ISB Updates

Is Inclusive Growth an Accident or Is It a Selected Agenda?

“Economic growth is a narrow concept while economic development is a comprehensive concept which takes into account growth and progressive changes in social, economic, political, cultural and historical levels. It’s possible for an economy to have economic growth without economic development.” Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat said. A  member of Niti Aayog, and former Secretary, Defence R&D,  Dr Saraswat was at Indian School of Business (ISB) to deliver a talk on ‘Inclusive Growth: A Myth or Reality’ during the eight edition of Dean’s Speaker Series.
A Padmabhushan awardee, Dr Saraswat has had an illustrious career, from being a scientist to a member of Niti Aayog. He has been credited with development of Liquid Propulsion Rocket Engines and missiles. He is also the principal architect of the Ballistic Missile Defence Programme and is a rare combination of a scientist, innovator, technologist, researcher and visionary.

Whether we are chasing economic growth or economic development and is inclusive growth a selected agenda or is it happening inadvertently were the moot questions he addressed during his talk.
Inclusive growth is the growth that creates opportunities for all segments of the population and distributes dividends of increased prosperity, both as monetary and non-monetary returns, fairly across the society. It is a concept that focuses on economic development rather than just economic growth. The many definitions of economic development have emanated with the central idea based on the principles of equality. 
"While growth still remains the most important parameter of any poverty reduction attempt, inclusive growth is basically related to the redistributive growth,” he said. The traditional measure of growth by the GDP as a key measure of growth is passé. Inclusiveness that goes beyond, that is multi-dimensional, focuses on well-being; income and non-material outcome such as health, education, employment and so on are of greater importance. More attention is on the distribution impacts between different social groups and how they are getting affected.

The parameters that describe inclusive growth are community development, economic development, the land use and infrastructure, development of work force, education etc. as far as the society is concerned. While the economic growth parameters are easy to measure the economic development indicators are not so easy to measure because they include non economic factors such as quality of life, quality of human resources, human competitiveness index, and so on. He displayed several key matrices and shared the three models of economic growth balanced growth, sustainable growth, inclusive growth.
“It’s mostly the underdeveloped countries that are working towards economic development.” Giving example of China and India he said. While these countries have huge GDP they have a lot of catching up to do on measure of economic development such as health, education and life expectancy etc. The government has prepared a comprehensive blueprint for inclusive growth and looks up to schools like ISB to lend its support in areas such as skill enhancement.
Quoting the former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon he said, “We all aspire to reach better living conditions yet this will not be possible to reach following the current growth model. We need a practical 21st century model that connects the dots between the key issues of our time. A new pathway called the inclusive growth economy is the answer.”
The session was captivating and engaging, and was intensive on some very interesting data that elicited some absorbing questions.
“The real metric for measurement for ISB should be what ISB is contributing to the society and it’s in this context that the topic of today’s talk becomes relevant. ISB needs to contribute in this area to make good use of the potential of ISB fraternity.” Dean Rajendra Srivastava said, while expressing his desire to be a part of the government’s movement in ushering in inclusive growth.