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Public lecture of Prof Sohini Paul, Visiting ICCR Chair to Carleton University on April 7th, 2017

Summary of public lecture of Prof Sohini Paul, Visiting ICCR chair to Carleton University on April 7th, 2017

Socio-Economic development policies in India - Lessons (including for India) 

Sohini Paul

Visiting ICCR Chair Professor

NPSIA, Carleton University

India is a country with rich cultural heritage and is one of the most promising emerging market economy. India is considered as the largest liberal  democracy in the world and is expected to reap the benefit of highest demographic dividend by 2020. The projected median age of the population will become 26 by then. The nation has made tremendous socio-economic progress since independence. However, the progress is not free from challenges. Rising income inequality is among such major points of concern like many other developed nations.

Indian government has adopted various socio-economic policies to tackle inequality and to promote inclusive growth. We will discuss about three important development policies along with one important movement in today's talk; food security programme or Public Distribution System (PDS) as a major poverty alleviation tool, safe motherhood programme to eradicate health inequality and to improve mothers’ and children’s health in the country; political reservation at the village council level for women and marginalised section of the society to give voice to majority of the Indian population. Mobile revolution in India is discussed as a progressive step towards digital India movement.

Evidence based policy research has proved to have intense positive impact of three policies while ownership of mobile handset became the window to the world for majority of the Indian population. Such vast level policy experience may be used as an example to implement similar policies in other nations. For example, Canada’s recent focus on improving mother and child health across the world may gain tremendous knowledge from India’s experience in implementing safe motherhood programme at the grass root level. 

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