onomi       e orms       6.13
               time the states had a net revenue surplus     economic reforms and the information technology
               collections in the fiscal 2007–08.37          (IT), with each one reinforcing the other.
         (d) Focussing on the Social Sector: The
               social sector (especially healthcare and         thE rEform aPProach
               education) gets increased attention by the
                                                             The process of economic reforms commenced
               government with manifold increases, in
                                                             in the world by mid-1980s (in Western Europe
               the budgetary allocation, as well as show of  and Northern America). Once the idea of the
               a greater compliance to the performance       Washington Consensus gained ground, we
               of the development programmes.                find similar reforms being followed by different
          We see mixed results of the second generation      countries cutting across continents. Over the
     reforms though the reforms still continue.              time, experts together with the IMF/WB, started
                                                             classifying such countries into two categories, viz.,
     thirD generAtion reforms                                one which went for the ‘Gradualist Approach’
     Announcement of the third generation of reforms         and the other which went for the ‘Stop-and-Go
     were made on the margins of the launching of            Approach’.
     the Tenth Plan (2002–07). This generation of                 India’s reform process which commenced in
     reforms commits to the cause of a fully functional      1991 has been termed by experts as gradualist
     Panchayati Raj Institution (PRIs), so that the          (also called incremental)38 in nature with traits
     benefits of economic reforms, in general, can           of occasional reversals, and without any big
     reach to the grassroots.                                ideological U-turns - coalitions of various political
          Though the constitutional arrangements for a       parties at the Centre and different political
     decentralised developmental process was already         parties ruling the states lacked a general sense of
     effected in the early 1990s, it was in the early 2000s  consensus on reforms. It reflects the compulsions
     that the government gets convinced of the need of       of India’s highly pluralist and participative
     ‘inclusive growth and development’. Till the masses     democratic policy-making process.39 Though such
     are not involved in the process of development,         an approach helped the country to avoid socio-
     the development will lack the ‘inclusion’ factor,       political upheavals/instability, it did not allow
     it was concluded by the government of the time.         the desired economic outcome could have accrue
     The Eleventh Plan goes on to ratify the same            from the reforms. The first generation of economic
     sentiments (though the political combination at         reforms could not bring the expected results due
     the centre has changed) and views regarding the         to lack of some other set of reforms for which
     need for the third generation of reforms in India.      India goes after almost over a decade—the second
                                                             generation of economic reforms. Similarly, the
     fourth generAtion reforms                               economic benefits (whatever accrued) remained
                                                             non-inclusive, in absence of an active public policy
     This is not an official ‘generation’ of reform in
     India. Basically, in early 2002, some experts coined      38.  Isher J. Ahluwalia, Industry in Kaushik Basu &
                                                                    Annemie Maertens edited The New Oxford Companion
     this generation of reforms which entail a fully                to Economics in India, Oxford University Press,
     ‘information technology-enabled’ India. They                   N. Delhi, India, 2012, Vol. 2, pp. 371-375.
     hypothesised a ‘two-way’ connection between the           39.  Montek S. Ahluwalia, Planning in Kaushik Basu &
                                                                    Annemie Maertens edited The New Oxford Companion
       37.  The Comptroller and Auditor General, Provisional        to Economics in India, Oxford University Press,
            Report, May 2007.                                       N. Delhi, India, 2012, Vol. 2, pp. 530-536.