The government has to devise policies and allocate government expenditure so that these facilities are available to all. Thus the additional income generated in the economy reaches the backward regions and the poorer sections of society. To achieve economic development we need economic growth. In a stagnant economy, where there is no economic growth, realisation of economic development is difficult.
Measurement of the level of economic development is difficult, because it does not depend upon a single factor. There are a number of indicators of economic development. These indicators could be quite varied and too many. The per capita GDP in India is much lower than in developed countries.
However, it has a higher growth rate compared to others. Note that some of the countries have very low GDP per capita and have experienced decline in it over time (see, Nigeria and Tanzania, for example). Apart from low per capita income India is far below the developed economies in terms of development indicators.
Some of these indicators are consumption of electricity, literacy rate, access to safe drinking water, empowerment of women, etc. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) brings out a ‘human development index’ by combining several indicators of development such as life expectancy, education, per capita income, and empowerment of women.
According to Human Development Report 2001, India ranks 115 out of 162 countries in terms of human development index. A positive feature of the Indian economy is that it is not stagnant; it is developing. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. There have been improvements in life expectancy, literacy, and availability of infrastructure.