Thursday, 16 April 2015

Social and Human Development

Introduction

We frequently come across the words ‘growth’ and
‘development’ while talking about society. Growth is a
quantitative concept whereas development incorporates
qualitative aspects. Some perceive development in terms
of better roads, electricity, markets, buildings, vehicles
etc. while some others understand it in terms of removal
of poverty, unemployment, insecurity, illiteracy, ill
health and so on. What constitutes development can
be a matter of debate, and opinions may vary. Lately,
there has been a realization that development does
not just comprise of economic growth or physical
infrastructure development, but it should also show in
terms of improvements in people’s lives. So development
has now come to be evaluated in terms of human
wellbeing or human development. We all know the
age-old proverb ‘health is wealth’. A person who is not
healthy cannot have happiness and meaning in life
even if he/she is rich. Similarly, nations cannot be
said to be healthy and happy only because they are
wealthy. It has to be visible in spheres other than
economic prosperity.
In this chapter, we will begin by looking at the concepts
of growth and development and then discuss the
dimensions of ‘human development’ which is at the
center stage of contemporary development theory and
practice. We will then examine a very important issue
in development discourse- population and developmentby
scrutinizing their relationship. You will often review
these concepts and work on them in your professional
life.