The social problems of contemporary India are the result of a complex nexus between the factors of exclusion and inclusion rooted in history, values, and cultural ethos. Many of these problems based on the policy of segregation have not been addressed by the development strategy launched sinceIndependence. Recent policies of globalization have further undermined the role of larger societal norms as well as the state apparatus that could counter exclusionary forces. The agenda of social development has remained unfinished, keeping social tensions simmering. Today, however, in the policydebate, orthodox economic liberalism is giving way to concerns regarding social consequences of globalization, as it affects the poorest and the marginalized sections of the population. Thus, a number of highly important and far-reaching social policy measures have been brought on to the developmentagenda, in the form of the Right to Information Act, Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Rural Health Mission among others. This unique volume argues the need to harness the energy of the nation to ensure their effective implementation through an overview of trends and patterns of development alongwith policies and programmes. It identifies key concerns and proposes measures of possible intervention. The areas and sectors discussed include: poverty, unemployment, and the role and importance of public intervention, challenges in the health sector, achievements and failures in education,challenges in urban governance, the role and location of women in social development, communal relations as an important factor in attaining social integration, inequality and population mobility, decentralization and empowering local government and social security.