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 Witnessing better development through research into newer approaches

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Benjamin

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PostSubject: Witnessing better development through research into newer approaches   Wed May 25, 2011 6:59 am

In the face of vast regional diversities in the country, macro economic planning served to be inadequate.  Three broad approaches are discernible in the research literatures on this particular theme.  The initial approach was to identify regional units for planning or regionalization.  This phase continued from the mid-50’s to the late 60’s.  Studies carried out by the Indian Statistical Institute (SI), Town and Country Planning Organization, Planning Commission and the Census of India among others, prompted and refined techniques of regionalization and also provided formats for regional resource appraisals.  While many of these approaches were borne out of the then realities, a few of such studies considered the regional disparities. 
 
Two major issues that dominate such studies are the measurement of regional disparities and the explanations given for the emergence and continuation of such regional disparities.  While the former led to advancements in measurements, the latter sought to provide explanatory systems by selecting suitable indicators of development and mapping them through space.  The process of emerging metropolitan dominance in shaping regional patterns thus became quite clear. 
 
While these conceptual and academic advancements were taking place, a pragmatic approach to a strategy for balanced regional development, particularly by providing access to infrastructure and diffusion of economic activities in backward areas, tribal areas and hinterlands also emerged when the growth center approach to regional development was mooted.  Thus, in districts like Ernakulam Real Estate development got a much needed thrust for further development.
 
The pragmatism of the researchers necessitated a replacement of the traditional regional framework followed in district and local area planning.  To complete the circle, the emerging ecological issues as well as agro-climatic phenomena and their crucial relevance to an essentially agrarian society, has regenerated research interest in agro-climatic regionalization and regional resource base with which the pursuit of regional planning started in India some five decades ago.
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