The Right to Development (RTD) is a new and highly contested right. Its emergence is linked to the demand for a ‘new international economic order’ by developing countries. Composite in nature and integrating civil and political rights with economic, social and cultural rights, the RTD approach underscores participation, a fair sharing of benefits, transparency and non-discrimination. The present volume explores the theoretical and practical aspects of RTD as an alternative to existing approaches to development. It brings together the reflections and insights of some of the finest scholars on the specific aspects of RTD.

Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination*

Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination*

Poverty and inequality in India: A re-examination


Poverty trends in India in the 1990s have been a matter of intense controversy.1 The debate has often generated more heat than light, and confusion still remains about the extent to which poverty has declined during the period. In the absence of conclusive evidence, widely divergent claims have flourished. Some have argued that the 1990s have been a period of unprecedented improvement in living standards. Others have claimed that it has been a time of widespread impoverishment.2 Against this background, this chapter presents a reassessment of the evidence on poverty and inequality in the 1990s.

So far, the debate on poverty in the 1990s has focused overwhelmingly on changes in the ‘headcount ratio’—the ...

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