"Development is a matter on which not merely the well-being but the very existence of our polity depends. Scholars and "experts" have undoubtedly a role to play, but the more important aspect of this role is to popularise the scientific and rational outlook on the problems, and to remove popular misconceptions often generated by vested interests. This requires interaction of scholars with laymen, and it is in this respect that the three seminars held, and the volume which incorporates the proceedings, can claim to make a contribution.
The first part is on the social and economic aspects of development. It is followed by the second part on the application of technology. The third part is on secularism and social transformation.
This volume has brought together acknowledged thinkers and scholars with journalists, social activists and retired bureaucrats. The level of comprehension, and even of expression of the participants, has not been the same. The object of the volume is not to arrive at a consensus but to display openly the variety of views in order to stimulate thinking and thus enable the readers to exercise their own judgment. The insights provided the points of view presented and the data adduced in support thereof will help broaden the outlook, and ultimately banish the misconceptions which still plague our thinking on this important subject of development." (jacket)