Events of ADRI (Patna - Ranchi)

Workshop On Inclusive Growth Process
25 May 2017

The concept of an inclusive growth process was first underlined in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) document, although similar concepts like 'broad-based growth, 'shared growth' or 'pro-poor growth' had appeared in the growth literature even before. In view of the limited gains in term of the human development indicators in spite of a high economic growth in the preceding decade, this attention to inclusive growth in the plan document was not surprising at all. During the Ninth Plan period (1997-98 to 2001-02), the growth of the Indian economy might have been moderate (5.5 percent), but during the Tenth Plan period (2002-07), the growth rate was 7.7 percent, the second highest among all the countries, behind only China. During the last decade (2007-17), the growth momentum of the Indian economy was disturbed, mainly because of the worldwide financial crisis that erupted in 2008-09, but it had still been around 6-7 percent all these years. In contrast, the Human Development Index (HDI) of India has been consistently low, as per the UNDP's annual reports. Since 2010, UNDP has come up with a new parameter to measure poverty, called Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), replacing Human Poverty Index (HPI). India's performance in this regard is dismal, poorer than China, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Indonesia, as about 41.6 percent of India's population live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day. It is in this context that the India's growth strategy needs to be analyzed and redefined. This requires a deeper understanding of the concept of inclusive growth — what it means and what strategies can indeed make a growth more inclusive.

To begin with, one may first note that inclusive growth refers not just to growth rate, but its 'pattern' as well. One specific aspect of this pattern of growth is how equalizing is the growth process across regions (since India is a large economy), sectors and social groups. As regards equalization of regions, there is considerable literature to show that, instead of a reduction, the regional inequalities has indeed been widening over the years, except for a brief period during the early years of planning in the fifties. However, during the last two decades when the Indian economy has been functioning under a liberalized framework, the process of widening of the regional inequality has been faster. This trend is certainly not because reduction in regional inequality or regional inclusiveness and fast economic growth are incompatible planning objectives.

That the Indian growth proves has failed to be inclusive is again apparent when one can considers the 'sectoral' growth rates across the economy. Between the two most broad sectors, agriculture and non-agriculture, the growth rate has been much lower for the former. This is quite expected as, with the growth in income, the demand for non-agricultural products grows at a faster rate than for the agricultural goods. But a faster growth rate for the non-agricultural sector should normally be accompanied by a shift of population from the agricultural to the non-agricultural sector; in other words, from the rural to the urban economy. But, unfortunately, this has not been the case in India. At present, nearly 60 percent of the Indian population engaged in agriculture produce less than 15 percent of total output, whereas the remaining 40 percent of the population contribute more than 85 percent of total output. This is indeed a dual economy and the economy now is indeed more dual than it was at the time of independence. This only implies that the Indian growth process has largely excluded its rural population who still constitute nearly 70 percent of its population.

If one were to considers the status of different social groups, it is not easy to get adequate information on their well being, except for the scheduled castes or tribes. But it is generally maintained that, due to several policies all under the strategy of positive discrimination, the living conditions of many disadvantaged social groups have probably marginally improved, narrowing the social inequality; but the existing level of inequality is still very high. Secondly, several political movements for positive discrimination by some disadvantaged communities other than scheduled castes and tribes, only underline that they feel excluded from the recent growth process of the Indian economy. This has led many economists to ask the question — what makes the present Indian growth process less than inclusive or, alternatively, under which conditions a growth process becomes regionally, sectorally and socially inclusive.

The Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) proposes to organize a two-day workshop where the invited experts will try to answer the above question, viz, the conditions for inclusive growth. Apart the overall macro-economic framework of a growth model that can ensure inclusive growth, the question also needs to be addressed in terms of some of the desired outcomes of inclusive growth, viz., livelihood and employment opportunities, human development outcomes (particularly education and health) and gender equality. Yet another important dimension of the above question is the role of the state in promoting inclusive development, although this role is now becoming increasingly smaller in India.

Broad Programme of the workshop

It is proposed to invite 15 young scholars from the universities and research institutes in Bihar in the workshop, all belonging to disadvantaged sections of the population like scheduled castes, scheduled tribes or other disadvantaged social groups. If possible, the list of invited young scholars will also include scholars from the adjoining state of Jharkhand. The workshop is proposed to be organized on April 28-29, 2017. Dr. Barna Ganguly and Dr. Bakshi Amit K Sinha, both faculty members at ADRI, will be the joint-coordinators of the workshop.

The Workshop will start with an Inaugural Session on Day 1, which will be followed by 4 lectures (2 pre-lunch and 2 post-lunch). The day will end with a Discussion Session where the learning outcomes of the young scholars will be tested through their comments on the four lectures of the day.

On Day 2 again, there will be 4 lectures (3 pre-lunch and 1 post-lunch), followed by a Discussion Session. The final Session will be devoted to another round of discussions where the young scholars will try to outline a research agenda for themselves. Both the Discussion Session and the Research Agenda Session will be guided by one of the senior scholars of ADRI.

The Resource Persons of for the workshop will comprise some senior scholars from the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna and the A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (ANISISS), another ICSSR Institute in Patna. In addition, it is also proposed to invite 6 outstation senior scholars who have made significant contribution on different dimensions of inclusive growth. The list of outstation scholars will be decided once the approval for the proposed Workshop is obtained from the ICSSR-ERC.

Press Release

Patna May 25. The Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) organized a two-day (May 25-26, 2017) workshop on ‘Inclusive Growth Process'. The objective of the workshop is to expose young research scholars to the emerging ideas on the challenges of inclusive growth process in India to enrich their academic capacity. Around 30 research scholars are participating from different Universities of Bihar

While inaugurating the workshop, Professor Qamar Ahsan, Vice Chancellor, Magadh University said that choice based credit system in the higher education may be implemented because it is student friendly. Professor Kameshwar Jha, Vice-Chairman, Bihar State Higher Education Council in his presidential address said that all the aspects of inclusive growth have been included in the workshop module.

In technical session, the first lecture was delivered by Professor Sunil Ray, Director A N Sinha Institute of Social Science on ‘Institutional Requirement of Inclusive Growth'. The second lecture was on ‘Role of Education on Inclusive Growth' delivered by eminent scholar Dr. Vinay K Kantha. Professor Nawal K Chaudhary, eminent Economist gave his lecture on ‘Inclusive Growth: Issues and Challenges'. The last lecture of the day on ‘Pattern of Social Sector Spending in India' was delivered by Dr. Nilachala Acharya, Research Coordinator. Workshop ended with an interactive session with participants and the faculty members Dr. Barna Ganguli, Dr. Bakshi Amit Kumar Sinha and Dr. Manish Kumar.

Dr. Shaibal Gupta, Member Secretary, ADRI welcomed the guests. Dr. Pradip K Chaudhary, Senior Consultant, Bihar State Higher Education Council was special guest of the occasion. Earlier, Professor Prabhat P Ghosh, Director, ADRI outlined the theme of the workshop. Dr. Brana Ganguli, Assistant Professor, ADRI proposed the vote of thanks.