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India is a country of great diversity. The commonly used indicators of 'quality of life' (such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and literacy) vary tremendously between the different states, rivalling international contrasts between very low performing countries and very high achieving ones. This volume of essays reflects an attempt to draw lessons from the disparate experiences within India, rather than from contrasts with the experiences of other countries. It supplements Dreze and Sen's India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity, which studies what we can learn from international comparisons of policies, actions, and achievements. The essays challenge exclusively economic judgements of the development process. The first task is to identify the ends of economic and social development in order to have a basis in which to found the means and strategies. The second task is to understand a wider range of means than those related simply to the use or non-use of markets.The first two overview essays study the issues at the national level, focusing on policy debates and district-by-district demographic indicators, respectively. They are followed by detailed case studies of three very different states: Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, and West Bengal.
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