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What are social sciences

Philosophy of Social Sciences

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  1. Karnataka Text Book Class X - Chapter 1 Development => NCERT Text Book - Class 10th - Understanding Economic Development

Additional References

How the topic is discussed in NCERT Books

The discussion can enable us to understand different aspects of development. It also discusses different perspectives on development and also explains the various ways of arriving at common indicators for development. The NCERT text book has a 'notes for teachers' in the beginning, where important ideas relating to development, transaction approaches with students are discussed.

Useful websites

Wikipedia entry for Economic development other relevant wikipedia pages include

  1. Sustainable development
  2. Rural development
  3. Wikibooks on Economic development
  4. a thought provoking article on development relating to development

Human Development Reports

  1. 2013 Human Development Report
  2. India Country Human Development Report, 2013

Gender and development

  1. useful publication from Government of India, on gender and budgeting. Annexure A has a description of important concepts relating to gender

Reference Books

Teaching Outlines

Please describe the key ideas to be conveyed in this section. Also broken down in details by each idea

Key Idea 1 - Development

Learning objectives

  1. Understanding social and economic status of people - citizens and communities
  2. Understanding planned ways of changing the social and economic status, through 'development'
  3. Understand concepts of development and underdevelopment.

Notes for teachers

1. Several factors or variables impact development - we need to analyses these from social, political and economic perspectives. Examples of different countries/states to look at these different variables and how they have impacted development.

2. Narrow view of 'material' progress as development. Simple growth in GDP may not necessarily mean development. Kind of materials produced (cigarettes or super luxury goods for eg may not mean development). Secondly, distribution of the development outcomes is also an important consideration. For eg, a media report discusses a study how in the USA, while GDP has grown, the middle class has lagged behind, specially when compared to other countries in North America or Europe. (This can lead to discussion on next concept of looking at development from multiple perspectives)


  1. Activity 1 - Discussion on 'Under Development'
  2. Activity 2 - Second Activity

Key Idea #2 Income and Development

National Income is an important indicator for development - greater the national income, more the development (ceteris paribus). Faster the growth of income, more the development (ceteris paribus).

Hence growth in national income (or growth in gross national product, GNP) is seen as an important variable.

However growth in income does not imply equitable or equal distribution. Where income is equitably distributed, the increase in human welfare tends to be higher.Where it is distributed unequally, human welfare, overall may not rise in proportion. The

The Gini coefficient (also known as the Gini index or Gini ratio) measures the statistical dispersion of the income distribution of a nation's residents. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini. India has relatively a low gini co-efficient, suggesting more equitable spread of income distribution, though it has increased in last two decades of economic liberalisation. All over the world, the Gini coefficient is increasing, including in the USA, where it is seen as an important challenge for capitalist democracy.

Learning objectives

  1. Role of Income in development
  2. Role of rate of growth of income in development
  3. Link between growth in income and other development parameters

Notes for teachers

Growth in national income usually leads to increase in taxes collected which enables government to fund developmental activities. The allocations at national and state levels for education has been consistently rising in the last two decades due to higher growth rates in national income (Gross National Product or GNP)


  1. Development_income and development activity1
  2. Development_income and development activity2

Key Idea #3 Human Development

What are the key ideas to be covered Development is sometimes seen as purely related to economic growth - higher the growth, better is the development. However this is not always true. Growth may not result in development if the activities are not conducive to human welfare, for e.g. increased cultivation of tobacco and increased manufacture of cigarettes and tobacco products, their consumption and treatment for lung cancer due to smoking all lead to in Income. However, such income growth may not be seen as development. Secondly growth with poor distribution may also not contribute to development - where the fruits go only to a small group in society and the remaining do not get the equitable fruits

Hence there is a need for a concept of 'human development'

Learning objectives

Notes for teachers

There are many articles on the inequitable growth in many economies in the last 2-3 decades, where the gap between the rich and the poor (measured by the 'Gini co-efficient') has increased many times. It is important to explain that mere growth is not synonymous with development. Growth with equity and the nature of growth (sustainable, environment friendly etc) are important factors to consider.

Every year, the UNDP produces the Human Development Reports for all countries to measure their levels of human development. UNDP has a special website only for these Human Development Reports.

In India, different state governments prepare the state level Human Development Reports at different times. Recently Karnataka Government has initiated the creation of district Human Development Reports for all districts. You can collect the Human Development Report for your district and discuss the same with the students. Looking at the 'local' Human Development Report will make it more meaningful for learning.


  1. Human development aspects
  2. Discussion on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)

Key Idea #4 Gender and development

Women and men share many aspects of living together, collaborate with each other in complex and ubiquitous ways, and yet end up - often enough – with very different rewards and deprivations. From looking at the state of advantages and deprivations that women and men respectively have, there is an important need to look at the contrast between (i) the efforts and sacrifices made by each, and (ii) the rewards and benefits respectively enjoyed. This contrast is important for a better understanding of gender injustice in the contemporary world. The exacting nature of women’s efforts and contributions, without commensurate rewards, is a particularly important subject,”1. Often there is a need for looking at the measurable indicators that show the evidence of inequity so that proper policies and programmes can be devised. Realising the importance, the Human Development Report2 started calculating gender related indices in recent years

The Gender-related Development Index (GDI) is a composite indicator of gender equality, developed by the United Nations (UN). It is one of the five indicators used by the United Nations Development Programme in its annual Human Development Report (UNDP). It aims to show the inequalities between men and women in the following areas: long and healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. (source)

Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. The all India sex ratio according to the 2011 Census data is 940 and the world figures are 984 (2011). As per Census 2011, all-India female literacy rate is 65.4 percent and in States like Rajasthan and Bihar the rates hover around 52-53 percent. The 11th Plan pointed out that initiatives need to be taken to raise awareness to ensure that increasing consumerism, move towards market economy and resultant family planning do not enhance gender inequality and lead to male child planning. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. (source)

Learning objectives

Need to focus on equity in the process of development. Gender equity (women's empowerment) is an important factor in development

Notes for teachers

Looking at development from a gender perspective is relatively new idea. It is very important that students understand that development can have no real meaning if it does not result in the empowerment and the socio-economic status upliftment of women who constitute half of society.

Students need to explore how development choices can impact gender in many ways. Investment in women's empowerment/welfare can be through many activities/approaches including girl child education, health of women, livelihood opportunities (going beyond gender stereotypes) are all important issues in development. Women's participation in the national activities and providing adequate opportunities without discrimination is important.

Discussing these issues can help sensitise learners of the importance of gender in development.


  1. Discussion on planning for gender related development through 'gender budgeting'
  2. Sex ratio and gender justice

Project Ideas

How countries have developed over the last 200 years

See the video on (this is a very powerful video, must see it)

Write an essay comparing the development of the developed countries and developing countries. Where is India and China in this picture?

Community Based Project

Conduct a small survey in your village/town. Meet people in ten households from different areas/ work sectors (work sectors - pick up families in traditional occupations like farming, those in Government jobs, those who are small time vegetable vendors, shop keepers etc). Discuss with them about changes in their economic and social status over the last 30-50 years. Write an essay, provide photos of their houses/stay along with the essay.

Deliberate in your essay - have all families developed to the same extent? What factors affected this? What can be done by Government to improve the conditions of the poor and under previleged? What can other actors in society do?