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Kerala Plus One Economics Notes Chapter 10 Comparative Development Experience of India with its Neighbours
Development Path – A Snapshot View
India, Pakistan, and China have many similarities in their developmental strategies. India, China, and Pakistan became independent and started initiating their developmental strategies at almost the same time. India and Pakistan became independent in 1947 and China in 1949. All three countries adopted the planning strategy for economic growth and development. India’s five-year plan started in 1951, Pakistan’s in 1956 (called medium-term plan), and China’s in 1953. Government and the public sector played a major role in these economies. However, with the introduction of economic reforms in tune with globalisation the role of market was redefined. Till the 1980s, all the three economies had almost similar growth rate and other economic indicators.
After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China under one-party rule, all the critical sectors of the economy, enterprises, and lands owned and operated by individuals were brought under government control. The Great Leap Forward (GLF) campaign initiated in 1958 aimed at industrializing the country on a massive scale. People were encouraged to set up industries in their backyards. In rural areas, communes were started. Under the Commune system, people collectively cultivated lands.
In 1958, there were 26,000 communes covering almost all the farm population. GLF campaign met with many problems. A severe drought caused havoc in China killing about 30 million people. When Russia had conflicts with China, it withdrew its professionals who had earlier been sent to China to help in the industrialization process.
In 1965, Mao introduced the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76) under which students and professionals were sent to work and learn from the countryside. The present-day fast industrial growth in China can be traced back to the reforms introduced in 1978.
Pakistan followed the mixed economy model with, co-existence of the public sector and private sector. Pakistan also followed a protectionist policy in international trade. The introduction of the Green Revolution resulted in a rise in the production of food grains. In the 1970s, the nationalization of the capital goods industry took place. In the late 1970s and 1980stherewasashift in the economic policy in favor of de-nationalization and encouragement to the private sector.
Pakistan got substantial financial support from western nations. There was an increase in the number of emigrants and their remittance to their home country. The remittance and Western nation’s support helped the country in stimulating economic growth. In 1988 more reforms were introduced. FDI was encouraged, direct taxes were reduced and many areas of the economy were opened to private and foreign investment.
Demographic indicators of India, China, and Pakistan can be summarised as follows:
The table shows the population growth as being highest in Pakistan, followed by India and China. Scholars point out the one-child norm introduced in China in the late 1970s as the major reason for low population growth. They also state that this measure led to a decline in the sex ratio, the proportion of females per 1000 males. However, from the table, you will notice that the sex ratio is low and biased against females in all three countries. Scholars cite son preference prevailing in all these countries as the reason. In recent times, all three countries are adopting various measures to improve the situation.
The One-child norm and the resultant arrest in the growth of the population also have other implications. For instance, after a few decades, in China, there will be more elderly people in proportion to young people. This will force China to take steps to provide social security measures with fewer workers. The fertility rate is also low in China and very high in Pakistan. Urbanization is high in both Pakistan and China with India having 28 percent of its people living in urban areas.
Indicators of Human Development
The HDI (Human Development Index) developed by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) is an index which has universal acceptance as a good measure of the quality of human life. Since 1990 the UNDP has been publishing information related to HDI. This report ranks countries on the basis of their HDI. The following table presents some of the selected indicators of development.
Source: Human Development Report, 2014