18 October 2010

The Modernisation of India

Modernisation is industrialisation (accompanied by urbanisation). So after Independence, Nehru embarked on an ambitious program of industrialisation, to make India a developed country. He (and we) failed miserably. 63 years after Independence we are still a developing country. What went wrong with the modernisation of India?

To find the answer, we looked at India's economic history in more detail. We studied the science of industrialisation – development economics. And we looked at the success of the East Asian countries.

We found that all these different sources give us the same answer. To modernise/industrialise successfully, a country must focus on three key areas:
1. Agriculture
2. Rural Development
3. Primary Education

Modernisation may be industrialisation, but a country can't industrialise straightaway. There are some essential pre-conditions to be met. Industrialisation can begin (and be sustained) only if people have a certain minimum level of education, health and income. For this we must first increase the productivity of agriculture, as a majority of the population works in the agricultural sector. This can happen only if we provide basic infrastructure (schools, clinics, roads, water, electricity) in villages. Finally, basic literacy and numeracy are a must for industry; so every person must have these skills.

Thus, agriculture, rural development and primary education are the pre-requisites for modernisation/industrialisation.

This is a counter-intuitive answer: to industrialise and urbanise, we must work on agriculture and rural development.

1 comment:

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