Development of a country can generally be determined by
(i) its per capita income
(ii) its average literacy level
(iii) health status of its people
(iv) all the above
(i) its per capita income
Which of the following neighbouring countries has better performance in terms of human development than India?
(ii) Sri Lanka
(ii) Sri Lanka
Assume there are four families in a country. The average per capita income of these families is Rs 5000. If the income of three families is Rs 4000, Rs 7000 and Rs 3000 respectively, what is the income of the fourth family?
(i) Rs 7500
(ii) Rs 3000
(iii) Rs 2000
(iv) Rs 6000
(iv) Rs 6000
What is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries? What are the limitations of this criterion, if any?
The main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries is the per capita income or average income of a person in a country.
Limitations of this criterion:
It does not tell us about how this average income is distributed among the people in the individual countries. Two countries with the same per capita income might be very different with regard to income distribution. One might have equitable distribution of income while the other might have great disparities between the rich and the poor.
In what respects is the criterion used by the UNDP for measuring development different from the one used by the World Bank?
The criterion used by the UNDP for measuring development is different from the one used by the World Bank in the sense that it uses a combination of factors such as health, education and income as indicators of development. It does not rely solely on per capita income, as is the case with the World Bank.
Why do we use averages? Are there any limitations to their use? Illustrate with your own examples related to development.
We use averages because they are useful for comparing differing quantities of the same category. For example, to compute the per capita income of a country, averages have to be used because there are differences in the incomes of diverse people. However, there are limitations to the use of averages. Even though they are useful for comparison, they may also hide disparities. For example, the infant mortality rate of a country does not differentiate between the male and female infants born in that country. Such an average tells us nothing about whether the number of children dying before the age of one are mostly boys or girls.
Kerala, with lower per capita income has a better human development ranking than Punjab. Hence, per capita income is not a useful criterion at all and should not be used to compare states. Do you agree? Discuss.
Kerala, with lower per capita income has a better human development ranking than Punjab. However, it would be wrong to say that per capita income is not a useful criterion at all. Per capita income is certainly not the only criterion and it has its limitations. But this does not imply that it is not useful at all. To counter the inadequacy of this average, the human development index is used. The human development index uses a combination of development factors (such as health, education, income) for comparison. Thus, per capita income is one of the development factors, and cannot be done away with. Also, per capita income is useful for comparing the money index of states.
Find out the present sources of energy that are used by the people in India. What could be the other possibilities fifty years from now?
The present sources of energy that are used by the people of India are electricity, coal, crude oil, cowdung and solar energy. Other possibilities fifty years from now, could include ethanol, bio-diesel, nuclear energy and a better utilisation of wind energy, especially with the imminent danger of oil resources running out.
Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?
The issue of sustainability is important for development because development must be in tandem with the future. If natural resources are not sustained, then development will stagnate after a point of time. Exploiting resources unethically will ultimately undo the development that a country may have achieved. This is because in the future, those resources will not be available for further progress.
"The Earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person". How is this statement relevant to the discussion of development? Discuss.
“The Earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person”. This statement is relevant to the discussion of development since both resources and development go hand in hand. For the sustainability of development, the maintenance of resources is also crucial. As the statement claims, the Earth has enough resources—renewable and non-renewable—to satisfy everyone’s needs; however, these need to be used with a view to keeping the environment protected and clean so that a balance of production and use is maintained, and shortages are avoided.
List a few examples of environmental degradation that you may have observed around you.
Environmental degradation manifests itself in different ways. Deforestation, falling levels of ground water, soil erosion, water pollution, burning of fossil fuels, the hole in the ozone layer and combustion from automobiles causing extreme air pollution especially in urban areas are some of the examples of environmental degradation.
For each of the items given in Table 1.6, find out which country is at the top and which is at the bottom.
TABLE 1.6 SOME DATA REGARDING INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS FOR 2004
Per Capita Income in US$
Life Expectancy at birth
Literacy Rate for 15+ yrs population
Gross Enrolment Ratio for three levels
HDI Rank in the world
(i) Per Capita Income in US$: Top country - Sri Lanka; Bottom country - Myanmar
(ii) Life Expectancy at birth: Top country - Sri Lanka; Bottom country - Myanmar
(iii) Literacy Rate for 15+ yrs population: Top country - Sri Lanka; Bottom country - Bangladesh
(iv) Gross Enrolment Ratio for three levels: Top country - Sri Lanka; Bottom country - Pakistan
(v) HDI Rank in the world: Top country - Sri Lanka; Bottom country - Nepal
The following table shows the proportion of undernourished adults in India. It is based on a survey of various states for the year 2001. Look at the table and answer the following questions.
(i) Compare the nutritional level of people in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.
(ii) Can you guess why around 40 per cent of people in the country are undernourished even though it is argued that there is enough food in the country? Describe in your own words.
(i) The nutritional levels of people in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh are different. While 22% and 19% men and women respectively are undernourished in Kerala, the respective percentages of male and female undernourshment in Madhya Pradesh are 43% and 42%. This implies that Kerala has more well nourished people than Madhya Pradesh. Also, the undernourishment average for Madhya Pradesh is greater than that for the entire country, while that for Kerala is lower than the national average.
(ii) Despite the presence of adequate food in the country, around 40% of Indians are undernourished. This is because of the erratic and unsystematic distribution of food. Some states in the country ensure smooth running of ration shops and other forms of Public Distribution System (PDS). This ensures that no one has to go without food, especially the poor for whom ration shops provide foodgrains at subsidised rates. However, on account of excess exports and inconsistent food supply to the masses, nearly 40% of the Indian people are undernourished.