Explain the interrelationship between human development and economic development.


Collect the secondary data on male and female life expectancy, adult literacy rate, enrolment ratio in primary, secondary and tertiary, male and female population.


Economic development is a process whereby the real per capita income of a country increases over a long period of time. The increase in the quality of human beings by education, health, nutrition, etc. help to increase the physical output (Schultz, 1978). Therefore, human resource development along with physical capital formation plays a useful role in economic development. In fact, effective use of physical capital itself is dependent upon human resources. Therefore, large scale investment is needed in human resources if physical capital available is to be exploited more fully and in a more efficient way (Adiseshiah, 1970).

Human resource development is the process of increasing knowledge, skill and capacities of all the people in a given society (Pramanik, 1980). In economic terms, it means accumulation of human capital and its effective utilization for the development of the economy. Human development and human resource development, though different, are linked by the fact that human development provides the preconditions for human resource development to contribute to economic growth.

A widely accepted indicator of economic well-being of a country is its real per capita income, but it gives only a partial picture, ignoring social and cultural aspects of development of people. Morris (1979) defined development in terms of improvement in the quality of life of people. Quality of life has multiple dimensions ranging from economic to social, environmental, political, and psychological and philosophical aspects. Computing a quality of life index involved the problems of choice of indicators and of assigning weights to them. Since all components do not move in same direction, a composite index creates its own problems of interpretation.

After much effort, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled Human Development Index (HDI) in 1990. It was a bold attempt of UNDP to capture the diverse content of multidimensional character of human development. HDI is a reasonable proxy for several dimensions of well-being of the people, and most importantly, in the absence of an alternative single measure that better measures human development. It defines human development as a process of enlarging people’s choices. These choices are captured by HDI in three fundamental dimensions – a long and healthy life, knowledge level and a decent standard of living. The Human Development Report focused on gender issues also to take into account the struggle of women for their rights and developed a Gender Development Index (GDI) also.

India’s achievement with respect to human development has been rather poor, despite elements of human development being a part of India’s Five Year Plans (Tilak, 1999). Its spending on social sector (human priority) is reportedly only 2.5 per cent of GDP at the end of 1991. The stringent financial situation immediately after 1991 led to a further reduction in social sector spending if the early trends in the sphere continued. Hence, the human development and gender development before and after 1991 would help to understand the social commitment of the governments in India.

Source: http://www.hss.iitb.ac.in/ties07/paper/ts3/psE/2.doc

Mayank Rai

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