News Eastern Regional Centre
IHD- ERC Distinguished Lecture Series
Professor Jean Dreze, Delhi School of Economics
Topic: Human Development in India: Blind Spots and Unsung Achievements
Professor Jean Dreze of Delhi School of Economics delivered a lecture on “Human Development in India: Blind Spots and Unsung Achievements” on 5th November, 2013 at Ranchi under the IHD- ERC Distinguished Lecture Series. Professor Alakh N. Sharma, Director Institute for Human Development, New Delhi presided over the lecture.
In his welcome and introductory remarks Prof. Harishwar Dayal, Director, IHD-ERC, setting the tone of the lecture enumerated upon the blind spots of the Indian economy and said, “ the connect and disconnect between growth and other dimensions of development has always drawn attention of academicians and policy makers.”
“Prof Jean Dreze has been working in Jharkhand for over a decade, both as a development economist and social activist and no one better than him could have been the choice for the first speaker in the IHD- ERC Distinguished Lecture Series”, said the chairperson, Prof. Alakh N. Sharma, Director of Institute for Human Development. New Delhi. Speaking of Prof. Dreze, he said that “Jean is an economist par excellence and his approach to research in development has been inclusive of both quantitative and qualitative techniques”.
Prof. Jean Dreze in his lecture said that the progress in poverty reduction has been very slow, despite India having achieved impressive growth rate in the last two decades. Countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal with low GDPs as compared to India have made vast improvements in almost every basic social indicator”. He emphasized upon the need for change by quoting Dr. Ambedkar “ Educate, agitate , organize”. In his lecture he advocated for the reorientation of democratic politics in India with greater focus on issues of Human development and social inequality.
IHD organizes Lectures to contribute to academic discourse in the country. IHD has been
organizing several lectures for years under its Annual IHD Foundation Lecture Series and the
Distinguished Lecture Series. Eminent scholars from different disciplines have shared their
perspectives on development, society, polity and the economy. Nobel Laureate Professor
Amartya Sen and other world renowned economists like Prof. Kuashik Basu have delivered
lectures under the series. The IHD-Eastern Regional Centre Distinguished Lecture Series will
be held annually and acclaimed economists will be invited to it.
In order to give a thrust to its activities in the backward Eastern states, particularly Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha, Institute for Human Development set up its Eastern Regional Centre (IHD-ERC) at Ranchi with the mandate to undertake studies and research focused on the backwardness of the Eastern region and, in particular, deprivations of vulnerable groups such as tribals, dalits, minorities and other such sections of the society in the region.
Abstract of the lecture
Prof. Jean Dreze
Jean Dreze has lived in India since 1979 and became an Indian citizen in 2002. He has
taught at London School of Economics. He is a development economist of repute and has
been an important figure in Indian policy making; especially in the formulation of MGNREGA
and the Food Security Act. He has co-authored with the internationally acclaimed economist
and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen. Their recent work, “An Uncertain Glory: India and
its Contradictions” has already created a stir with its objective take on India’s achievements
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