Yesm. Growth Development Social Sector An Indian Perspective

1037 words - 5 pages

The first time I heard of YESM, a scant few weeks into my first semester, it appeared as one of those mysterious rites of passage, which however oft discussed need to be experienced to be truly understood. In my naïveté, I had somewhat expected a repeat of the classroom experience, albeit with some familiar and several unfamiliar instructors on a subject which despite being a common enough topic of discussion, especially in Bengali addas, was not one I’d ever considered in any depth (the theme that year had been “Rethinking Capitalism”). What I found instead was an outpouring of different opinions, an exchange of ideas, a sharing of contrasting perspectives and at the end of those two days I walked away with an awed understanding of exactly how pertinent an issue I had blithely ignored for so long, and how important it was to deliberate on such issues for the sake of both our academic understanding and personal decisions. At the end of two and a half years spent in the department and two editions of this event seen, I daresay I understand YESM, its purpose and significance, a whole lot better.
The purpose of YESM, as I now understand it, is to try and explore as many facets of an issue as possible, from various perspectives and allow not just seasoned academics to voice their opinions, but provide the students, the budding economists, with a platform to bridge the gap between textbooks and the beyond, to form their own judgements and opinions about the great wide world. Thus it follows that while deciding the theme, the first consideration is relevance.
These are interesting times, poised as we are on the brink of a possible change… On one hand a government battling a slowing growth by curbing current account deficit through subsidy-cuts, the most remarkable instance being the limiting of subsidy on LPG cylinders and all the country-wide uproar that it entailed; and yet continuing steadily with its plans for improving the lives of the ‘common man’ through a plethora of social, healthcare, education, rural and urban development schemes, not to mention the much hyped Food Security Bill aimed at ensuring one of every citizen’s basic rights. On the other, a potential government which promises ‘development’ and an end to the corruption which has seemingly become part and parcel of the Indian political process…
It seems prudent at this juncture to delve into exactly where we stand as a nation in terms of the growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots, the ‘India shining’ and those who are left lurking in its shadow. Despite a 1.5% average annual HDI growth between 2000-12, India continues to suffer from high income inequality (Guinea coefficient 33.4) according to the Human Development Report 2013, published by UNDP. With a projected increase in the number of educated youth joining the labour force, job creation needs to be accelerated. Given that, is industrialization the only answer? In a primarily agrarian country, is it possible to...

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