What is sen bhagwati debate?


Sen-Bhagwati debate is about deciding the priorities of the state.

That whether the govt shall focus more on development which will then lead to growth of the economy or the govt. shall focus on growth and the development will follow. While Sen believes that India should invest more in its social infrastructure to boost the productivity of its people and thereby raise growth, Bhagwati argues that only a focus on growth can yield enough resources for investing in social sector schemes.

Sen argues that the state shall be investing in health and education to improve human capabilities. Without such investments, inequality will widen and the growth process itself will falter. Bhagwati argues that growth may raise inequality initially but sustained growth will eventually raise enough resources for the state to redistribute and mitigate the effects of the initial inequality.

Why Sen believes that the growth taking precedence over Human Development?

– 2000’s witnessed High growth years, yet failed to achieve MDGs

– Poor showing in HDI

– Increasing Gini coefficient and GII Score

– Gender inequality also rising

– Tribal, rural women becoming increasingly uprooted from their traditional occupations towards menial jobs (High incidences of Displacement)


Budgetary allocation consistently overlooking increasing share of education, health, skills, etc

Institutional failure – Delay in upholding justice, rights, etc

Failure of regulatory framework to ensure distributive justice

Bureaucratic delays, apathy, corruption.

Market given prominence without ensuring that it becomes AAA for all, leading to increased inequalities

Inadequacies of quality, infrastructure, manpower in of state run hospitals, schools holding back people dependent on these.

Diversion of forests, community resources to industries further pushing tribes, women to poverty.

But growth also needs to be ensured because

Growth will generate resources for inequality reduction

Growth will help create meaningful employment increase inequality of life.

Growth with proper regulatory framework can eliminate inequality if it trickles down well.

Both can be achieved simultaneously because

Low oil prices reduces government’s fiscal burden

Investing in demographic dividend will help achieve both

Welfarist government won’t let go of developmental agencies while forces of globalization call for growth in economy

A slowing  global economy and a rising Indian economy present a unique opportunity where world will invest in India given appropriate policy framework is made ready ( labour law, energy policy, infrastructure, PPP framework )

Various govt. measures that are helping achieve both growth and development





Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

Swachch Bharat


Aviation policy promoting regional connectivity

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