• Ashwin Mahesh

Development is urban, formal and industrial.


The contours of development include higher levels of urbanisation, a shift towards more industry, and integration with formal aspects of the economy. For MOST people, this is how it will be - urban, formal, industrial.This does not mean that there is no other way of thinking about development. But it will be self-defeating to think that such alternatives can work for most people. They won't. Strengthening informal livelihoods is nice, where it can be done - but it won't DEVELOP India. Development is formal. Uplifting rural India is nice, and given the scale of the agriculture sector in India, we have to keep pegging away it. But re-imagining clusters of 'rural' as 'small urban' instead is more important. Development is urban. Jugaad with limited resources will bring a smile to the face of the observer, but keeping that smile in place requires sustained improvements in productivity. Development is scale- and productivity- driven. This is not an absolute set of rules, but it is close to being one. There are people who can succeed outside the contours of this triad - and certainly many children of those who have succeeded within it may be able to escape these boundaries. But if we want to DEVELOP THE MAJORITY, then we have to go with ideas of development that can work at that scale.


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