Development and Planning

  • Development implies the overall improvement in the economic, social and political conditions of a society. The concept of development is not only area specific but also time specific. It changes from place to place and from time to time. Different subjects have their own point of view regarding development.
  • An economist looks at the development in terms of economic progress. Economic progress is measured in terms of enhancement in general productivity level, per capita income, elimination of poverty, etc.
  • Sociologists believe that economic development is of little relevance in the absence of social development. Most significant parameters of measuring social development are quality of life, social harmony, social justice, etc.
  • Political science has its focus on political context. It is justified in view of increasing role of government as the principal planner. Power structure holds pivotal position in this concept of development.
  • A historian’s idea of development lies in the formulation of theories and models explaining economic, social and political history. The main focus is on temporal changes in economic, social and political institutes and models.
  • A geographer’s idea of development offers a unique synthesis of development of natural and human resources. It is very comprehensive as it considers economic progress, social advancement, political development and environmental preservation as measures of development.
  • Planning is done for the development process. Single-level planning is done at national level whereas in multi-level planning, the country is divided into small territorial units. Different levels of multi-level planning are:
    1. The First Level or Central Level Planning
    2. The Second Level or State Level Planning
    3. District Level Planning
    4. Block Level Planning, and
    5. Panchayat Level Planning
  • Central level planning is done by the Central Government. President acts on the advice of the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
  • State level is executed by the Governor of the concerned state. The Governor is advised by council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister.
  • District administration is directly under the charge of Collector or Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district. The collector works as coordinator among the different departments.
  • Block level planning started during first Five Year Plan. It is supervised by ‘Block Societies’ under the chairmanship of ‘Block Pramukh’.
  • Panchayat is an elected body in which villagers elect their representatives. Gram Panchayat or Gram Sabha, Panchayat Samiti, and Zila Parishad prepare economic and social justice plan at different level.
  • The planning regions can be:
    1. Micro-regions
    2. Meso-regions, and
    3. Macro-regions
  • Micro-regions are geographic regions of size between that of a community and of a district. These regions are smallest of all the planning regions.
  • Meso-regions lie in the middle of the hierarchy. These are multi-purpose regions. Micro-regions that form meso-region must have something in common in terms of their natural background.
  • Macro region combine a number of meso-regions on the basis of their socio-economic bonds, for example, South Peninsular Region.

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  • Q1

    Mention the three-tier structure of the Panchayat Raj System.


    The three-tier structure of the Panchayat Raj System is:
    (i) Village Level
    (ii) Block Level
    (iii) District Level

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  • Q2

    What do you know about central level planning?


    This is done by the central government headed by the president. The task of planning is formulated by the planning commission with prime minister as its chairman.

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  • Q3

    Who is responsible for planning at the district level?


    The collector or the deputy commissioner of the concerned district is the overall in-charge of planning at the district level. He acts as a coordinator among the different departments in the district.

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  • Q4

    What are the different levels of planning?


    The different levels of planning are:

    (i) Central Level planning (ii) State Level planning

    (iii) District Level planning (iv) Block Level planning

    (v) Panchayat Level planning

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  • Q5

    Which new dimension has been added under the term ‘Development’?


    Recently, conservation and improvement of environment have been added to the overall gamut of development.

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