India as a late industrializer has an unusual development trajectory. It is still rooted in agriculture but has a dynamic service sector. Puzzlingly, its manufacturing sector is stagnating despite the availability of vast reserves of unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Although India has shed its state-led economy since the reforms of the 1990s and embraced globalization enthusiastically, the results have been very mixed. High growth rates have accompanied diversification of the economy: income growth for some have been spectacular, but for many others the lack of jobs and income growth have created a polarized society.
With this background, this seminar will focus on how recent economic development policies, the changing role of the state – especially business-state partnership – and recent international integration have produced a sizeable minority of rich Indian businesses and individuals who are also globally mobile. Foreign governments are interested in such wealthy Indians and try to attract them through special visa provisions either for their technological and commercial knowledge or simply for their capital. The presentation will show some of the ways by which the wealthy in India and abroad have arisen and what it means for both national and global inequality.
The speaker, Anthony P. D’Costa is Chair and Professor of Contemporary Indian Studies and Director of Development Studies Program at the University of Melbourne. Previously, he was the Research Director and A.P. Moller-Maersk Professor of Indian Studies at the Copenhagen Business School and Professor of Comparative International Development at the University of Washington.