Shashikant Kumar

PhD defended at: 

The M.S. University of Baroda



work on the planning
process, nature of development in the Gujarat state since 1951 to 2002. However, the
data collection and investigation has been extended upto 2010, the research provides
ample evidence for the changes in state in industries, agriculture and land utilization.
The researchers draws attention towards the planning process by reviewing the
summery of meetings held since 1951 to 2002 (50 meetings) of National Development
Council. The study presents the regional planning perspectives for the state with
reference to the findings and observations in the study.
Key Words: Development Planning, Regional Development, Gujarat, Human
Development Index, Special Economic Zone, Special Investment Regions, Gujarat
Plains, Gujarat Coast, Saurashtra, Kachchh, Industrialisation, Urbanisation
Economically Gujarat stands fourth in terms of per capita income among the
states of India, and is regarded as one of the most prosperous states of the country
encompassing 50 million people spread over 1,96,000 sq.kms. Around 70 per cent of
Gujarat’s State Domestic Product accrues from its non-primary sector that provides
employment to 40 per cent of its total workers. However, on the other hand, the State
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has a poor natural resource base, an almost stagnant agriculture, and wide regional
disparity of growth. The poverty level was 23.92 per cent in 1993-94 as compared to
35.97 per cent at the all India level.
Gujarat has been the major economic contributor in county with sustained
economic growth but is not doing well in social development indicators. There are
multitudes of statistical data revealing the economic development of the State from
the agricultural production to industrial output showing growth in its economy.
A perusal of ongoing research on the issue reveals that, sectoral approaches in
dealing with poverty are linked with calorific value, unemployment and production
values. These regressive analyses of the state of economy in Gujarat are without
concern to the regional characteristics of development in the State. The administrative
districts are not co-terminus with the ‘physiographical-cultural’ regions. Moreover,
the region-wise characteristics of development with reference to different major and
minor social groups are not considered/are ignored in these literatures.
The Problem
Regional planning, in its various forms, can be seen as an approach to steer the
development of the region. The concept of development as applied to society is a
complex one. Development is not the same as societal change. Development is the
change that is based on the value system of a society and is achieved through
institutionally directed intelligent interventions.
Regional planning can best be seen as an approach to tackle regional
imbalances which appear most pressing in any country or state at a particular point of
time. It is also regarded as an extension of the local planning dealing primarily with
movement and distribution of population and employment, the complex interaction or
social and economic needs, the provision of facilities like roads, communication
network etcetera. Regional planning also encompasses inter-regional flow of
population and resources with long-term economic prospects. These cannot properly
be considered except in the context of the balance to be achieved between growth of
regions and growth requirements of other regions in the country or state on which
government can take decisions.
This is not the precisely adhered to practice in Indian planning. We have
adopted the legislature from the erstwhile British Government and have not gone
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ahead to pursue regional development. We have plans for the outgrown areas of the
urban centers or metropolises rather than the large rural hinterland. For the areas
beyond urban agglomeration, we have the Panchayat, block, or district level planning,
which are dictated by the Central Planning Organizations and State Governments. We
have decentralized power sharing among the elected representatives but no structure
to prepare technical plans.
The present work concerns itself with the scope of regional planning beyond
the central and state planning structures and builds a strong theoretical backup to
achieve sustainable development (resource v/s utilization) in the coming years.
The economic development cannot be devoid of the people for whom it is
intended. The figures, represented in the industrial tables, agricultural outputs and
infrastructural tables represent macro state features. In the planning process, the
region specific progress/development is not indicated or targeted. The current practice
of development through economic planning is not region based. For example, the
transfer of occupation from primarily agricultural to industrial or from industrial to
services is the aggregate result of econometric analysis. The effective region specific
approach to development like, access to social infrastructure (health, education and
market) or pollution, deprivation, per capita land availability, productive employment
generated etcetera are neglected.
Based on the above understanding, the present study proposes to examine the
hypothesis that,
“The development dynamics and dimensions within districts/regions are
different depending upon the location, natural resources and population
composition, and need special attention in relation to inter-regional and intraregional
socio-economic and political forces”
The study is an earnest attempt to evaluate the development planning process
and system in Gujarat with a systems approach to regional planning.
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The following objectives are set before the study.
a) Document the development planning practices in India in general and Gujarat
in particular of the various plan periods (1951-2002).
b) Evaluate the impact of development process adopted for various sectors and
regions in Gujarat.
c) Critically understand the centralized and decentralized approaches adopted in
development with special reference to geographical regions in Gujarat.
d) Suggest and evolve theoretical inputs and validation for regional planning
practice in Gujarat.
The study presents systems study of the planning process in India in general
and Gujarat in particular. The study investigates the development in Gujarat from the
regional perspective focusing on industrial development, land and agriculture,
urbanisation and employment and regional development issues. The utilization of
Geographical Information System (GIS) software is made in preparing the distribution
maps as well as analytical maps. The geographical analysis of regions is substantiated
by analysis of the planning processes adopted in the country since the First Five Year
Plan to the Twelfth Plan Period.
The study extensively utilises the literature and data on the development of
Gujarat mostly of the Central Government organisations, Departments of State
Government and project specific databases. However, given the scope and purpose of
the study, the descriptive evaluation of the district, taluka and village level plan
documents have been undertaken vis-a-vis the development achievements with
reference to (a) sectoral approach, (b) development-disparity phenomenon and (c)
regional planning approach.
Planning perspectives from the National Development Council presents
qualitative information useful to understand the processes and sequence of events
concerning various plan periods. Changes during the various phases of planning
indicating governance at the Centre and the State provides spatial context of regional
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development in Gujarat. Extensive use of such information has been made in the
present study.
Analysis of the secondary information has been of immense help in bringing
complex planning issues at the regional level. However, the field observations,
discussions and interviews with citizens, subject experts, administrators over the
periods from 2005-2011, gave enough in-depth understanding of the community level
development issues, the variation amongst the regions, impact of development
projects and nature of concerns in the regions. The perspective of development is the
outcome of field research mostly comprising of travelling along the major
development corridors from north Gujarat (Palanpur) to South Gujarat (Vapi).
Organisation of the Study
The study is organized into ten chapters to achieve the desired objectives of
the research. The documentation and analysis of various aspects of development
planning in India and Gujarat is presented from the perspective of the author. Chapter
One deals with the introduction to the research problem, a brief introduction, research
aim and objectives, hypothesis and methodology of the study.
Chapter Two presents the literature review for understanding development
with special focus on the definition of ‘development’, changes in development
thoughts in social sciences including Geography and Economics, theories of regional
development planning, Indian planning mechanism and adoption of development
theories in Indian planning system. The chapter also discusses phases of the planning
system leading to present development context to approaches towards regional
development in the country in general and Gujarat in particular.
Chapter Three presents the regional profile of Gujarat, including the physical
characteristics, historical evolution, population and demographic characteristics,
distribution of the STs and SCs, and the development profile of the state.
Chapter Four on Regional Distribution of Industries and Policy Changes in
Gujarat discusses the growth of industries in the State. It focuses on the changes in the
industrial policy perspectives in India and Gujarat over the various plan periods,
deliberating on the infrastructure support provided by the State and ‘Investment
Summits’ post 2003. The chapter also uses the Location Quotient Analysis method to
map out the district-wise industrial change between 1961 and 2007. The sector
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specific concentration maps have been presented along with discussion on the
changing industrial climate in the State. The distribution of industries and their
changes between 1961 and 2007 have also been analysed by using the Lorenz Curve
method. The growth of Medium and Small Scale enterprises and investments in the
State since 1983 to 2011 is also presented to analyse the regional dimension of
industrial location in the State. The chapter also presents the changes in the policies
from time to time leading to changes in approaches of the State with regard to
industrial development from cluster based to Special Economic Zones and Special
Investment Regions. The chapter summarises the impact of industrial development on
the employment, land use and environment. The spatial dangers and opportunities due
to industrial growth have also been discussed for the regions and the State.
Chapter Five, focuses on land utilization and agriculture, as the key
components of regional development analysis for the State. The land holding pattern,
pressure of population, land availability for agriculture, degradation of land due to
increasing salinity ingress and ground water availability have been discussed in this
chapter. Development of water resources for irrigation has been an important
component of planning for regional development in the State. The chapter presents
the irrigation potentials and development of water resources, leading to land use
changes across the regions. The land utilization data presents the classification as per
census of India, and uses its data to present the regional land use change from 1961 to
2004. The land availability or utilization for the development projects requiring
important attention from the policy planners has also been presented in the chapter.
The geographical spread of the development projects along with the land acquired in
various regions are presented in order to highlight the deprivation amongst the tribal
and the dalits, and threat to the forest and common property resources. The data
presented in this section have mostly been drawn from other studies conducted by
author, during the same period. The chapter also discusses the representative sample
studies on industrial pollution affecting land and water in different regions leading to
deterioration in land quality and its impact on the crops.
The Sixth Chapter has been devoted to analyse the regional pattern of
urbanisation and urban employment, considering these as important manifestations of
the changing focus of the State from the rural development to urban development. The
constant growth of urban areas and urbanisation in the State is presented by mapping
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the block wise urbanisation changes in Gujarat from 1961 to 2011. The regional
urbanisation characteristics, de-urbanisation, growth of metropolitan areas have also
been discussed as per the standard classification by Census of India. Geostatistical
mapping techniques were used to present the spatial characteristics and distribution of
urbanisation in the State. An attempt has been made to visualize the future regional
urban population growth, in order to evaluate the present and future challenges. The
section on urban poverty and employment, based on secondary data, presents the
changing employment scenarios in different regions of the State. The chapter
concludes with comments on the spatial threats and opportunities provided by the
present urbanisation and employment scenario in the State.
An attempt has been made in the Seventh Chapter to evaluate development in
terms of different parameters from geographical perspective, with an intention to
investigate regional development changes in the State. The chapter uses the
physiographic classification of Gujarat as per the Atlas published by the Census of
India, 2001. The block or taluka level data from various sources have been used to
present the development indicators by regions. The chapter also uses extensive data
sourced from Ministry of Panchayati Raj, regarding the backward areas. The base
data published in 2009 was used to map the backward areas using standard deviation
for the key indicators. The analysis of maps and interpretation of recent data is done
to bring out the changes in hills, plains and coastal Gujarat. The detail investigation of
development changes using the base data from the previous chapters is presented to
uncover the development concerns by regions such as Mainland Gujarat, Eastern
Hills, Coastal Areas, Saurashtra and Kachchh. The regional dimension of
development change is also done to prepare the perspectives for the regions. Results
of field investigation, mainly through observation, and discussion with subject experts
and important stakeholders, have also been presented in this chapter. The chapter
mainly presents the development concerns as expressed along with a detailed
investigation of the conflicts between the State and the people.
Chapter Eighth, deals with Spatial Analysis of Development Efforts of the
State during the plan periods (1951-2007), along with the aspects of development
planning in India. The chapter presents the National planning perspectives during the
various plan periods, mainly, the Nehruvian thoughts, transition in planning
mechanism and thoughts, approaching rolling plans and consultation processes with
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states, modernisation and technology focus in plan, indicative planning and
liberalisation of economy. The chapter draws out the changes in the planning
thoughts, mainly from the deliberations documented for the meetings of National
Development Council (NDC), since its inception. The intent was to focus on the
National planning strategies and planning perspectives of Gujarat. The chapter also
reviews the spatial perspectives of development schemes in India and Gujarat. The
section on the tribal development deals with the focus of the State and development
characteristics of tribals in Gujarat.
Chapter Nine on Regional Development Issues, deals specifically with policy
perspectives of Gujarat. The issue of decentralization is addressed by focusing on the
planning at the grass root levels. The regional perspective draws the discussion on the
backward areas development, urban development, industrial areas planning, emerging
issues of regional planning, port based development and concerns. The section on the
specific development concerns of tribals and community based development planning
is presented through case study of specific groups and areas. The discussion on the
status of project affected people of Sardar Sarovar Project, mining areas, salt workers
(Bhavnagar), slum dwellers in Vadodara and Surat, opportunities in industrialized
areas, employment of youth in North Gujarat and peoples’ reaction to industries in
Mundra (Kachchh) highlights the concerns that are important for evolving the
regional perspectives. The section on the Climate Change Analysis, based on the
presentation of the data derived from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) documents, specific to India and Gujarat, concern itself with the issue of
vulnerability. The vulnerability mapping is done for the State, to understand and
discuss the regional concerns. The biophysical vulnerability, social vulnerability,
technology vulnerability and adaptive capacity are presented in the lights of the major
findings by IPCC. The impact of the climate change on regional planning has been
discussed in the section in the spatial perspective. Perspectives for changing
urbanisation, changing role and function of rural Gujarat, role of transport and
communication networks and environmental concerns and issues of regional approach
have also been discussed in this chapter. The author here proposed the approach to the
regional delineation based on the regional development associations. The conceptual
regional scalar model for regional planning has been presented to apply the settlement
based planning approach mainly in the mainland Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kachchh.
The scale of regional development over space are contextualized by presenting the
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transect model. The chapter ends with the discussion on the Regional Development
Matrix (decision making), deliberating on the socio-political changes and the concept
of spatial fix and measurement of development specific to regional development.
The concluding Chapter Ten, presents a brief summary of the outcomes of the
study, including the validation of the hypothesis of the research. The concluding
remarks point at the development thought prevailing in Gujarat, and its characteristics
distinction from the development thoughts of other states of India. The chapter
presents an argument for marking the state development model, as ‘Capitalist’. The
regional perspectives, though presented as suggestions by the author, are based on the
outcomes and findings of the preceding chapters. Regional development can take
place looking in correspondence with the broader National goals as well as specific
approaches which presents strategies interweaving the concerns and goals for the
Major Findings and Conclusions
Development is the result of growth in urbanization, industrialization and in
the agricultural status of a region. Development is induced by planned efforts at a
regional scale by various National, State and local Government agencies. Such
development initiatives aim at the integration of natural, economic and human
resources into a totality over a period of time and for the benefit of the people of a
region. That has been the justification for India’s development programmes
implemented through successive Five-Year Plans since 1951 till the present 11th
Five-Year Plan.

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