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The prosperity achieved by developing countries in South East and East Asia as well as in many other parts of the developing world, would have been unthinkable fifty years ago. The significant rise in standard and quality of life of the citizens of these countries cannot be explained by their current stock of natural resources or by their domination of other countries. But it can be explained by their policies that have encouraged investment and placed a premium on efficiency; their efforts to improve the quality of human resources and by their sustained thrust towards international competitiveness. India began its development programmes under Five Year Plans from 1951 with similar objectives. As its principal objective, the Plan document (Government of India, 1957) stated that it proposed to initiate simultaneously a process of all-round balanced development which would ensure a rise in national income and a steady improvement in living standards over a period.


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