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Comparative Development of India and its Neighbours:

Comparative development of India and its neighbours is an important knowledge to possess as an Indian citizen.

As a rational citizen of a country, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of the developments in your country. In fact, it is also very important to learn about the developmental processes of your neighbouring countries. Not only citizens but countries are also eager to understand the developmental system of their neighbours. This understanding enables comprehension of strengths and weaknesses of yours as well as the neighbouring countries. Due to the process of globalization, it is essential for every nation to compete with developed countries. Hence, it is important to study the comparative development of India and its Neighbours.

This chapter entails the comparative study of the comparative development of India and its neighbours. We shall learn more about the Indian economy, the Pakistan economy as well a the Chinese economy. This will help in understanding where do we stand today in comparison to others.

Comparative Development of India and its neighbours

Indian and its neighbours – Pakistan and China, have very similar development strategies as an economy as a whole. A few such similarities in their development strategies are as follows:

  • All three countries, India, Pakistan and China began towards their economic development at the same time. In addition, India and Pakistan attained independence in the year 1947. However, China was an independent economy in the year 1949.
  • India and Pakistan began with similar strategies for creating larger public sector units. And soon began working on raising public expenditure on social development.
  • All the countries began planning their development strategies in a very similar fashion. India made an announcement of its first 5-year plan in the year 1951. However, Pakistan made its 5-year plan announcement in the year 1956. China, on the other hand, had made this announcement in the year 1953.
  • Up until the 1980s, all 3 countries had very similar growth rates and per capita incomes.
  • Economic reforms took place in all the 3 countries – India, China and Pakistan.

Development Strategies of India

Following are some of the most prominent development strategies of India.

  1. A sound trade system was introduced in India to boost the growth.
  2. Indian began adopting many poverty alleviation programmes to fight and reduce poverty.
  3. India also began adopting measures for the development of areas that are lagging behind in the overall development of village economy.
  4. The aim was soon to generate employment and provide gainful self-employment.

Development Strategies of China

Following are some of the most prominent development strategies of China.

  1. Great Leap Forward (GLF) in 1958 was a campaign that was robustly aiming at industrialising the country on a massive scale.
  2. Mao Tse Tung was responsible for starting the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76) in 1965, a cultural revolution on a large scale.
  3. Since 1978, China began to introduce many reforms in phases. The reforms were initiated in agriculture, foreign trade and investment sector.

Development Strategies of Pakistan

The following are some of the most prominent development strategies of Pakistan.

  1. Pakistan began following a mixed economy system where both the public and private sectors could co-exist.
  2. They also began adopting a regulatory policy framework in the late 1950s and 1960s for import industrialisation. This policy combined tariff protection for manufacturing consumer goods together with direct import controls on competing imports.
  3. The Green Revolution was introduced to increase the productivity and self-sufficiency in food.

Success and Failures of Strategies in India and Pakistan

Success Failures
The incidence of poverty is now significantly low in both the countries. Poverty and unemployment are still areas of major concerns in both the countries.
Both the countries (India and Pakistan) have achieved self-sufficiency in the production of food. The growth rate of GDP and its sectoral constituents have fallen in the 1990’s.
Both the countries have done extremely well in developing their service and industry sectors at a fast rate.
The use of modern technology is improving in both the countries.
The two countries (India and Pakistan) have done extremely well in doubling their per capita incomes in spite of the high growth rate of population.

Success and Failures of Strategies in China

Success Failures
There were decentralised planning and existence of a small enterprise. There was the slow pace of growth and lack of modernisation
There was an extension of basic health services in many rural areas. The Maoist vision of economic development on decentralisation, self-sufficiency and shunning of foreign technology was a fail.
Through the commune system, there was a more equitable distribution of foodgrains. Despite extensive land reforms, collectivisation, the great leap forward and other initiatives, the per capita gain output in 1978 was the same as it was in the mid-1950s.
There was an existence of infrastructure in the areas of education and health and land reforms.

Why does China have an edge over India?

The Chinese reform process began more strongly and comprehensively during the 1980s. At this time, India was in the mid-stream of a rather slow growth process.

By then, the rural poverty in China was declining by 85% during the period from 1978 to 1989. In India, at this time, it was declining by only 50%. Moreover, the global exposure to the Chinese economy has been far wider than the Indian economy. Also, China’s export-driven manufacturing has been the reason for exponential growth. And India continues to be only a marginal player in the international markets.

Why does Pakistan have an edge over India?

Although the two countries (Pakistan and India) started together, Pakistan has seen a better result. Following are the areas/aspects where Pakistan has an edge over India.

  • Access to improved water sources.
  • Reduction in below poverty line (BPL) population.
  • Migration of people from rural to urban areas.
  • Migration of workforce from agriculture to the industrial sector.

Why does India have an edge over Pakistan?

India is better placed than Pakistan in the area of skilled manpower and research and development institutions. Indian scientists excel in the areas of:

  • defence technology,
  • space research,
  • electronics and avionics,
  • genetics,
  • telecommunications, etc.

The number of Ph.Ds produced by India in science and engineering every year (about 5000) is higher than the entire stock of Ph.Ds in Pakistan. Issues of health facilities in general and infant mortality, in particular, are better addressed in India than in Pakistan

Comparative Analysis of Development of India and its neighbours (Pakistan and China)

The overall development of these 3 economies are broadly classified into Demographic Indicators, Gross Domestic Products and Sectors and Human Development Indicators. We shall now comparatively analyse the development of India, Pakistan and China.

  1. The population of Pakistan is very small and accounts for roughly about one-tenth of China or India. Though China is the largest nation and geographically occupies the largest area among the three nations, its density is the lowest.
  2. One child norm was introduced in China in the late 1970’s to check the problem of population growth. This measure led to a decline in the sex ratio.
  3. In China, for one lakh births, only 38 women die whereas, in India 230 women die and in Pakistan 260 women die.
  4. China and Pakistan have more proportion of urban people than India.
  5. In China, due to topographic and climatic conditions, the area suitable for cultivation is relatively small-only about 10% of its total land area. The total cultivable area in China accounts for 40% of the cultivable area in India.
  6. The fertility rate is low in China and very high in Pakistan.
  7. Pakistan is ahead of India in reducing the proportion of people below the poverty line and also its performance in education, sanitation and access to water is better than that of India.
  8. Urbanisation is high in both Pakistan and China.
  9. India is in the worst scenario as compared to the other two countries with respect to access to improved sanitation and clean water.
  10. China is moving ahead of both India and Pakistan in terms of indicators of human development.

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