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Question 1: Make a critical assessment of the concept of development?

Development is a highly-contested concept. There are lots of complexities,


modifications, and improvements on the idea of development. People from different
time and regions interpret and define development differently. In most of the cases,
they have their reasons from their own point of view. At 1950s, people saw reducing
colonization as a way of development and now at 2000s, the United Nations sees
development in achieving 8 Millennium Development Goals. So, it changes over.

For many people, ideas of development are linked to concepts of modernity.


Modernity in its broadest sense means the condition of being modern, new or up-todate. Because of social, economic, political and cultural dynamism, what is modern
will change over time and also spatially. What are modern in one place may be oldfashioned elsewhere. In economic terms, modernity encompasses industrialization,
urbanization and the increased use of technology within all sectors of the economy.
For some, this diffusion of modernity is interpreted as development and progress,
while for others it is associated with the eradication of cultural practices, the
destruction of natural environments and a decline in the quality of life.

People defining development as modernity, look at development largely in economic


terms. Multilateral agencies often use economic measures such as GNP per capita to
assess development. The World Bank uses Gross National Product per capita (GNP
p.c.) to divide the countries of the world into development categories. Because
countries vary so greatly in population, the total GNP figure is divided by the number
of people in the country, giving a per capita (p.c.) figure to indicate economic wealth.
The use of a wealth measure to represent development is regarded as appropriate
because it is assumed that with greater wealth comes other benefit such as improved
health, education and quality of life. GDP/GNP/GNI per capita etc is most generalized
version on measuring well being.

For being more precise, Human Development Index (HDI), devised by the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has been taken as an upgrade. Though
there are great similarities in the patterns, there are differences between GDP p.c. and
HDI. More complex HDI measure seems to become clearer measures of well-being.

Spatial inequalities are a key factor in any discussion of development. Some forms of
development may lead to increasing inequalities between places, while other
development approaches may explicitly attempt to reduce spatial inequalities. Gini
coefficient and Gini index, both of these are measures of inequality. Gini coefficient
varies from 0, which means perfect equality, to 1 which represents perfect inequality.
Thus, the nearer the coefficient is to 0 the more equal the income distribution. Gini
Index This measure, used by the UNDP ranges from 0 to 100. A figure of 0 means
perfect equality and 100 means perfect inequality. For example, with a Gini index of
40.8, even richer Americans have huge inequality in the share of the nations riches.

It is not only defining development which is contested, the way that development,
regardless of definition is measured is also problematic. Besides, there are a lots actors
in development like individual, household, community, government, NGOs, private
companies, multilateral organizations etc.

Over time approaches to development varied.1950s Modernization theories says that,


all countries should follow the European model while Structuralist theories states that
Southern countries needed to limit interaction with the global economy to allow for
domestic economic growth. Despite widespread decolonization, it is important to
consider the role of colonialism in understanding development today. 2000s Neoliberalism theory emphasis on increased engagement with concepts of globalization,
sustainable development, post-development, grassroots approaches etc.

So we can see concept of development varies region to region, changes over time
and requirement. It became modified, ratified, improvised and upgraded according to
the necessity and perspective.

Question 2: How underdevelopment is seen historically?

In economics, underdevelopment is when resources are not used to their full socioeconomic potential, with the result that local or regional development is slower in
most cases than it should be.

Theories, claim to view development in historical perspective mostly begin by


assuming that the underdeveloped countries are in a low-level equilibrium trapwhich is unfortunate. Another common procedure is to assume that all nations, rich
and poor, were once equal, for example suffered from an equivalent degree of poverty
and state of underdevelopment. In this case, the implications of Kuznets findings
which states present levels of per capita product in the underdeveloped countries are
far less than the levels of per capita product in developed countries has been totally
ignored.

In Rostows book he states that all countries have passed through 5 stages;
respectively the traditional society, non-capitalist sector, pre-conditioning stage, drive
to maturity and age of high mass consumption.

Poverty is neither a synonym nor a cause for an underdeveloped country. History of


underdeveloped countries in the last 5 centuries is closely related to the history of
consequences of European expansion. It is applicable for Indian sub-continent,
Indonesia and for many other countries.

In summary it can be said that, underdevelopment is a product of historical processes.

Question 3: Why it is called that underdevelopment has been invented?

In the very primitive age every region or civilization was almost equal in the scale of
prosperity. But mostly in last five hundred years European colonization and control
spread over all the world. In most of the cases European colonize a region which was
quite wealthy and prosperous. After occupying that region they used it according to
Europeans necessity, not according to the regions ability to cope with. So, though it
worked positively for European to become more prosperous, it worked for the natives
very much inversely. In many case it leads to famine not well-being. So Europe
prospered in a rapid pace while colonized countries had to go through the way of
underdevelopment. So, it can be stated the underdevelopment has been invented,
precisely in a very structured way.