Industrialization can help to close the development gaps that some regions may be facing. Hence, policies are designed to facilitate the dispersal of the industry across the country especially in lesser developed parts through infrastructure development and through special incentives. Under this theme, ISID’s work analyses the patterns of industrial development across the different parts and discern the trends in intra-regional disparities and inequalities. This analysis could provide important lessons for policy for balanced regional development.

At the time of India’s Independence, the country inherited severe structural and economic inadequacies resulting in nearly stalled industrial development. At that time, the national consensus was in favour of rapid industrialization of the economy which was seen as the key to economic development. The industrialization model also aimed to reduce divergence and achieve balanced regional growth. However, now we have come a long way in terms of diversification and production with a deliberate move towards mechanization of the manufacturing processes. The policy intention was not only to meet the internal demand, but also to make a mark in the export market. Moreover, there is evidence of inter-regional disparities in terms of growth, productivity, and employment in manufacturing across states. The present research study will examine these features for the period 2000-2018. An attempt will be made to compare the performance of both the organized and unorganized manufacturing sectors in the context of India’s manufacturing landscape. In India, there is severe disparity in terms of manufacturing exports across states. Some states not only perform well in terms of manufacturing, but also do well in exports. This study will attempt to analyse the differences in performances with respect to state level exports keeping in mind that data problems exist and persist relating to data on state level exports.

Research Team: Dr Mahua Paul

Collaboration: ICSSR

Status: [Ongoing], project launched in 2022-23; time frame: 24 months.

On many development parameters, India appears to be almost like a continent, with different states at vastly different stages of development. Underlying such stark differences are differences in the levels of per capita incomes, not in any small measure determined by the relative sectoral compositions in the sub-national economies. This study examines the sectoral compositions of different states and comments on the changes that have occurred over time. The divergence in regional incomes is seen to have risen sharply over the past two decades. It investigates the levels of regional disparities across states in India and through decomposition, exercise investigates the relative contributions of the three sectors – primary, secondary and tertiary – to understand the drivers of the disparity witnessed. It also explores the role of infrastructure-physical and social in explaining the interstate patterns. The project output has been reported in two ISID Working Papers: #257 by Dr Shiladitya Chatterjee; and #254 by Dr Sangeeta Ghosh both issued in October-December quarter.

Research Team: Dr Shiladitya Chatterjee and Dr Sangeeta Ghosh

Status: [Ongoing], started in 2021-22; time frame: 12 months

As economies mature, the level of complexity in their respective economic activities tends to grow, enabled by increasing knowledge capacities and inter-connectedness of firms within and across the global markets. The framework of economic complexity helps in predicting economic growth by overcoming the challenges of the heterogenous dynamics of a country’s economic growth. The essential role of a diversified set of inputs and their growing complexity needs to be incorporated in the study of the growth of economies to understand the tangible/intangible factors nested in the very nature of production. With this background, the proposed project would undertake to study the structure of India’s manufacturing industries and project the future growth trajectory that India could pursue to break out of the low manufacturing sector trap using the methodology used in Hausmann et al (2013) of constructing a product map for Indian manufacturing sector.

Research Team: Dr Ramaa Arun Kumar, Dr Clovis Freire (UNCTAD, Geneva)

Status: [Ongoing], project launched in 2021-22; time frame: 18 months.

The study focuses on the changing manufacturing landscape of India between pre-and post-economic reform periods. As the pre-economic reform period was characterized by balanced regional development, development of manufacturing industries took place in some of the so-called industrially backward regions of the country. However, with economic reforms, the focus has shifted to a competitive edge to take advantage of the global capital. This has repercussions on the spatial reorganization, reconstruction, and expansion of manufacturing industries as well as on associated factors of production, such as labour. The study tries to elucidate whether Indian manufacturing has experienced any significant spatial change in a temporal framework. The analysis is based on the Economic Census (EC) of two time periods, viz. 1990 (3rd EC) and 2013–14 (6th EC). The 2-digit classification (3-digit wherever necessary) of manufacturing industries using the National Industrial Classification has also been focused upon. The study relies on the geographic information system (GIS) platform to enable overlays and bring spatial correlation. Statistical techniques like location quotient and spatial Gini coefficient are also being used to understand concentration and dispersal of manufacturing spaces.

Research Team: Dr Surya Tewari

Collaborator: ICSSR/IMPRESS

Status: [Completed]; Report submitted May 2022.

The study examines the relationship between urban population, educational infrastructure, and human capital, particularly with reference to the state of Assam. The state, with a diverse topography and spatial distribution of resources, with each setting incorporating uniqueness, provides both challenges and opportunities from policy perspectives. In light of this, the study – (i) dealt with the patterns and growth of urbanisation in Assam, and developed a hierarchy of urban centres based on urban infrastructure and ranked the cities based on living conditions; (ii) addressed the issue of developing a methodology of human capital development index at the district level; and, (iii) analysed perceptions among sample students and trainees of Polytechnics and Industrial Training Institutes in Assam and students from Assam studying in institutions of higher education in Delhi relating to educational and employment aspects.
In conclusion, the study proffered policy directions that need to be pursued. This study, sponsored by the ICSSR under its research programme scheme on “Special Areas and Special Programmes”, was submitted to the Council in November 2019. Prof. H. Ramachandran was the Programme Director and Dr Poonam Sharma was Co-Director.

Sea-ports represent a complex interplay of physical, spatial and socio-economic phenomena and are invariably the centres where different kinds of interactions and dependencies in the supra-national economy are worked out, be it under colonialism or under the modern phase of globalisation.

The objective of the study is: i) to chisel the concepts and theoretical frameworks relevant to the historical and spatial analysis of sea-ports, port systems and port-cities. This is necessary because most of the concepts en vogue have acquired varying theoretical meanings in social science and port planning literature; ii) to trace the evolution of the Indian sea-port system from the colonial period, when the introverted economy of the country was reoriented and focused on sea-ports, to the present day, when India is being increasingly drawn into the world economy; iii) to analyse the Indian port-cities within the national systems of ports and cities and thus outline the linkages between the port and city functions; and, iv) to underpin the various factors that have historically influenced the performance, management and future prospects of Indian sea-ports. The project was sanctioned by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) in November 2012 and it is to be completed by November 2013. Preparation of the final report is under progress and ICSSR granted an extension of time up to March 2014 owing to the vast range and scope of the study. Prof. Atiya Habeeb Kidwai, formerly Professor at JNU is the Project Director.

    • Internal Migration in India and the Impact of Uneven Regional Development & Demographic Transition Across States: A Study for Evidence Based Policy Recommendation, Ravi Srivastava, Kunal Kesari, Kirti Gaur, Balakrishna Padhi and Ajit Kumar Jha, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi,, , March 2020, March 2020
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