Human development in India: past trends and future challenges

Author name: 
Anil B. Deolalikar

It is now 16 years since economic reforms were launched in India. The Indian economy has growth remarkably over this period; indeed, in the last decade, it has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The robust growth of the economy has certainly reduced poverty – with poverty incidence falling from 32 per cent in 1993-94 to 23 per cent in 2004-05 in the rural areas and from 28 per cent to 22 per cent in the urban areas (Sundaram 2007). But how has the Indian economy performed on broader indicators of human and social development? This chapter looks at India’s performance on five dimensions of human development – infant mortality, child nutrition, nutrient intake, educational attainment, and sex ratios – especially during the decade of the 1990s. The chapter also discusses the challenges that remain going forward.

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