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

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Growth Transitions in India

Growth has consistently remained a central topic in economic policy considerations of the government in India. However, there has also been a more scholarly interest in it among social scientists. As a part of the latter tradition, this paper addresses the proper delineation of the phases of growth in India, a matter of some discussion in the literature. Using state-of-the-art statistical methodology, it first establishes the trajectory of growth and then provides a theoretical explanation for that history. With data spanning the period 1950–2020, the procedure adopted is also able to assess the impact on economic growth of the policies of the present government. The results are conclusive. First, it is established that growth in India has accelerated continuously since the 1950s, implying that dynamism in the economy did not have to wait for the liberalising reforms launched in 1991. Next, the performance of India’s economy is compared to growth that has taken place in the rest of the world. It is seen that while India’s economy has, in recent years, shown a dynamism relative to the rest of the world, it has consistently fallen behind its most dynamic regions, notably in East Asia.

Understanding India’s Gilded Age

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree, Noida: Harper Collins, 2018; pp 358 + xxv, ` 799.

Rural Economic Growth and Emerging Pattern of Rural Towns

The two features of structural transformation visible in India are an increase in the overall gross domestic product and per capita incomes, enabled by the shift away from agriculture to other sectors or occupations with higher productivity; and greater urbanisation. An attempt is made to examine the emergence of small towns or urbanised villages in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The states depict a disparate pattern of rural economic transformation and varying levels of urbanisation. The emerging urban hierarchy is contextualised within the process of economic growth and transition, and the composition of urban growth along with the locational features of the emerging towns are studied. The underlying causes responsible for the nature of urban growth in the two states highlight the need for a regional focus of policy.

From Developing to Developed Nations

The Art of Economic Catch-up: Barriers, Detours and Leapfrogging in Innovation Systems by Keun Lee, Cambridge, New York, Port Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp xxiii + 279, price not indicated.

East Asia’s Paths to Industrialisation and Prosperity

Resurgent Asia: Diversity in Development by Deepak Nayyar, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xx + 295, ₹ 895. Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations edited by Deepak Nayyar, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxiv + 577, price not indicated. Asia’s Journey to Prosperity: Policy, Market, and Technology Over 50 Years by Asian Development Bank, Manila: ADB, 2020 (ebook), http://dx.doi.org/10.22617/TCS190290 .

Present Crises of Capitalism and Its Reforms

In exploring whether capitalism is an appropriate economic system for a country like India, this paper finds that its future prospects and long-run viability, in general, are delimited by the accentuating threats of ecological imbalance and growing inequality that it brings with itself.

Key Drivers of Indian Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The underlying drivers of changes in the greenhouse gas emissions over time in India are investigated using several complementary approaches. Emission projections are developed based on India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and compared with a range of emission scenarios. Projections show continued economic growth that leads to rising energy use, with per capita emissions possibly increasing by 40% by 2030, although new technologies may reduce energy consumption and emissions growth. To slow down emissions’ growth further will require strong decarbonisation of the energy sector.

An Imbalanced Ecosystem

The rapid development of various institutions supporting company creation in India has the potential to generate economic growth, innovation, and economic development. However, this article shows that the start-up ecosystem has unevenly developed across cities and economic sectors, and has failed to empower the overall population, so far. Using a comprehensive database on start-ups retrieved from Tracxn, a business data and analytics company, the authors find that venture capital concentrates amongst graduates stemming from a handful of prestigious education institutes in India and abroad. The article analyses the role of entrepreneurship policies and argues for a shift of focus and resources towards the building of a more inclusive start-up ecosystem.

From Jobless to Job-loss Growth

The unprecedented decline in the absolute number of workers in the Indian economy in recent times has been a subject of debate and a matter of public concern. A closer look at the data for the period 2011–12 and 2017–18 shows that it is the net result of a dynamic process of job creation and destruction. Those who have lost jobs are all with low education, that is, less than secondary level of education. From a gender perspective, rural women workers are the net losers. From a social point of view, the net losers belong to two groups: Muslims and Hindu Other Backward Classes. These are clear signs of rural India in distress with strong gender and social dimensions.

Means to Augment Human Well-being

Post-growth Thinking in India: Towards Sustainable Egalitarian Alternatives edited by Julien-François Gerber and Rajeswari S Raina , Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2018; pp xxii + 365, ₹ 1,075 .

Indian Car Industry

Global Players and the Indian Car Industry: Trade, Technology and Structural Change by Jatinder Singh, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019; pp xvii + 240, ₹ 995.

Virtuous Cycle and Economic Growth in India

A critique is offered after examining the claims in the Economic Survey that the concept of virtuous cycle is of recent origin and that during the planning period, the planners were unaware of such a way of imagining economic progress. The evidences provided to support the presence of the virtuous cycle in China and the East Asian countries are also questioned.

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