Rural development aims at improving the quality of life of rural people, and in the process infrastructure variables play a crucial role. India is the second most populous country in the world and the majority of its population lives in rural areas. Rural development has been India’s prime concern ever since the time of independence, and several strategies and plans were implemented from time to time to achieve a better level of development. However, neither top-down, nor bottom-up strategies of development could bring the desired changes. This article attempts to identify some correlates of rural development and tries to understand why the desired level and pattern of development could not be achieved even after seven decades of the planning process. The study analyses the case of ‘Sadar’ development block of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh. The analysis of 10 selected variables reveals that there is a vast disparity in the level of development in the study area. However, the study shows that lack of basic education, health and credit facilities is the cause of this disparity and poor level of development. In view of the findings the author suggests that a ‘local resource-oriented development strategy’ should be adopted to ensure the holistic development of the rural areas.
Equity is central to concerns over environmental sustainability. Gender and economic power constitute prime bases of inequalities in human society. Moreover, university education has the potential to produce ideal individuals equipped to advance noble causes including environmental sanity. Hence, this study was designed to examine how economic and gender orientation affects attitude towards environmental abuse among a group of Nigerian undergraduates. Structured questionnaire were self-administered to 1120 randomly selected respondents and 1098 were analyzed. Multi-item measures were used to assess variables. One way ANOVA, Brown-Forsythe's test and Spearman's correlation r were used to analyze data. Results show that the mean score for attitudes towards environmental abuse was high (5.38±0.87, min. = 1.0, max. = 7.0) but, the generic pattern for attitude was fairly environmentally friendly because only 56.7% of respondents scored the mean or above. Age, sex and marital status had no effect on their attitude (p > 0.05) but religion and field of study did (p < 0.05). Economic and gender orientations were significantly and positively related to attitude towards environmental abuse (p < 0.05). Being Muslim and Christian as opposed to being a practitioner of a traditional religion; and undertaking studies within the field of biology and life sciences as well as science and technology, as opposed to social sciences, humanities and arts, predisposes students to healthier attitudes towards environmental abuse. Collectivist economic orientation and egalitarian gender orientation predisposes students to a healthier attitude towards environmental abuse.
It is said that small and intermediate size towns play a significant role in the socio-economic transformation of regional spaces through diffusion of innovations. It, however, has been hypothesized here that in this diffusion process the villages having better infrastructural facilities and services, play central role. For its analysis, the study takes the case of a region consisting of three administrative districts - Raebareli, Sultanpur and Pratapgarh, of the Uttar Pradesh state of India. These districts have remained in political focus since India’s independence and have elected two prime-ministers and some most influential politicians of their times in quest of development. However, the condition of development here is still deplorable. These districts have 22 statutory towns, and are least urbanized in the state. The towns are mainly administrative or market centres in nature serving surrounding villages by their backward and forward linkages. The study analyses ‘Z scores’ of select services to measure the level of development at block and village level, and portrays the spatial arrangement of towns in development setting of the region. The study observes that while towns are instrumental in promoting regional development, the role of ‘rurban’ centres (high service villages) in the process of diffusion of development is pivotal.
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