Rural planning in an emerging economy

India

Authored by: Hemalata C. Dandekar

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315102375-5

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Abstract

Following Independence in 1947, rural planning in India drew on US experience in inducing changes in agriculture based on scientific experimentation and its dissemination by a government-financed extension system. Modifications were made to respond to the specificities and characteristics of rural places across India. From the start, planning was based on quite different ideologies about national development. In contrast to the US’s free-market-leaning, laissez-faire economic development, Indian five-year plans explicitly articulated the overt goal of economic growth and underlying goals of equity and redistributive justice. Following economic liberalisation in the late 1980s early 1990s, and in the face of rapid urbanisation and information-technology-driven growth, the focus of Indian planning has been on the urban and emphasised market rationality. Rural planning has responded to the twenty-first century and attempted to capture the effects of globalisation on the local economy. It thus reflects national planning which, under the pro-market and business-oriented current government, espouses the notion that the private sector or public/private partnerships will yield employment and growth. The focus on agriculture continues, but rural poverty reduction efforts such as investments in rural housing and safe drinking water have been reduced, indicating that government will rely on market forces and market mechanisms to promote rural change.

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