Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSDS2DS1074

Course Coordinator and Team: Nandini Nayak, Ivy Dhar (CC)

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: The primary aim of the course is to enable students to understand the political-economic climate of development largely in post independent phase, while also drawing linkages from the Colonial era. This course will examine the history of development by looking at more than seventy years of experience of political and policy choices that India has made at different junctures. Students will be able to link the mechanism of development planning with social needs of India. The course shall initiate the discourse on the role of state and discuss the purview of actors beyond the state. It focuses on opportunities, access, equity, and deprivation with reference to livelihood, education, health, water, and sanitation; and thereby examines the vulnerable sections, sectors, and regions of development. It shall draw upon contemporary debates and approaches towards development.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: The Making of Modern India

Debates on the making of modern India started when India was still under the colonial regime. The pillars of development were seen in the progress of industry, agriculture, social justice and democracy. The module puts together the ideas of nationalist, how they conceptualised the future path of progress and growth. It focuses on the critique of Nehruvian idea of planning and debates on achieving growth with inclusion.

Module 2: Perspectives on Rights and Social Justice

The Indian state has pledged to protect and promote rights, justice, welfare, and equity, as enshrined in the Constitution. The module introduces to students the background of India’s constitutional commitment of realizing economic and social rights with an attempt made to raise debates on the rights based development.

Module 3: Health and Equity

Health is a critical concern of public good and performance in development is closely connected with the well-being and health status of the population. This module shall discuss political economy of public health, growing democratization and internationalization of health care programmes and the provision of mental health.

Module 4: Access to Education

In this module we would largely concentrate on various issues surrounding access to structured formal education in India. The aim of this module is to focus on the issues concerning access to education and understand transformation in those issues at different levels of education. While doing so it would be also our endeavour to connect access to various other crucial parameters of right to education and its implication on education spaces in India, for example, rural-urban, private-public etc.

Module 5: Water Democracy and Sanitation

Throughout the development journey, water remains a fundamental issue in the public discourse and as the crisis deepens a growing concern and efforts to redefine claims are under way. Struggle for water and sanitation is simultaneously a struggle for dignity. This module discusses the complexity of securing water democracy by examining the dimensions of inequality of access to water particularly relating to the impacts on gender.

Module 6: State initiatives for supporting livelihoods: Public works in historical perspective

In this module we will discuss - The colonial origins of public works programmes; The use of colonial Famine Codes and post-colonial Relief Manuals; State responses to drought in Independent India; Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act (1977); The narrative of rights-based development in relation to public works; The politics of implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Module 7: Disputes over ‘development’?

In this module we will discuss some contemporary debates – and disputes - related to how ‘development’ should be pursued in the Indian context. Particular reference will be made to the debate related to child malnutrition in India, with some academics arguing that child malnutrition data in India should be a cause for concern and needs more government outlays so that malnutrition can be brought down while others think the malnutrition data for India is exaggerated.

Assessment Details with weights:

Exam (30%), Essay (30%) and Term Paper (40%)

Selected Reading List:

  • Bhagwati, J. &Pangariya, A. (2013). Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries New York: Public Affairs Publishers.
  • Chatterjee, Partha (1997): Development Planning and the Indian State in Partha Chatterjee ed., State and Politics in India (New Delhi, New York: Oxford University Press); 271-297.
  • Corbridge, Stuart and Harris, John (1997): The Light of Asia? India in 1947 in Reinventing India (Cambridge, Malden: Polity Press); 3-19.
  • Corbridge, Stuart, Harris, John and Jeffrey, Craig (2013): Is the Indian State Delivering on Promises of ‘Inclusive Growth and Social Justice?’ in India Today: Economy, Politics and Society(Cambridge: Polity Press);100-117.
  • Das Gupta, Monica (2005): Public Health in India: A Dangerous Neglect in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 40(49); 5159-5165.
  • Drèze, J. & Sen, A. (2013). An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions. London: Penguin and Allen Lane. – Especially Chapter 2, Integrating Growth and Development and Chapter 3, India in Comparative Perspective.
  • J. (1990). Famine Prevention in India. In J. Drèze& A. Sen (Eds.), ThePolitical Economy of Hunger: Famine Prevention (Vol. II). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dreze, Jean and Sen, Amartya (2002): Introduction and Approach in India: Development and Participation (New Delhi: Oxford University Press); 1-33.
  • Dubey, Muchkund (2010): The Right of Children to Freeand Compulsory EducationAct, 2009: The Story of aMissed Opportunity” in Social Change,Vol 40(1); 1-13.
  • Habib, Irfan (2006): Colonialism and the Indian Economy in Indian Economy 1858-1914 (New Delhi: Tulika Books and Aligarh Historians Society); 23-50.
  • Harrison, Mark and Pati, Biswamoy(2009): Social History of Health and Medicine: Colonial India in Mark Harrison and Biswamoy Patri ed. Social History of Health and Medicine in Colonial India (London and New York: Routledge); 1-14.
  • Herring, R., & Edwards, R. (1983).Guaranteeing Employment to the Rural Poor: Social functions and Class Interests in the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Western India.World Development, 11(7), 575-592.
  • Kaul, R. (2001): Accessing Primary Education: Going Beyond the Classroom in Economic and Political Weekly, 36(2); 155-162.
  • Nanda, B.R. (1995): Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in Jawaharlal Nehru: Rebel and Statesman (New Delhi: Oxford University Press); 23-55.
  • Shah, Mihir (2013): Water: Towards A Paradigm Shift in the Twelfth Plan. Economic and Political Weekly, 48(3); 40-52.
  • Shiva, Vandana (2002): Water Rights: The State, Market and the Community in Water Wars: Privatisation, Pollution and Profit (London: Pluto Press);