; however, all along it has basically focused on removing the constraints on the process of development. One can observe three strands in development economics which have tried to address this issue in different ways. The rst is the strand of high development theory starting from the mid-1940s and going on till the late 1950s. Some of the themes that were dealt with were vicious circle, balanced vs unbalanced growth, backward-forward linkages, big push, unlimited supply of labour, savings and foreign exchange gap, etc. The work done under this strand was highly insightful, but methodologically non-rigorous in nature as it did not depend on formal models. The second strand, spanning the same time period, consisted of the Harrod-Domar models and the neoclassical response (the Solow model). These models were metho dologically very tight and they developed an explicit relationship between capital and the rate of growth of an economy. This received wisdom was then followed by the third strand with the evolution of the endogenous theories of growth in the 1980s, where the focus shifted to i ncreasing returns which arose out of h uman capital, i e, role of education and health. Under this, the quality of the population, in terms of their skills, become central to the process of development.

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