The Science of Development


A branch of knowledge becomes a science when its existence, functioning, change, growth, etc. are governed by immutable, universal, eternal laws that are verifiable. As development answers to this description or definition, it is entitled to be a science.

Society has come into existence long ago and since its original formation it is grown to a great height and is still continuing that process. Men forming into a society and its continuous change in the horizontal and vertical planes are self-development of the society. Properly it is social self-development. As the word development came to be known in a certain connotation in the present day to be precise in our explanation here I would like to ascribe specific meaning to each term and confine it to a certain process. In that sense I prefer to call this self-development of society as growth and define it as unconscious, unplanned, sporadic, self-initiated movement that creates changes in the society for it to become horizontally expansive, complex in existence and vertically moving to higher, greater complex existences. Mainly the process of these changes takes place by initial individual self-development later collecting into collective social development. In the individual as well as the collectivity, these changes show as and occur through formation of skills, organizations, institutions. In the individual it takes the shape of habit, behaviour, character and personality. In the society it gives birth to social habits, social characteristics leading to social customs and usage which after a long time settles into Tradition. These individual and social institutions which are psychological generate physical institutions in the field of production, distribution and consumption; (defense; self-protection) physical survival; communication, etc. and social institutions of religions, beliefs, customs, usage, etc. Though by this definition one may feel that Development is made synonymous with the entire society and every branch of life, existence and knowledge, we would like the subject to embrace only those areas where CHANGE takes place leaving the existence and functioning of each branch of life to subjects like economics, politics, history, psychology, etc.

Our study and research point to us the conclusion that the birth, formation, existence, functioning, change, growth of all the above said institutions are governed by immutable, universal, eternal, verifiable laws. Hence we call Development as a science.

In the post war period a new phenomenon has emerged. War devastated nations were to be restored to their original prosperity. Newly liberated colonies which have remained outside the pale of civilizing forces owning to colonization have to attain a certain measure of prosperity to escape hunger, poverty, disease, etc. Their national aspiration to catch up in life-level with the affluent nations in the West has led them to raise their economies to a higher level. In these nations there is a centrally planned endeavour to hasten the movement of social change. This effort is now known as Development.

Social self-development which I call growth is natural, sporadic, self-initiated, based on prior accomplishments and inevitable. The Development attempted in the postwar world is artificial, centrally planned, imposed from above, not based on prior accomplishment and is enforced. Still the laws governing growth and development are the same. Development adds one major dimension to growth, i.e. an artificial administrative process as if it is an abridgement of the natural social growth is to be created by the central planners having regard to the time-frame of accomplishment and the social milieu to which it is offered. At this point the science of Development acquires a very dexterous additional dimension of art, the art of simulating the social process. We are more concerned with Development than Growth. As Development as a study is inclusive of Growth we cannot ignore it.

Our study and research have yielded us the central laws of Growth and Development. They certainly can be provided with further additions or amplifications. We therefore tentatively but firmly conclude that Development is a Science and to establish Development as a science on its own will do good to the society at large and may realized as inevitable in the coming decades the world over.


Future Education Conference

A one-day conference on Future Education in India was organized at Anandha Inn, Pondicherry on January 28, 2018 to consider the changes needed in our schools and to examine successful strategies that are already being applied by schools in India and overseas. 

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