The quest for energy sources
With the opening up of the economy and concerted efforts being made to mainstream sustainability into development policies, India has displayed a lot of dynamism and achieved rapid growth over the past decade. The growth since 2003 has been significant and represents a structural increase rather than a cyclical one, indicating that inclusive growth has been an underlying mandate in policy formulation. Maintaining a high rate of growth over the next few decades to address poverty alleviation and providing universal access to energy constitutes the core of the country's development strategy.
Rapid growth is essential, since it is only in a rapidly growing economy that we can sufficiently raise the incomes of the major part of the population to bring about a general improvement in living conditions. Secondly, rapid growth is necessary to generate the resources needed to provide basic services to all. With population growing at around 1.5 per cent per year, 9 per cent growth in GDP would double the real per capita income in 10 years. This, however, would need to be combined with policies that ensure that this per capita income growth is broad-based and beneficial to all sections.
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Ritu Mathur is with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute).