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Hard-cover • 2013
Pages: 348
ISBN: 9788171889921
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Academic Foundation

India’s Evolving Economy

Puzzles and Perspectives

A. Vaidyanathan

About the Book

<p><strong>A. Vaidyanathan</strong> ranks amongst India’s topmost economists of international standing who have profoundly impacted the academic, research and policy landscape in the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This book presents a selection of the author’s essays—some unpublished and others published—on diverse aspects and issues of development. It starts with a discussion of the growing divergence between agriculture and the rest of the economy, the sources of the phenomenal growth of tertiary sectors and foreign capital inflow in the last two decade. This is followed by critical appraisal of the rationale and efficacy of current strategies for poverty alleviation and equitable distribution in three major concerns of food security, employment guarantee and access to education. The third section focuses on the extent to which the expansion of financial sector has widened the reach of informal sectors to institutional credit, the factors underlying the rapid growth of gold imports and their implications. Wider issues relating to the role of the politics and politicians, decentralisation and institutions for management of common pool resources like water are also discussed. The concluding set of essays underscore the importance of reliable data for informed policymaking and public debate. Though the country’s statistical system leaves room for improvement in terms of coverage, quality and accessibility, the author emphasises the rich but grossly under-utilised potential of what is available for discriminating research and discusses ways to facilitate and promote such research.</p>

About the Author(s) / Editor(s)

Currently honorary fellow of the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvanathapuram, A. Vaidyanathan's professional career spans academic and policy-centric research on diverse aspects of development. He worked in the National Council of Applied Economic Research (1956-1962); Planning Commission (1962-1972); as professor in CDS (1976-1984) and Madras Institute of Development Studies (1984-2004); as senior economist in FAO and the World Bank. During this long career, he has combined sustained empirical-analytical research on varied aspects of the country's socioeconomic development with active involvement in planning and policy formulation. Besides numerous articles in professional journals, he has written more than a dozen books some dealing with  broader aspects of strategy and policy and others exploring issues relating to specific sectors notably agriculture, water and education. As member of the PM's Economic Advisory Council and the Planning Commission of Centre and Tamil Nadu, he has first-hand knowledge of the processes of policy making. He has served or chaired several official committees to review policies in specific areas (such as pricing of irrigation, revitalisation of rural cooperative credit structure and improvement of the current system of agricultural statistics). His areas of interest ranges from critical assessment of recent growth experience and strategies for poverty alleviation, the role of politics and institutions, importance of reliable data for informed policy making, the current state of available data and its utilisation for research.

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