In Pursuit of Development

India’s development and the political economy of growth — Kunal Sen

Episode Summary

Dan Banik speaks with Kunal Sen on India’s economic growth since 1991 and its impact on development, informality, inequality and poverty reduction

Episode Notes

With the phenomenal growth of its economy in recent years and its longstanding democratic record, India — the world's largest democracy — has emerged as a major global power. Not only has democracy survived in India, but in recent decades the country has also established itself as a beacon of hope for other developing countries striving to achieve a similar combination of democracy, development, and the rule of law. 

India’s management of the COVID pandemic, however, has made news headlines in recent weeks not just because of the massive spike in COVID cases but also because the country’s GDP plunged by 23.9 per cent in the period April – June 2020 – the biggest contraction of any major Asian country. And then there are rising tensions with China. As India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi put it recently, India is fighting on many fronts.

But some of India’s problems began in a pre-COVID era. There were signs that economic growth was slowing and unemployment was on the rise. 

Guest: Professor Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER and professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester.

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