Contents: I. Radical needs and moderate reforms/Amartya Sen: 1. Ends, means and practical reason. 2. Regional diversities and contrasts. 3. Intrinsic value and instrumental role of human capabilities. 4. On learning from others and from India. 5. Counterproductive regulations and necessary reforms. 6. India and China: comparisons and contrasts. 7. India's educational backwardness and lessons of Kerala. 8. The economic handicap of educational backwardness. 9. The role of pre-reform China in its post-reform success. 10. Economic development through social opportunity. 11. The need for a bigger departure. II. Uttar Pradesh: the burden of inertia/Jean Dreze and Haris Gazdar: 1. Introduction. 2. Living conditions in Uttar Pradesh. 3. Schooling in Uttar Pradesh: a field investigation. 4. Public policy and schooling decisions. 5. The burden of inertia. 6. Concluding remarks. III. Agrarian politics and rural development in West Bengal/Sunil Sengupta and Haris Gazdar: 1. Why look at rural West Bengal? 2. Political economy of the reform programme. 4. Impact on livelihoods. 4. Change and stagnation. 5. Beyond the agrarian agenda. IV. On Kerala's development achievements/V.K. Ramachandran: 1. Introduction. 2. Background. 3. Kerala's health achievements. 4. Literacy in Kerala. 5. Aspects of caste and gender relations in Kerala. 6. Agrarian change. 7. Agents of change. 8. Conclusions. V. Mortality, fertility and gender bias in India: a district-level analysis/Mamta Murthi, Anne-Catherine Guio and Jean Dreze: 1. Introduction. 2. Issues and hypotheses. 3. Data and estimation. 4. Basic results. 5. Further results and extensions. 6. Discussion. Name index. Subject index.
"India is a country of extreme economic and social diversity and the performances of Indian states in eliminating basic deprivation vary widely. This volume is an attempt to learn from this diversity, and to supplement the lessons from successes of other developing countries on which Indian public policy is increasingly based. The emphasis is on the importance of positive public initiatives in promoting social opportunities and laying the basis for participatory growth.
"It begins with an analysis of the persistence of endemic deprivation in India and the role of public action in dealing with the problem. This is followed by case studies of development in three states. These case studies investigate the links between public inertia and endemic deprivation in Uttar Pradesh, the impact of radical politics in West Bengal, and Kerala's development achievements, respectively. Also included is an empirical analysis of regional variations in mortality, fertility and gender bias highlighting important connections between demographic outcomes, economic development and women's agency.
"This volume is a companion study to India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity by Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen (OUP, 1995). In will be invaluable to students and researchers in the social sciences, development NGOs and all those interested in development issues." (jacket)