The Unchanging Profile of Development: A Historical Study of the Punjab 1961–2008
This paper aims to examine the spatial patterns of development in the Punjab over the past five decades. The importance of initial conditions as the driving forces of development is studied to deduce the contributing factors that provide the necessary push to break away from the low development trap. A longitudinal analysis is conducted to assist in understanding several aspects of development, such as whether the welfare status of a region has improved, worsened, or remained stagnant over time; how the regions within Punjab have performed relative to each other and what the causes for their differential performances are; and also if the urban centres have had any positive spillovers on the peripheral regions. A development index is created from a selection of indicators from three sectors: education, health, and living standards. This index serves as a proxy for the level of development and assists in making comparisons over space and time. The data is taken from the Population Census Reports, the Punjab Development Statistics, and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2007-08. From the results, a clear north-south divide within Punjab has been observed, such that the northern and north-central districts consistently display higher development levels in comparison with the southern and western districts. The socioeconomic conditions prevailing in 1961 seem to persist even today. There is a need to formulate well-targeted strategic and financial policies at the district level that can thrust the districts forward and accelerate the lagging development process.
Volume (Year): 49 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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