Society and Environment - Study Notes

Development Processes

 

Long type Answers:

•  Explain in brief some of the major aspects of development.

Ans: Development is a total transformation of society and a movement in consciously chosen direction. There is no straight and linear progress from traditional to modern society, and neither is this transition smooth.

Development is a complex one and involves several aspects:

(1) Political development.

(2) Social development.

(3) Economic development

(4.) Intellectual development.

(1) Political development .: The first requirement of political development is a high degree of role of specialization (and differentiation) of political institutions and the growth of communication media. Political parties, trade unions, religious organizations, pressure groups and other similar organizations represent functional differentiation. In the second place, there is greater emphasis on rational, scientific and secular techniques for decision making. The developed system acquires an impersonal character in which the law becomes more important than the whims of men in power.

(2) Social development. When a traditional society is developed, there is a marked shifting of population from rural areas to urban centers under the impact of industrialization, which is one of the main agents of development In addition to migration to cities and towns, the growth of technology gradually reduces the percentage of the population engaged in agriculture. Social development brings about a marked change in the outlook and behavior of social groups which are characterized by the functions they perform rather than by their caste, language and other such factors, With the growth of social development, the individual finds himself in a wider world of freedom in which there are fewer restrictions on his ability to take decision affecting his life. He is free to choose his own career rather than have it determined on the basis of his caster

(3) Economic Development

Economic development also known as "economic growth" covers many aspects of social life. In the first place, it involves the systematic application of science and technology to the processes of production and distribution of goods and services. Secondly, it compels increasing use of inanimate sources of energy in contrast to the use of human or animal energy in traditional societies. This change in the pattern of energy consumption can only be sustained by a evolution in the consumption patterns of the masses demanding diversification of production in response to varied consumer needs. Diversified consumer needs lead to a high degree of specialization in production techniques and labor skills. Rationality in economic decisions (in determining the location of industry, for example) results in increased mobility of labor and emergence of a vast variety of market processor.

(4.) Intellectual development. : Development cannot be sustained for long in any society without a corresponding and self-sustaining intellectual development characterized by constantly increasing knowledge. This involves the existence of adequate number of fact-finding and data-processing agencies, statistical units, Research and development laboratories, universities and similar institutions. Intellectual development implies the existence of intellectual elites who play a key role in sustaining the growth of technology. Intellectual development leads, in all political systems, to greater emphasis on secularism and on secularization of the process of government and bureaucracy'. It also leads to an increasing emphasis on strengthening the material basis of life.

 

•  List the impediments to development. Explain these in brief.

Ans: There are several impediments to development of a traditional society. Some of the obstacles are:

(1) Lack of skills.

(2) Rigid administrative system.

(3) Impatience for rapid development.

(4) Passion for quantitative expansion.

(5) Premature politicization.

(6) Strain on law and order resources.

(7) Rapid growth of population.

 

(1) Lack of skills: The developing countries are usually weak in the skills required for development. The real problem in training personnel for development programs lies not in unparting information to them, but in helping them to develop the required skills. It is necessary, to give field workers and administrators more freedom to experiment and to try new approaches; but this is precisely where the Indian programs suffer.

(2)Rigid Administrative System: In India arid in many other Commonwealth countries, the administrative system inherited from the British rule leaves little room for freedom to experiment. The inherited bureaucracy with its outmoded procedures of work and personal attitudes, inadequate delegation at all levels, too formal supervision of field workers and poor morale provide a major impediment. f3J Impatience for Rapid Development It arises from the belief that a country must embark on all areas of development at one time. This has led, among other things, to symbolic expenditure on big projects to convince the masses and the outside world of the country's determination to become a modern nation in the shortest possible period of time. Many poor countries have spent huge money on nuclear research even though the basic amenities of life remain unprovided for a high percentage of their population.

(3) Impatience for rapid development. It arises from the belief that a country must embark on all areas of development at one time. This has led, among other things, to symbolic expenditure on big projects to convince the masses and the outside world of the country's determination to become a modern nation in the shortest possible period of time. Many poor countries have spent huge money on nuclear research even though the basic amenities of life remain unprovided for a high percentage of their population.

 

(4) Passion for Quantitative Expansion Another obstacle arises from the passion for a rapid quantitative expansion without attention to quality. Apart from community development, education has very rapidly expanded in India since independence and new universities and colleges have mushroomed under local pressure. The result of this expansion has been pumping into the society a vast army of unemployed graduates.

(5) Premature Politicization : The political leadership in developing countries has a marked tendency to politicize the mass prematurely. The large number of students and unemployed youths, often recruited by various political parties, contribute to the restlessness of the political process.

(6) Strain on Low and Order Resources : Politicization of the mass results in considerable strain on the law and order resources of the state. The leadership in India has done very little since independence for rehabilitating the police in the popular mind as protectors of the law. Attitude formed in the popular mind towards police in the era of our freedom struggle has not yet died but has produced a certain ambivalence towards the police. As a result, investment in improvement and strengthening of the police department has appeared to our leadership as being in some way contrary to the spirit of democratic welfare.

(7) Rapid Growth of Population: Rapidly growing population is one of the major impediments to the development of a traditional society. Rapid population growth usually results from the improvement in the general conditions of the mass, better health-care facility and decline in morality. A high rate of population growth offsets the economic growth of a country. This leads to frustration, social tension and mass violence

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