chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

WithV. N. Balasubramanyam

The triad of democracy, socialism and economic planning has been the declared cornerstones of India's economic and political philosophy ever since her inception in 1947 as an independent sovereign state. The principal architect of democratic socialism and economic planning in India was Jawaharlal Nehru, her first Prime Minister. Since 1950, India's approach to economic development has been within a framework of planning. India's teeming millions and the patterns of their livelihood have been the focus of demographers and economists alike. Indian agriculture was the focus of the celebrated debates in the sixties on the doctrine of zero marginal productivity of labour, the supply response of farmers in poor countries to economic incentives and the hypothesis that fanners in traditional agriculture are efficient but poor. Indian economists, like their counterparts elsewhere, do play economic war-games: but this has generated as much light as heat. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.