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

IndustrialisationSubscribe to Industrialisation

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), .

Has India Deindustrialised Prematurely?

Has India deindustrialised prematurely, after three decades of free market reforms? Probably not. The manufacturing sector’s share in gross domestic product has stagnated, and Kuznetsian structural transformation has stalled. The dispersion and rankings of the major states’ manufacturing employment and output shares have broadly remained unchanged. In the top and bottom 50 districts, the share of manufacturing employment in total employment has remained constant since 1991. Yet, the district-level spatial concentration of employment by industry has increased, and the coefficient of localisation is rising. Thus, the industrial change discernible at the micro level seems too feeble to show up in the aggregate.

Practices as Political

Whether the “practising Adivasi” or the practitioners of traditional knowledge are subjects of different rationality is examined here. Through a study of the Lepcha traditional practices in the east Himalayas, it is argued that the practising Adivasi or indigenous peoples are indeed presenting empirical sites of “ethico-political articulations,” or “Ecosophy,” a term Félix Guattari uses in The Three Ecologies to advocate a normative theory and a “futuristic” approach. The study affirms that the recalcitrant Adivasis, who, as groups of our times, are presenting us with life-sustaining zones of pristine biodiversity as alternatives to the nature-devouring, deep industrialisation models of the modern state.

What Does the Rural Economy Need?

The agricultural sector has performed worse than the other sectors over the years. The shares of non-agricultural employment and output have increased, while70% of agricultural householdscannot meet their low consumptionneeds even after diversification of sources of income. An analysis of budgetary provisions for the rural economy suggests that the government has not done enough to address some of these well-documented problems, and does not have the required vision to substantially increase rural employment opportunities.

What Causes Agglomeration— Policy or Infrastructure?

How significant are industrial dispersal policy incentives for agglomeration of organised manufacturing in India? Using plant-level data for 1997-98, the locational choices of 66 manufacturing industries in 21 Indian states are investigated. First, the degree of agglomeration (Ellison-Glaeser index) is calculated in each of these industries to ascertain in which states they are clustered, followed by an econometric investigation of industrial dispersal policy after controlling for different factors that affect agglomeration. The analysis yields that the dispersal policy has not been successful in most specifications. Factors like presence of infrastructure, coastlines, and labour market pooling determine agglomeration. The results also indicate that the nature of the product, high electricity tariff, and per capita energy gap have induced several industries to disperse.

Agrarian Question in India

Using the latest National Sample Survey Office data on land distribution and use, questions of agrarian change in India are revisited. With reducing landholding size in general, the increasing unviability of such small plots, and increasing numbers of "effectively" landless households, the larger questions of employment and sectoral shifts are flagged. There is still no clear transition away from agriculture.

Missed Goals

Government as Practice: Democratic Left in a Transforming India by Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya, Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2016; pp xx+273, ₹750, hardback.

Uneasy Convergence of Left and Right?

The ruling Left in West Bengal tends to converge with the ruling Right at the centre in pursuing - half-heartedly though - the amoral agenda of economic liberalisation.

Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal

During the last two decades West Bengal has led the rest of the country with regard to agricultural performance and implementation of panchayat institutions. But these developments have begun to level out. At the same time the state has fallen behind in other sectors - industry, higher education and state of public finances, particularly - to an extent that is seriously worrying. This paper reviews performance of these different sectors, discusses possible explanatory factors, and makes a number of suggestions for policy reforms. With regard to industrial revival, it stresses public investment in transport and communication, measures to improve higher education, foster industry-university collaborations, and help small-scale industries overcome specific market imperfections (access to credit, technology and distribution channels). In public finance, emphasis is placed on raising tax revenues (especially with regard to the service sector), limiting losses of public sector undertakings, and widening the scope of land taxes and user fees. In the agricultural sector, the need for a greater role of the government with regard to biotechnology, extension services, irrigation and flood control is emphasised, along with suggestions for encouraging and regulating contract farming with MNCs. Finally the article urges greater empowerment of panchayats with regard to social service delivery and agro-business development, and administrative reforms to enhance accountability of state government employees.

Neglected Dimensions of Industrialisation in Kerala

Rural Industrialisation in Kerala: Its Dynamics and Local Linkages by Mridul Eapen; Manohar, New Delhi, 2001; pp 249, Rs 400.
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