Generally, development is defined as a state in which things are improving. But it is defined in different ways in various contexts, social, political, biological, science and technology, language and literature. In the socio-economic context, development means the improvement of people’s lifestyles through improved education, incomes, skills development and employment.

It is the process of economic and social transformation based on cultural and environmental factors. Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. It is measured with indicators, such as gross domestic product (GDP), life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment.

Social development is a process which results in the transformation of social institutions in a manner which improves the capacity of the society to fulfil its aspirations. It implies a qualitative change in the way the society shapes itself and carries out its activities, such as through more progressive attitudes and behavior by the population, the adoption of more effective processes or more advanced technology. There is a close relation among environments, ways of living and technology.

Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. Economic growth is often assumed to indicate the level of economic development. The term “economic growth” refers to the increase (or growth) of a specific measures such as real national income, gross domestic product, or per capita income. The term economic development on the other hand, implies much more. It is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well being of its people.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The gross domestic product or gross domestic income (GDI) is one of the measures of national income and output for a given country’s economy. It is the total value of all final goods and services produced in a particular economy within a country’s borders in a given year.

National Income: The income earned by a country’s people, including labour and capital investment. It is the total value of all income in a nation (wages and profits, interests, rents and pension payments) during a given period, (usually one year).

Per Capita Income: The total national income divided by the number of people in the nation. This is what each citizen is to receive if the yearly national income is divided equally among all.

Socio-economic development is a process of improvement in a variety of ways. It has to influence all aspects of human life in a country. Its major indicator, the GDP is a specific measure of economic welfare that does not take into account important aspects such as leisure time, environmental quality, freedom, social justice, or gender equality. Another indicator, the per-capita income also does not indicate the level of income equality among people. These indicators do not ensure that the benefits of development have been equally distributed and have reached particularly to the disadvantaged groups of society.

Which is why, a new concept of human development is being used. It is focused on the overall quality of life that people enjoy in a country, the opportunities they have and the freedoms they enjoy.

Socio-Economic Development in India

Although various efforts have been made for the development of the country right from the day the country became independent, it is since 1990 that India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the developing world. It is said that the economy of India is the twelfth largest in the world by market exchange rates and the fourth largest in the world by GDP, measured on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.

This has been accompanied by increase in life expectancy and literacy rates and attainment of food security. There has been significant reduction in poverty. India’s recent economic growth has widened economic inequality across the country.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP): It is a method of measuring the relative purchasing power of currencies of different countries. PPP has been found more useful for comparing differences in living standards among nations. Earlier, the comparison was based on per capita income, but this was abandoned by most of the international organisations, because it was giving a misleading picture. For example, one US dollar (US$) can buy far fewer goods and services in the United States than equivalent rupees can do in India. Therefore, by investing Indian currency equivalent to $1000, one can have a much better standard of living in India than that in USA by investing the same amount.