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India's Economy from Nehru to Modi: A Brief History

India's Economy from Nehru to Modi: A Brief History

How has India’s economy fared over the first seventy-five years of the country’s independence?

More specifically, how has India’s economic journey impacted the life of the Indian citizen? Have the various economic measures and reforms since 1947 improved or worsened matters for the people? These are the core issues addressed within this concise and accessible book.

Given India’s large population, there has always been great interest internationally in the steps taken to shape the country’s economy and its consequent advance. The country, says Pulapre Balakrishnan, has undoubtedly progressed. It is now self-sufficient in food, industrially capable, and globally recognised for its software services.

Yet, while the country has ended famine, it has neither eliminated poverty nor reduced inequality of opportunity. If India has modernised without human development, can the India story amount to much? The author argues that an economy focused largely on growth instead of equally on well-being –  which can come about only with substantial public provision of education and health – ignores a founding premise of the Indian republic.

Written by a professional economist with impeccable academic credentials, this invigorating short account illuminates India’s economic journey since 1947 while arguing persuasively for an appreciation of its human dimension. Students, scholars, and the everyday reading public will be enlightened by this fresh and comprehensive overview.


  • Author

    Pulapre Balakrishnan is Professor of Economics, Ashoka University, Sonipat, and Senior Fellow, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. His web address is

  • Details


    272 pages

    In the Hedgehog and Fox series, copublished with Ashoka University

    You can buy this book from our distributors Orient Blackswan or from good bookstores, or from online portals.

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