Development: Experiences, Insights and Introspection
Vipin Sharma, With a Foreword by Melissa Leach
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Development thinkers and practitioners remain divided over the debate of ‘developing’ versus ‘developed’; and whether there is a time frame or prescription for a developing country to become developed. The cycle of development seems never ending for developing countries. To join the developed club, developing economies must not only grow, but grow faster than their developed counterparts. What the Western economies achieved in over 200 years post industrialisation in terms of development, the developing economies are expected to achieve in a few decades.

Since independence, India has embarked on a journey of ever-evolving composite policy interventions in its quest to become a developed nation. 'Indian model of development' has attempted to address multidimensional development aspirations, based on holistic and sustainable human, social, moral and economic aspects.

Development: Experiences, Insights and Introspection by Vipin Sharma offers a direct view into some development experiences and insights, mainly India-centric, with a focus on economic aspects. The themes covered in this book range from pro-poor growth, international finance, public financial management, government as a development actor and market failure, to development cooperation and aid policy. While doing so, the book introspects the development process through different lenses – historical, social, economic, political, financial and administrative.

Dr. Sharma’s unique narrative of attempting to find some missing links between development theory and practice stems from his experience as a development administrator and practitioner in the Indian Administrative Service. His insights into the development puzzle makes this book an enthralling read for development academicians and practitioners alike. The book also reflects on the ongoing and vigorous debate, involving critique and contestation over development knowledge, meanings and practices.

Vipin Sharma is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 2005 batch, Maharashtra Cadre. His qualifications include MBBS, MA (Development Studies), Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK, MA (Public Policy) and PGDRM. He was awarded the prestigious Subhash Dua Memorial Gold Medal for the best performing Officer Trainee during IAS training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. His home state is Haryana; he is fluent in Marathi, Punjabi, Hindi and English.

He has vast experience in urban and civic administration, land revenue administration, rural development, development in Left-wing extremism affected areas, law and order administration, regulatory administration; and sectors including cooperatives and sugar, school education, and renewable energy. His administrative acumen and capabilities have been duly recognised both at the state and national level. He has represented India officially in the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) Plenary Sessions.

He has worked in various sensitive and challenging positions in Maharashtra. As Collector and District Magistrate Latur, his model of providing G2C (Govt to Citizens) services online through the Latur Setu Online became a role model in the State, with a provision of 354 G2C services in an online single-window system. As Commissioner, Sugar, he initiated the mechanism of calculating the sugarcane price by revenue sharing between farmers and sugar mills, which has been taken up by the Central Government for implementation in other sugar producing states. As Commissioner, Education, he looked after all aspects of school education in Maharashtra State from class 1 to class 12. This included around a million teachers, 23 million students and 1,08,000 schools, with a State plan budget of approximately Rs. 51,000 crore in 2017–2018 (~ USD 8 billion). As Director General, Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, he was responsible for achieving the renewable energy target of Maharashtra and last mile non-conventional electrification of rural Maharashtra. While working as the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Pune, he steered the effort, for which Pune city was ranked the most liveable city of India in City Liveability Rankings 2019–2020. Presently, he is working as the Civic Chief of Thane City, a bustling neighbourhood of Mumbai, where he has been successfully contributing to Covid management and mitigation since June 2020. He has been instrumental in Thane City being declared the best in Maharashtra in terms of environment conservation under Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyaan (My Earth Mission) in Majhi Vasundhara Rankings 2020–21.

Dr. Sharma has been a visiting faculty to the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA), Pune and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, for the issues related to administration, governance, e-governance, development and public policy. He has participated in many programs related to development studies, leadership, change management, innovation and excellence in public service delivery, public finance, project appraisal, and participative democracy and inclusive development. An extensive traveller and avid reader, he is a staunch believer in democratic values and welfare state ethos, and strives hard to achieve them in his day-to-day functioning in the IAS.

Foreword by Melissa Leach, CBE, FBA, Director, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK.

List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations

Melissa Leach

I   Pro-Poor Growth: MGNREGA and Poverty Reduction in India
II   Economic Growth Matters But So Does Pro-Poor Growth Agenda of Donors
III   Development Takeaways: Maximising Gains from International Finance
IV   India’s Tryst with GST: An Unparalleled PFM Reform
V   Government as a Development Actor: GeM and Inclusive Business for Indian MSEs
VI   Mutually Inclusive Role of Government and Market in Economic Development: Learnings from Green Revolution in India
VII   India–Iran Development Cooperation: Opportunities and Challenges of Chabahar Port Project
VIII   How India’s Self-Interests Guide its Aid Policy in Furthering South–South Cooperation Conclusion

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