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Seminar by Professor Sebastian Morris: 11 Oct., 2019

A seminar on ‘Regional Development in India Today: The Issues and Challenges for a Transforming Economy,’ was held at the Joan Robinson Hall on 11 October, 2019. The seminar was presented by Professor Sebastian Morris, IIM Ahmedabad. Professor Sunil Mani, Director, CDS chaired the seminar.

Abstract: Recognising the stage of development that the country is in, there is a strong need for regional specialisation. However, the fact that India’s regions are constituted by sub-nationalities presents a delicate situation wherein unchecked specialisation based on current regional factors be they political, or natural would not be in order since most regions would oppose large scale immigration. Growth of the major regions have depended most crucially on the national economy, reflecting substantial advancement in the integration across regions. However, certain government policies like those of subsidisation, management of infrastructure, land regulations, railway transport (over)pricing have created perversities in the pattern of regional growth of both manufacturing and agriculture. The broad changes in regional hierarchies are discussed with the key determinants being identified as local politics, infrastructural and geographical factors. The unduly large role of the political highlights the vast differences in governance across the regions. The aspect of GST creates the prospect of further integration of production networks, but at the same time lowers the incentive to attract investments by the states.  The challenges going forward for policy and governance are identified.