Interactive Discussion on "Growth vs Development: The Road Ahead"

The debate on growth versus development whether economic growth on its own contribute to social development or lead to substantial reduction in hunger, poverty, and illiteracy has been extensively debated by economists in India today. In order to understand a country’s general economic health, one can look at its economic growth and development. An increase in a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicates economic growth, whereas, economic development is indicated by increase in a citizen’s ‘quality of life’. Often, the quality of life is measured using the Human Development Index that takes into account different factors such as literacy rate, life expectancy, and progress in socio-economic structure of a country. [1]

GDP does not measure indicators of well-being, fair and equal distribution, unpaid labour and social sector indicators which assess the provision of effective employment, health and education. For example, India’s GDP growth has been on the higher scale the last few years, but has moved down to the 134th position in the Human Development Index in 2009 as compared to 128 in 2008. India has not made much progress to tackle issues of poverty and inequality, and thus, is behind on fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.[2]

To discuss some such fundamental questions of the direction of the Indian development and growth path, the GPPI-CPR and FES organized an interactive discussion on 11 December, 2014 as part of the ongoing collaborative series of roundtables between GPPI & CPR.

The discussion was led by Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President CPR, Mr. Bibek Debroy, Economist & Professor, CPR, and Prof. Mahendra P Lama, Vice Chancellor, Sikkim University. 13 Member of Parliament from across party lines attended the discussion.

[1] What Is Economic Growth and Development? - Definition, Theories & Indicators, Education Portal, accessed November 26, 2014,
[2]  Prahlad Shekhawat, Economic Growth Versus Human Development,, July 02, 2011