Social Scientist. v 4, no. 37 (Aug 1975) p. 40.

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Regional Development and the National Question in North-east India

THE APPROACH Paper to the Fifth Five Year Planl for the first time noted that, in spite of the achievement of an overall growth in the country during the preceding four five-year plans and three annual plans, considerable portions of the country were deprived of the benefits of this growth or had obtained them only marginally. Special emphasis has therefore been laid on removal of regional imbalances from which stems the current talk on regional planning.

It is essential at the beginning to remove what we feel to be a conceptual vagueness about regional planning. Regional planning is not just an equivalent of a programme for the removal of economic imbalances among regions. For any developing country it is only natural that early emphasis will be put on areas which have already developed an infrastructure of growth in the colonial period.9 Regional imbalance is thus partly a function of allocation of limited resources and partly a legacy of colonialism.

The developing countries of the Third World are characterized by a low level of economic development, multi-structural (plural) and somewhat archaic social relations, dependence on world capitalism, particularly woi Id monopoly capitalism, and irrational locational pattern of the productive forces inherited from the colonial period. Most noticeable are the

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