The project on sustaining growth and promoting inclusion in India aimed to enhance an understanding of the process of growth, the role of an increased level of inclusion to drive and sustain growth, and the ability of sustained growth to benefit all sections of society. In particular it asked how the current inclusion of weaker sections of the population (e.g. women), specific regions (e.g. Bihar) and sectors (e.g. agriculture) would impact and constrain growth and eventually slow down the process of growth. The project also focussed on how the current processes of growth are likely to influence and enhance inclusion and what policies can promote both growth and inclusion.
The overall objective was to better understand India's growth dynamics and policies which can help sustain growth and promote inclusion in India. There was also a focus on the possible impact of growth on enhanced participation resulting in strong implications for growth strategies. Questions relating to policies mainly centred around methods of enhancing participation. Regions and sectors that are lagging behind have been the focus of enquiry and further work has been done in cooperation with the International Growth Centre (IGC).
The research examined both the macro and the very micro and integrated the two, including via the examination of sectors. It took a long view from the history of the railways in the 19th century to the first close analysis from the perspective of inclusion of the most recent National Sample Survey (NSS).
The project began with the story of growth in India over the last 30 or 40 years presented for the Dharm Narain Lecture (Part 1, Part 2) by Nicholas Stern at the Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi in October 2007. The fourth IG Patel Lecture titled New Global Financial Architecture: Approaches and Issues by YV Reddy, former Governor of the RBI and commentary by Nicholas Stern emphasised the importance of advancing inclusion in the governance of the IMF and the World Bank by opening the headship of these institutions beyond Europe and the USA. This lecture was delivered in Hyderabad, India on 25th October 2010.
A paper by Nicholas Stern, Ruth Kattumuri and Nandan Nilekani was presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and key cabinet colleagues in March 2008. The paper was published in the Festschrift for Montek Singh Ahluwalia titled India’s Economy: Performances and Challenges - Essays in Honour of Montek Singh Ahluwalia. This paper argues that the poor people of India are particularly vulnerable to unmanaged climate change and that low-carbon growth is the future growth story.
The current analysis is presented as four papers in Sustaining Growth and Promoting Inclusion in India.
This work was supported by a grant from the Department for International Development (DFID) to whom we are grateful.