Issues in the Indian Economy

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSUS1EC110 (was EC14)4

Ambedkar University Delhi Proposal for Launch of a Course

(To be approved by the Board of Studies and the Academic Council)

School/Centre proposing the course

School of Undergraduate Studies


BA Honours Programmes

Course title

Issues in the Indian Economy

Course code

SUS1EC110 (was EC14)



Course type (core/compulsory/optional/any other – please specify)

Discipline Core for Economics Hons. students, Optional for others Hons. students.


Level (Predoctoral/MA/PG Diploma/Certificate/UG)


Course coordinator and team

Dr. Anirban Biswas


  1. Does the course connect to, build on or overlap with any other courses offered in AUD? The issues discussed in this course are also introduced in the second-semester elective “Issues in Indian Economy”, but this course covers them at a greater depth appropriate for students majoring in Economics.
  2. Specific requirements on the part of students who can be admitted to this course:
  3. (Pre requisites; prior knowledge level; any others – please specify) None
  4. No. of students to be admitted (with justification if lower than usual cohort size is proposed):As per SUS policy.
  5. Course scheduling: (summer/winter course; semester-long course; half-semester course; workshop mode; seminar mode; any other – please specify): Semester-long course.
  6. Proposed date of launch:
  7. How does the course link with the vision of AUD and the specific programme(s) where it is being offered?
  8. This course is offered to introduce various issues related to Indian economy during the post independence period. An interdisciplinary approach of teaching is prescribed so that the students can understand various dimensions of Indian economy and become aware of the challenges emerging from inequality, social exclusion, underdevelopment etc.


Course Details:

  1. Summary: This course shall highlight and analyse the key features of Indian economic development after independence and the major contemporary issues confronting it. Issues pertaining to individual sectors like agriculture, industry and services, and to their mutual interaction in development, and problems like unemployment, poverty and inequality, etc. shall be discussed with reference to government economic policy and its evolution.
  2. Objectives This course shall help the students understand the evolution and present state of their immediate economic milieu—the Indian Economy. The course will help students apply the ideas they have learnt in their earlier courses to this concrete context and help them understand the dynamics the Indian economy both as conscious citizens and as professionals.
  3. Overall structure: The course consists of 9 units, as listed below.
  4. Contents (brief note on each module; indicative reading list with core and supplementary readings):

Main Topics

1. Historical background: India as a developing economy

This module provides a discussion to the economic problems during the colonial period. This module also discusses how those socio-economic deformities created in the colonial period resulted in the problems of inequalities, underdevelopment and mass poverty during the post independence period of India.

2.State and Society: Continuities and change since independence

This module gives an understanding to the concept of the state and its role in the development of the economy and society. This discussion is very important to understand the changing nature of the state from the colonial period to an independent democracy.

3.Indian Economic Policy through time:

This module provides an in depth understanding of the planning process which was designed and implanted by the government to solve the economic and social problems in independent India. In this regard the discussion address various economic policies aimed for the development of various sectors.

is also an elaborate discussion on the liberalization policies opted by the Indian government in the 1990’s.

4.Issues in agricultural development – agrarian structure, investment, technology and productivity.

This module focuses on the agrarian sector. It considers the challenges poised to the agrarian sector from the very beginning of the independence. The development of the agrarian sector during the planning period, introduction of new technology, productivity and growth, stagnation, challenges by the WTO regime, regional distribution, commercialization are included in the discussion.

5.Industrialization: Trends and fluctuations, patterns of structural change and constraints.

This module discusses the industrialization processes in the economy since the planning period. The heavy industrialization phases, development of small and medium scale industries, monopolies in the industrial sector, post liberalization developments and challenges from the international markets are the important topics in this module.

6.Services and their growth

This module discusses the service sector and its ever growing importance in the Indian economy. In this context the discussion also extends to the growth of this sector in the post liberalization period and how a duality is emerging very fast between the formal and informal segments of services.

7. Trade and external relations in Indian development.

The aspect of trade has also observed a tremendous change from the planning phase of the economy to the liberalization phase. This module discusses that aspect by considering various trade policies and the performance of various sectors in international market over the period.

8.Gender and labour

In this module the aspect of gender and labour are discussed. Gender in a developing country like India infested with various deformities e.g patriarchy, caste etc. In this context it becomes important to understand what are the obstacles faced by the gender in a growing economy. Issues like their participation in labour force, education etc are included in this module.

9.Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality

India inherited mass poverty and unemployment along with social inequality from the colonial period. Thus from the very beginning the challenges to the policy makers are to eradicate these problems. But over the period it is observed that the ill nexus of these poverty, unemployment and inequality have become more complex. According to many economists things have become worse after the liberalization. This module discusses the policies and problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality in India.

Course outcomes:

1.Content: This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the Indian economic developments since independence. For that purpose the course has two particular focus (1) the developments during the planning era; (2) the developments since the economic reform. It is expected that by the end of the course the students should be able to (a) describe the economic and socio-political back ground behind the planning models; (b) the theoretical understanding on the various planning models in India; (c) the benefits and drawbacks of the planning models and their implementations; (d) rationale behind the economic reforms; (e) sectoral developments under the planning and reform/contemporary period.

2.Skills: By the end of the course the student should be able to

  1. describe the economic justifications behind various models and their criticisms.
  2. describe the need for the structural changes in agriculture and industrial sectors i.e heavy industrialization, technical interventions in agriculte in the planning era.
  3. describe and analyse the way of addressing the poverty and unemployment questions in India during the planning and reform period.
  4. describe the economic justifications of the economic reforms and their criticisms.
  5. describe and analyse the agrarian, industrial and service sector specific developments after the reform.
  6. describe and debate the socio-political challenges e.g. caste and gender in the economy.
  7. describe and analyse the trade aspects and trade relations of India in this globalized world.
  8. seek effective help from reference sources.


Suggested readings (Additional references (books/articles) shall be added according to need).

  1. Bagchi, Amiya K. Colonialism and Indian Economy, OUP, 2010 (Chapter 2, 8, 9).
  2. Habib, Irfan. The Indian Economy, 1858-1914. Tulika, 2012 (Chapter 2, 3, 4).
  3. Chakravarty, Sukhamoy. Development planning: the Indian experience. OUP (1998) (Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4).
  4. Byres, Terence J. The Indian economy: Major debates since independence. Oxford University Press, 2000 (Chapter 3, 4, 5,6,7).
  5. Krishna, K. L., and Uma Kapila, eds. Readings in Indian Agriculture and Industry. Academic Foundation, 2009 ( Chapter 1,3,5,10,12,13,16,20).
  6. Kapila, Uma, ed. Indian economy since independence. Academic Foundation, 2009.
  7. Srinivasan, Thirukodikaval N. Eight lectures on India's economic reforms. Oxford University Press, 2000 (Chapter 1,2,3,8).
  8. Goyal, Ashima, eds. Handbook of the Indian Economy in the 21st Century: Understanding the Inherent Dynamism. Oxford University Press, 2014 (Chapter 2,6,7,8,11,12).
  9. Balakrishnan, Pulapre , eds. Economic Growth and Its Distribution in India. Orient Blackswan, 2015 (Chapter 2, 3, 10, 12, 14, 20).



  1. Instructional design: Classroom lectures
  2. Special needs (facilities, requirements in terms of software, studio, lab, clinic, library, classroom/others instructional space; any other – please specify): None.
  3. Expertise in AUD faculty or outside: expertise exists within AUD faculty to teach this course.
  4. Linkages with external agencies (e.g., with field-based organizations, hospital; any others): None.

Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments)

One written test (30%) ; Take home assignment (30%); End-semester exam (40%)

Signature of Course Coordinator(s)


  1. Modifications on the basis of deliberations in the Board of Studies may be incorporated and the revised proposal should be submitted to the Academic Council.
  2. Courses which are meant to be part of more than one programme, and are to be shared across schools, may need to be taken through the Boards of Studies of the respective schools.
  3. In certain special cases, where a course does not belong to any particular school, the proposal may be submitted directly to the Academic Council.

Recommendation of the School of Studies:

The proposal was discussed by the Board of Studies in its ………………………meeting held on…………………………and has been approved in the present form.

Signature of the Dean of the School