The world’s largest, fastest-emerging industrial economies are posing grave questions for the coming generation: for how long will the inequalities produced by the unending pursuit of economic growth remain sustainable, for how long will our finite natural resources last if they continue to be rapidly commercialised, and can the environment stand the future demand of several billion new consumers?
Despite phenomenal rates of economic growth, India is failing to improve in terms of social indicators. Only by treating growth as a means to development, rather than an end in itself, will broad-based changes in living standards be achieved, argue Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen.
Early in the 20th century, Rabindranath Tagore articulated a social vision where exploitation would give way to a just, humane, collectively owned economy. Applying his 'cooperative principle' in modern India would ensure the benefits of the current economic boom are shared by all, writes Ananya Mukherjee.
Cash transfers are fast becoming the preferred strategy for poverty reduction in India. But while redistributive policies are desirable, transferring money directly to poor people cannot and should not replace the provision of essential goods and services, argues Jayati Ghosh.
Conventional theories suggest that international trade will benefit human development, but the reality on the ground in South Asia does not bear this out. Inequities persist in the global trading system to the detriment of developing countries' interests, says a report by the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre.
India’s recent economic growth has been an urban phenomenon, delivering little benefit for the rural poor. But community-led development, which focuses on equity, employment and sustainability, offers an alternative kind of progress, write Leah Temper and Supriya Singh.
In striving to make India a superpower, the country's ruling elite are ignoring the needs of its people. The hope for change now lies in the social movements who are resisting the exploitation of their forests, mountains and rivers in the name of ‘progress’, writes Arundhati Roy.
Pakistan's $3 billion annual debt repayments dwarf current levels of emergency aid pledged in the wake of recent flooding. Debt relief and grants, rather than new loans, are essential if the country is to recover and develop the means to withstand such disasters in future.