Dissertation Abstracts

Exploring Linkages Between Infrastructure and Human Development: Evidences from Gujarat

Author: Pratham Parekh, pratham.parekh@gmail.com
Department: Center For Studies in Society and Development
University: Central University of Gujarat, India
Supervisor: Khaikoalen Haokop
Year of completion: 2020
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Human Development , Infrastructure , Public Sociology
Areas of Research: Population , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Social Indicators


It has taken a long time to translate common sense into sciences and especially social sciences. A need is observed to embark critical systematic journey where public & private issues of communities and individuals are not only grasped but also presented through sociological lenses, mostly through public sociology without negating professional or applied sociology. The notion of human development essentially addresses the human in development — all those elements which make a person human not only in terms of what she /he needs for basic survival such as food, clothing or shelter, health, etc. but a sense of dignity, ability to mix with others without being ashamed to appear in public. It is the process of enlarging people’s choices. Many studies in the field of sociology of development argue that there is no automatic link between income and human progress. Human development follows the legacy of multi-disciplinary approaches. Since the 1990s, then the concept of human development evolved towards dignity, justice, and worth of human beings. The conceptual and practical relevance of Human development is being widely acknowledged in the field of social sciences. The publication of HDRs for more than 25 years provides continuous reconceptualization of development through the human development perspective and this has influenced global and national policies. Policymakers of India are moving away from a growth cantered approach to human well-being oriented approach. Human development is a multidisciplinary concept evolved a considerable period. There exist no consensus among scholars regarding the number, characteristics, or measurement of indicators related to human development. Gujarat is a well-known State for its economic progress and infrastructure growth. Such growth is supported by political willingness, industrially driven capital inflow, and strategically managed public finance. The growth of infrastructure in Gujarat creates controversial discourse among academic and policy regimes. Economic growth is being claimed as a failure to be mapped into social development. While the development of infrastructure creates supporting as well as contradicting pictures for human development in the State. This scenario has attracted criticism towards the model of development observed in Gujarat. Ever since the introduction of Human Development Reports, Gujarat became the central subject of reference in most of the works related to human development. The major debate is observed over the mechanisms of translating economic growth into human development. Moreover, disparities in human development among demographic subgroups are not so widely reported in Gujarat. Geographical, administrative regions, residence (rural-urban), gender, ethnicity, gender, age, occupation, etc. can characterize these sub-groups. Pressure from civil society, media, and international agencies have though made the government of Gujarat takes Human Development seriously, the government is making claims of human development. One major effort is observed (and which aligns with political orientation) is the development of infrastructure, which fosters or caters to the needs and multiplies the choices of citizens. The study is an effort to put together, all claims, arguments, data, and perceptions to have a socio-humane perspective on the development and posing/raising questions for further epistemological assessment.