Showing posts with label Basic Concepts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Basic Concepts. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Social Stratification and Social Inequality

Inequality is a certain distribution of privileges and resources as a consequence of which society gets categorically divided or stratified. In theoretical terms, while differences between groups may not always lead to inequalities, the existence of inequalities necessarily implies the existence of difference between them where the difference becomes the basis of the inequality. This is exactly where the value attached to the difference becomes a parameter to segregate people and hierarchize one over the other. 

Kingsley Davis lays emphasis on the functional necessity of stratification. According to him, society must provide some rewards which it can use as inducements and have some way of distributing these rewards differently according to position. The rewards and their distribution, as attached to social positions, create social stratification. These rewards may be in the form of economic incentives, aesthetic incentives, and symbolic incentives. The differentiation of rewards produces social inequality. 

According to Davis, social inequality is an unconsciously evolved device by which societies insure that the most important positions are conscientiously filled by the most qualified persons. Hence, every society must possess a certain amount of institutionalized inequality or social stratification. 

This view of Davis has come under criticism and theorists have also forwarded the conflict perspective to explain social stratification. Conflict theorists like that of Karl Marx, although he never directly gave a theory on social stratification, gave a theory of social class on the basis of which we derive stratification or inequality in society. His theory is a radical alternative to the functionalist view and he uses the term class to refer to the main strata of society. According to the Marxian perspective, systems of stratification derive from the relationships of the social groups to the forces of production. Except for primitive communism the first stage in history according to Marx, all other societies are stratified, like the master and the slave in slavery, lord and the serf in the feudal system, and the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in capitalism. For Weber, all communities are arranged in a manner that goods, tangible and intangible, symbolic and material are distributed. Such a distribution is always unequal and necessarily involves power. “Classes, status groups and parties are phenomena of the distribution of power within a community”.

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Social Stratification pp-31-32

Sunday, 30 January 2022

SOCIAL MOBILITY

The term social mobility refers to movement of individuals or groups from one position of a society’s stratification system to another. Individuals may move up or down or remain at the same level but in a different occupation. Sociologists study how various structural and social factors contribute to the social mobility of groups or individuals.

DEFINITIONS OF SOCIAL MOBILITY

  1. Richard T. Schaefer: “Social mobility refers to movement of individuals or group from one position to another, of a society’s stratification system.”

  2. C.H. Persell: “Social mobility refers to the movement from one status to another status within a stratified society.”

  3. Harton and Hunt: “Social mobility refers to progress or slip from a social strata.”

TYPES OF SOCIAL MOBILITY

Sociologists have identified several types of social mobility:

  1. Horizontal social mobility: 

Horizontal mobility one of the types of mobility is the straight change from left to right or right to left. In horizontal mobility, if the place is changed but the social position of an individual remains on the same level.

For example; when a lecture is transferred from one government college to another with the same grade or pay scale and as a teacher is horizontal mobility.

In other words, horizontal mobility is the transition of an individual or social object from one social group to another situated on the same level. While explaining horizontal mobility we are mainly referring to the movement of individuals from one position to another of more or less equal prestige. Sorokin explains the concept of horizontal mobility still more broadly.

According to Sorokin, “Horizontal mobility refers to territorial, religious, political party, family, occupational and other horizontal shifting without any noticeable change in vertical position.” The individuals are no more attached to their place of birth. The individuals move from one place to another in search of jobs which may be of the same prestige. The modern means of transportation have brought in more territorial movement of individuals.

  1. Vertical Mobility: 

It refers to any change in the occupational, economic or political status of an individual or a group which leads to a change of their position. In the words of Sorokin, vertical social mobility is meant the relations involved in the transition of an individual (or a social object) from one social stratum to another.

For example, the manager of the meat department who is promoted to general manager of the supermarket has achieved upward vertical mobility. The promotion is accompanied by an increase in income and overall responsibility. On the other hand, the major league, a baseball player who is sent back to the minor leagues has suffered downward vertical mobility.

Vertical mobility stands for a change of social position either upward or downward, which can be labelled as ascending or descending type of mobility. When a big businessman meets with losses in his business and is declared bankrupt, he occupies a low status. On the other hand, if a small businessman with occupational skills of money and manipulation becomes an industrialist he occupies a higher position on the social ladder. Hence his position improves in the hierarchical order.

According to the direction of transition, there are two types of vertical social mobility

  1. Upward Social Mobility: 

If a person of inferior status in society moves towards a superior social position, he is moving upward or has upward mobility.

For example, a teacher after doing M.Phil becomes a professor in a college or a lawyer becomes a judge.

  1. Downward Social Mobility: 

If a person of higher or superior social position moves towards an inferior social position, it is called downward mobility.

For example, a big businessman because of a great loss in business becomes a beggar or an officer is dismissed because of his serious offence and is deprived of all privileges.

  1. Inter-generational Mobility: 

When changes occur from one generation to another, it is known as inter-generational mobility. This type of mobility involves changes in the social position of children relative to their parents.

For example, a son of a carpenter becomes a doctor or an engineer or the son of a police officer adopts a profession of a shopkeeper. It is called intergenerational mobility.

Similarly, a family of Brahmins may be engaged in the traditional occupation of teaching and performing rituals but its younger generation is neither intelligent nor follows the family occupation. They become daily wagers then the younger generation has downward inter-generational mobility.

With the improvement in economic position, people start changing their style of living by discarding the old practices and adopting the practices of those who are high on the social ladder. After two or three generations their new position may be recognized. This process of social mobility, according to Srinivas is a process of Sanskritization.

  1. Intra-Generational Mobility: 

It refers to the vertical mobility experienced by a single individual within his or her own lifetime.

For example, a woman starts her career as a primary school teacher to reach the higher position of headmistress of a high school or principal or director till her retirement. Then such a change in status is called intra-generational mobility.

Sociologists gave this type of mobility great importance while analyzing such cases for a research study. Downward intra-generational mobility is not much common.

Therefore, we can conclude that forms of social mobility are not comprehensive and there is overlapping. Also, mobility occurs in the framework of time and space. The factors that affect mobility are found universally true.

FACTORS AFFECTING SOCIAL MOBILITY

  1. Economic Structural Changes: 

The changes taking place in the structure of a society are subject to social mobility in an observing manner. If the economy of a society is based on agriculture and that changes into an industrial society then many people get the chances of employment, income increases and standard of life rises. As a result, the social stratification of an individual improves or if traditional pattern of agriculture is changed into mechanical agriculture the production is increased and results in a better position social stratification: The progress of technology also opens new economic fields which raise the social status of skilled people.

  1. Modernization: 

The modernity and innovatory level divert the attention of the individuals of society towards new, discoveries and inventions which create a passion for better social life and efforts to increase income, become fast. There is rapid advancement in economic activities, new employments are created and the social position of individuals becomes a source of upward political mobility.

  1. Improvement in Communication Means: 

All means of communications are a course of social interaction, connections are increased, information is increased, new economic sources take place, new business is started, running a business is improved and production is increased. Rapid means of communications help in sending goods to the market and an increase in income affects social mobility.

  1. Education and Social Awareness: 

In such societies, where education is common and every individual has equal chances of getting an education, there is a facility of moving from inferior position to superior position. C. Heller based on his study has observed, that education is an important effective element in the inter over intra-generational mobility.

In addition, the level towards social progress and consciousness of making life better is the important functions of social mobility increase the chances of vertical mobility.

FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOCIAL MOBILITY

The following factors facilitate Social Mobility:

  1. Motivation: 

Each individual has a desire not only to have a better way of living but also wants to improve upon his social stand. In an open system, it is possible to achieve any status. This openness motivates people to work hard and improve upon their skills so that they can attain higher social status. Without such motivation and efforts on the part of the individual social mobility is impossible.

  1. Achievements and Failures: 

The achievement here refers to extraordinary, usually unexpected performance, which attracts the attention of a wider public to the abilities of a person. Not all achievements will result in social mobility. Achievements affect status only if they are remarkable. For example, a poor man who has acquired wealth or an unknown writer who has won a literary prize will improve his status.

Failures and misdeeds have a similar effect on downward mobility. Fraudulent bankruptcy will remove a member of the upper classes from blue books; he will receive no dinner invitations from his peers and he will become ineligible as a marriage partner. If he is already married, his wife may divorce him. He will have to resign from his clubs and all positions he holds. But he will not become a member of the lowest stratum, although it will be difficult for him to find a new association.

  1. Education: 

Education not only helps an individual to acquire knowledge but is also a passport for occupational positions for higher prestige. To become a doctor one has to have an education in science subjects. Similarly, to appear in a competitive examination of I.A.S., one has to be at least graduate.

It is only after acquiring minimum formal education that individuals can aspire to occupy higher positions. It is through education that in modern India the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are not only able to change their traditional occupation but have also started occupying jobs of higher prestige. In the modern industrial society in which statuses can be achieved, education is a basic requirement.

  1. Skills and Training: 

Each society makes provision to impart skill and training to the younger generation. To acquire skill and training one has to spend a lot of time as well as money. Why do these people spend money and time? The reason is that society gives incentives to such persons. When they complete their training, they are entitled to high positions, which are far better than those positions which they might have taken without such training.

Society not only assigns higher social status but also gives higher economic rewards and other privileges to those persons who have this training. Keeping in view these incentives people undergo these training with a hope to move up in the social ladder. In other words, skills and training facilities in improvement of the position, this leading to social mobility.

  1. Migration: 

Migration also facilitates social mobility. People migrate from one place to another either due to pull or push factors. A particular place may not have opportunities and facilities to improve upon. Hence, people are forced to migrate to other places to earn their livelihood. New places, where they migrate, may have different openings and opportunities.

These persons avail of these opportunities and improve upon their social position. We can take the example of people belonging to the Scheduled Castes of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who migrate to the States of Punjab and Haryana to earn their livelihood. Here they become farm labourers.

After acquiring accumulating money they go back to their villages and buy land. They till their own land and become owner cultivators. Hence, from the traditional work of Chamars or scavengers, they improve their status and become owner cultivators. Similar is the situation with regard to Asians who migrate to various European countries and the United State of America.

The pull factors attract the people because they do not have those facilities at their place of residence and the new place attracts them by providing these facilities so that after acquiring new skills and knowledge they could occupy better positions.

People migrate from villages to cities because urban centres have institutions of higher status as well as opportunities for jobs. People come to urban areas to acquire education and skills and occupy higher positions than their parents and brothers who continue to live in villages. In this way, we find that both push and pull factors lead to migration which subsequently facilitates social mobility.

  1. Industrialization: 

Industrial Revolution ushered in a new social system in which people are given status according to their ability and training. No importance was given to their caste, race, religion and ethnicity. Industrialization resulted in mass production at a cheaper rate. This forced the artisans out of their work. In search of jobs, they migrated to industrial towns.

They acquired new vocational training and got jobs in industries. With experience and training, they moved up the social ladder. In the industrial society, the statuses are achieved, whereas, in the traditional society like India, the statuses are ascribed according to birth. Hence industrialization facilitates greater social mobility.

  1. Urbanization: 

In the cities there are more people, they have formal relations. People do not know each other intimately. Urban centres are marked by anonymity. People are close to their friends and relatives only. Urban settlements provide secrecy to an individual’s caste and background. An Individual’s position is largely dependent upon his education, occupation and income rather than his background.

If an individual has higher education, income and is engaged in occupation of higher prestige, he occupies high social status irrespective of his caste. Urbanization facilitates social mobility by removing those factors which hinder social mobility.

  1. Legislation: 

The enactment of new laws can also facilitate social mobility. When Zamindari Abolition Act was passed, most of the tenant cultivators became owner cultivators which indicate improvement in their status i.e., from tenants to owner cultivators. Similarly, the legal provision for reservation of jobs and promotion for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has also helped in social mobility.

Reservation with regard to admission in professional colleges, job reservation and promotions have a large number of individuals from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to improve upon their status. When V.R. Singh Government accepted the Mandal Commission report it provided job reservations for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) also.

Similarly, the judicial system by passing certain judgments may also facilitate social mobility. Hindu Marriage Act in different ways has enhanced the status of women. Similarly, Hindu Succession Act has given equal rights to the daughter in the family property. In this way, we find that legal provisions also facilitate social mobility.

  1. Politicization: 

Education and greater exposure to mass media of communication as well as greater contacts have made people aware of their rights. The political parties also educate the people about their rights. To achieve their rights people unite and force the authority in power to accept their demands. These persons may use agitations, strikes etc. as methods of attaining the desired goals.

The political party to get votes provides several concessions. With the help of these new concessions and provisions, they improve upon their social status. A few persons may become political leaders, Ministers, Cabinet Ministers or Chief Ministers of a State.

Many such examples can be found in the present day Indian polity. This has resulted into upward social mobility for them. Similarly, with greater political awareness with representatives in State assembly and Parliament they can (once the government to enact certain laws helping the lower segments of the society.

  1. Modernization: 

The process of modernization involves the use of scientific knowledge and modern technology. It also refers to rationality and secular way of life. With the improvement in technology, people engaged in occupations of low prestige like scavengers discard their traditional occupations and take up occupations which are not dirty and have no polluting effects.

In this way, they change their position upward. Similarly, the level of development of a country also facilitates or hinders social mobility. The less developed and traditional societies continue with the old system of stratification and with accretive statuses. Whereas the developed and modern societies paved the way for greater opportunities and competition, it is only in the developed countries that there is a greater possibility of achieved statuses. In other words, modernization facilitates social mobility.

Aspirations for moving upward also results in frustration and different mental and psychological problems. An individual is given to understand that he can achieve any status. But in reality, this does not happen, his social background, birth in a race, ethnicity, facilitate or hinder his chances of social mobility. Similarly, the nations which do not have avenues for social mobility also suffer from stagnation and lack of development. In short, social mobility has both positive and negative consequences.


IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MOBILITY

  1. Increase in Social prestige: 

When upward vertical social mobility takes place, a person moves from low social status to a high social status. Thus, social mobility leads to an increase in social prestige.

  1. Development of latent talent: 

Social mobility helps us develop our latent ability that will otherwise remain passive. If we remain confined to our current status, position, class or occupation, it is impossible to develop our latent ability. For example, if we remain confined to the occupation- farming – without moving to another occupation, say teaching, we cannot develop our latent ability to understand the subject matter that we teach and to teach it effectively. We may have a latent ability to become a great leaders. We can develop it through social mobility by moving from the farming field to political field. Thus, social mobility results in the development of our latent ability.

  1. Modernization of agriculture and industrialization: 

Modernizing agriculture and industrialization is impossible without people with relevant expertise. Without social mobility, society cannot develop the manpower with relevant expertise required for the modernization of agriculture and industrialization. The labour force required for industries cannot be available in urban areas without social mobility. Thus, the importance of social mobility also lies in the fact that it at least facilitates the modernization of agriculture and industrialization.

  1. Social change: 

In a society where no social mobility takes place, no social change takes place. If the members residing in a society do not change their current social position, the society will not develop.

  1. Economic Development: 

When upward vertical social mobility becomes widespread, economic development takes place. In other words, when a large number of people move from low status as poor people to a new and high status as rich people, it is an indication of the fact that economic development has taken place. If these poor people had not moved from their original class of poor people to a new class of rich people, it would have indicated that economic development is yet to take place at least at the micro level.

  1. End of caste-based discrimination: 

Social mobility leads to the end of caste-based discrimination against so-called low caste people by so-called high caste people. Open social mobility ends the discriminatory and unfairly hierarchical caste system because it encourages social mobility completely independent of social norms delimiting the area within which social mobility is to be taken place.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT

The term ‘progress’ has been applied to social change and it connotes a valuation and such valuation is made according to certain principles. When a subjective analysis confuses ‘progress’ with ‘happiness’ or material comforts, the conclusions tend to remain on the wrong side of value-free judgments and the sociologist must always guard against such pitfalls in reasoning.

The term ‘development’, means formal and structural changes in an organism. Even though society is not an entity like the living organism, the term as applied to such organism can have its valid application in social matters. Just as life grows from the simple to the complex form, society develops in the sense that its ‘energy’ accumulates collectively, such energy is ‘organized’ for functioning in a definite direction, and ‘harmony’ is achieved between the different social organs for the purpose of effecting an overall development. Further, well-known economist and sociologist Gunner Myrdal defines development as ‘the upward movement of the entire social system, and this social system encloses, besides the so-called economic factors, all non-economic factors, including all sorts of consumption by various groups of people; consumption provided collectively; educational and health facilities and levels; the distribution of power in society; and more generally, economic, social and political stratification; broadly speaking, institutions and attitudes to which we must add, as an exogenous set of factors, induced policy measures applied in order to change one or several of these endogenous factors’.

‘Progress’ and ‘development’ are often used interchangeably. For many people, both words mean the same thing and present the same goal. However, progress and development have few differences in the details. One of the main differences between progress and development is that the word ‘progress’ gives the extra idea of ‘movement’. On the other hand, the word ‘development’ does not give the extra idea of ‘movement’.

DEFINITION OF DEVELOPMENT

  1. According to James Midgley, “Planned change designated to promote the well-being of the population as a whole in conjunction with a dynamic process of economic development can be termed as social development.”

  2. According to Salima Omer defined social development as a process concerned with achieving an integrated, balanced and unified social and economic development of society that gives expression to the value of human dignity, equality and social justice.

  3. According to Amartya Sen, 1995 states “Social development is equality of social opportunities”.

  4. The Copenhagen Social Summit, 1995 defined Social Development in terms of three basic criteria: i) Poverty Eradication, ii) Employment Generation, and iii) Social Harmony.

DEVELOPMENT

Development refers to improvement in the quality of life and advancement in one’s state of condition. It may refer to the improvements in one’s well-being, living standards and socio-economic opportunities. However, the term ‘development’ is multifaceted due to which lots of confusion and disagreements have taken place with regard to its meaning and definition. Nevertheless, influenced by the scholars like Amartya Sen, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) created a Human Development Index (HDI) that combines indicators like health, life expectancy, literacy, political participation and access to resources (UNDP 2001, 14). Noted economist Amartya Sen argues that development can be seen as a process of expanding real freedoms that people enjoy. This contrasts with the narrow view of development that identifies it with growth or Gross National Product (GNP) or personal income or industrialization or technological advancement or social modernization (Sen 2000, 3). Sen argues that the growth of GNP and personal income can be important means that can expand individual freedom. However, freedom depends also on other determinants like proper arrangements for schooling or education, a proper healthcare system, civil and political rights, and so on. Sen Says, ‘Development requires the removal of major sources of un-freedom: poverty as well as tyranny, poor economic opportunities as well as systematic social deprivation, neglect of public facilities as well as intolerance or over activity or repressive state’ (Sen 2000, 3).

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT

  1. Sometimes the word ‘progress’ gives the additional sense of ‘continue’ as in the sentence ‘The argument is progressing’. On the other hand, the development consists of the act or an instance of growth or the process of being grown. Development always indicates a stage of growth or advancement. It relates to an event or a circumstance.

  2. ‘Progress’ and ‘development’ are similar but not exactly alike. Progress denotes a picture of a straight and upward movement while development favours the depiction of wholesome growth in all aspects and sides.

  3. Development deals more with a wholesome activity while progress deals with the particulars of the same action. In short, progress contributes to development.

  4. Progress deals with the current status of the activity which includes the tasks done and the undone tasks while development also looks at the current status but on a macro level.

  5. Progress is part of the development. Development is the wholesome approach or status of a particular activity whether a plan or a project.

  6. Progress and development are also reflected in work and the individual. Progress is concerned with the results while development deals with the process. Progress looks at the end of labour and the evaluative results while development concentrates on the methods and techniques.

  7. Economic progress and development also are relative concepts. Progress is seen as the economic growth of a country while development refers to the distribution of progress to the members of society.

In a way, development and progress have a symbiotic or a two-way relationship. If there is internal development, whether in a group or in an individual, it can affect the status of progress in work or in a plan.

NATURE OF DEVELOPMENT

Development is a process that makes human society a better place to live in. It brings social well-being. The nature of development is analysed below (Jena and Mohapatra 2001; Mohanty 1997).

  1. Development is a Revolutionary Process. In many cases, it involves sudden and rapid changes in the social structure. In its technological and cultural dimensions, it is comparable to Neolithic revolutions which had turned food-gatherers and nomads into settled agriculturists. Now, during the development revolution, society is getting transformed from a rural agricultural one to urban and industrial.

  2. Development is a complex and multi-dimensional process. It involves a lot of economic, behavioural and institutional rearrangements. It involves equity, socio-economic and political participation, and so on.

  3. Development is a systematic process. Change in one aspect brings chain reaction and corresponding changes in other aspects also.

  4. Development is a lengthy process. The process of development needs a substantial level of effort over a long period of time.

  5. Development is an irreversible process. It always moves forward. Although some aspects of the process might have some occasional downfalls, the whole process of development is irreversible.

  6. Development is a universal process. Developmental ideas and know-how are diffused from the centre of origin to other parts of the world. There are transformations of ideas and techniques between nations world over.

  7. Development is directional. It is a process that moves in a direction. In that sense, development is also called an evolutionary process. As stated by Spencer, it can be from simple to complex. As stated by Marx, it can be from class-less primitive communism to capitalistic mode of production and finally to socialism. As discussed by Durkheim, it can be from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity, and so on.

  8. Development is a value-loaded concept. Qualitatively, it talks about the improvement of something over some other. It talks about the improvement in lifestyle, infrastructure, education, health system, and so on. Quantitatively, it always advocates for more (of anything) in number. So it is a process that involves a value judgement.

INTERRELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT

Development is a form of change. However, there are differences between the two. Change is a value-neutral concept, while development is value-loaded one. Change is ethically neutral and suggests alterations or modifications in the structure and functioning of society over a period of time. Development, on the other hand, advocates change for good. It is a process of the desired change. Although development leads to change, all forms of change do not indicate development. Those changes which are planned are termed as development. A change to be defined as development must occur continuously in the desired direction. These desired goals are set by looking at the values, norms and needs of any society.

Any change in society must get absorbed in the system and must be felt by the people to make it more effective. Such change can then be regarded as development. Advancement in education and modern means of transport and communication has resulted in high female literacy in modern societies. This has led to women joining various jobs in both government and non-government establishments, changing the family relationship as a whole. Such a move leads to a situation like role conflict where the modern women are confused about whether to perform the role of a traditional family woman, a mother, a daughter, a wife or to play the role of a teacher, an administrator or an engineer. Such a phenomenon is an example of social change. However, such change can be regarded as development only when proper institutional arrangements and social adjustments are made so that a working woman does not face a situation like role- conflict and manages both her roles well. Such institutional arrangements and social adjustments will then be called as development (Jena and Mohapatra 2001; Mohanty 1997). 

INDICATORS OF DEVELOPMENT

As discussed in previous sections, development is a multi-faceted term and there are a lot of confusion over its meaning and definition. Questions are often raised on how should one count the development parameters. How can a society be called developed and underdeveloped? What should be the basis? To understand the concept clearly, the indicators of development are discussed as follows:

  1. Literacy or education:

Education is the medium through which the members of society are socialized and the modern means of knowledge, skill and technique are imparted to them. Formal education and training expands opportunities for people and increases their capacities. The availability of an educated labour force in a country is a prerequisite for development, a better governance system and the healthy functioning of democracy. In India, to eradicate illiteracy, successive governments have come out with policies like ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ (SSA), ‘Mid-day Meal Scheme’, ‘Mahila Samakhya Scheme’, ‘Teacher Education Scheme’, and so on. Following the National Literacy Mission (NLM), set up in 1988, the ‘Total Literacy Campaign’ was initiated to eliminate illiteracy. India’s soaring literacy helped the country to become a knowledge economy. From a mere 12 per cent during independence, India’s literacy has reached at 65 per cent (2001 census). This is a strong indicator of development.

  1. Health:

Health is, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines it, ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Good physical health is the basic requirement for a stable society. Low maternal and infant mortality, good quality of life, and availability of proper health facilities to all sections of society are necessary conditions for a healthy and developed society. In India, although phenomenal improvements in various health indicators have been witnessed in the post-independence period, still several facts need wide attention. The year 2007 data show, in India, the infant mortality rate (IMR)—the probability of a child dying before the first birthday—is still high, i.e., 55 per one thousand live births, although it has shown a continuous decline over the years. Again, 43 per cent of children in India under age five are underweight (India 2010, 519–522). According to the UN World Food Programme report released in 2009, more than 27 per cent of the world’s under-nourished population lives in India. Besides, 40 per cent of women are found with chronic energy deficiency and around 30 per cent of babies in India are born underweight (Bhattacharya 2010). The development of any country with such bad health indicators will be difficult.

  1. Income:

An adequate level of employment generation is essential for a country to raise the income level of its populace. High incomes per capita and increased GNP makes a country economically healthy. When a country has enough economic resources and its per capita income is high, it can invest in social sectors like health and education. Therefore, income and economic welfare are the most important indicators of the development process.

  1. Democratic participation:

Participation in the political process of a state is a rational thing every citizen would want to carry out. The political process can enable or hamper the developmental process. The participation of people in every developmental activity makes it more effective and serves the developmental goals. The right to choose one’s representative and the right to choose one’s government are important for the people in polity. The introduction of adult franchise in India soon after independence is a significant step in this context. However, only the right to vote is not enough for a country to be called as developed. People must also have the right to choose the development that is meant for them. This makes a state democratic and people-friendly. It is an important indication for development when people enjoy such freedom.

  1. Scientific and technological advancement:

Technological prowess makes a country advanced and that enables for creating better facilities for its citizens. When a country is technologically advanced, its people have larger choices for scientific and technological know-how. There are very few countries that can afford substantial amount of resources devoted to Research and Development (R&D) since it is very expensive and involves complicated processes. However, a country with adequate and latest technology can manage its various needs well and make facilities available for its masses.

  1. Strong and sustained cultural civilization:

A country for its true development needs not only scientific tools and economic growth but also a strong urge to sustain its traditional heritage and cultural civilization. The very notion of HDI devised by UNDP is that progress and development are no longer to be measured just in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or per capita income but also in terms of human well-being, which includes a number of factors like cultural identity, a sense of security of both one’s personal safety as well as safety of one’s culture and one’s place in this world. In that sense, Bhutan’s has very high indicators of human happiness. This is due to Bhutan’s flourishing craft activities, linking craft to Bhutan’s sense of identity (Chatterjee and Ashoke 2005). So traditional cultural ethos and values are major parts of a country’s development. In India, it is the traditional skill (local knowledge) of the handicraft artisans that is a major basis of their identity. However, in post-liberalization India, this identity is either getting vanished or getting diluted and the skill/local knowledge is very much influenced by the market forces (Jena 2008, 22). Sustaining one’s own cultural heritage of any form in modern globalized times is one of the greatest challenges for any country. Without this, the true development of a nation and humanity is impossible.