India is among a dozen of nearly seventy developing countries which are at the bottom of the scale of economic growth because of an annual per capita income of less than Rs. 100 and a low rate of increase in the GNP. Yet, like China, she stands apart from most of the others by reason of her size, history and cultural heritage. The people of India were exposed to modern Western ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, like all other inhabitants of former colonial territories who have now gained independence; but there was a difference in the impact of the ideas on the minds of Indians. There was both acceptance of, and resistance to Western influence for reasons largely rooted in the social and cultural patterns which were the legacy of the country’s long and troubled history. The partial acceptance accounts for the endurance of democratic institutions grafted on the political system which, in other areas, have either disappeared or come under serious strain. It also explains the growth of a modern sector which in parts compares well with that of some developed countries, and also India’s pioneering efforts in economic planning through democratic institutions. The partial rejection or non-acceptance of modern ideas in some areas is seen in the slow progress towards the elimination of social inequalities and traditional practices which impede national integration and slow down the adoption of improved techniques of production in agriculture and rural occupations.


National Development Brain Drain Ford Foundation Student Service Indian Faculty 
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© The Estate of Dame Nancy Parkinson 1976

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  • L. S. Chandrakant

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