An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions by Jean DrèzeAn Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions by Jean Drèze

An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions

byJean Drèze

Paperback | March 22, 2015

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When India became independent in 1947 after two centuries of colonial rule, it immediately adopted a firmly democratic political system, with multiple parties, freedom of speech, and extensive political rights. The famines of the British era disappeared, and steady economic growth replaced the economic stagnation of the Raj. The growth of the Indian economy quickened further over the last three decades and became the second fastest among large economies. Despite a recent dip, it is still one of the highest in the world.

Maintaining rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achievable goal for India. InAn Uncertain Glory, two of India's leading economists argue that the country's main problems lie in the lack of attention paid to the essential needs of the people, especially of the poor, and often of women. There have been major failures both to foster participatory growth and to make good use of the public resources generated by economic growth to enhance people's living conditions. There is also a continued inadequacy of social services such as schooling and medical care as well as of physical services such as safe water, electricity, drainage, transportation, and sanitation. In the long run, even the feasibility of high economic growth is threatened by the underdevelopment of social and physical infrastructure and the neglect of human capabilities, in contrast with the Asian approach of simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and human development, as pioneered by Japan, South Korea, and China.

In a democratic system, which India has great reason to value, addressing these failures requires not only significant policy rethinking by the government, but also a clearer public understanding of the abysmal extent of social and economic deprivations in the country. The deep inequalities in Indian society tend to constrict public discussion, confining it largely to the lives and concerns of the relatively affluent. Drèze and Sen present a powerful analysis of these deprivations and inequalities as well as the possibility of change through democratic practice.

Jean Drèzehas lived in India since 1979 and became an Indian citizen in 2002. He has taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics, and he is now a visiting professor at Allahabad University. He is the coauthor (with Amartya Sen) ofHunger and Public ActionandIndia: Development and Participation.Amartya Seni...
Title:An Uncertain Glory: India and its ContradictionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pagesPublished:March 22, 2015Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691165521

ISBN - 13:9780691165523


Table of Contents


1 A New India? 1

2 Integrating Growth and Development 17

3 India in Comparative Perspective 45

4 Accountability and Corruption 81

5 The Centrality of Education 107

6 India's Health Care Crisis 143

7 Poverty and Social Support 182

8 The Grip of Inequality 213

9 Democracy, Inequality and Public Reasoning 243

10 The Need for Impatience 276

Statistical Appendix289

Table A.1: E conomic and Social Indicators in India and Selected Asian Countries, 2011 292

Table A.2: India in Comparative Perspective, 2011 296

Table A.3: Selected Indicators for Major Indian States 298

Table A.4: Selected Indicators for the N orth-E astern States 330

Table A.5: Time Trends 332




Editorial Reviews

"This important book provides a comprehensive and probing analysis of the Indian economy and its enormous potential. What makes this such an engaging book is that it is a deeply sympathetic and, for that very reason, a deeply critical evaluation of contemporary India. The book's combination of economics, politics, history, and law makes it a fascinating read."-Kaushik Basu, chief economist of the World Bank