Class X Economics Chapter 1 Development | Free NCERT Solutions

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Understanding Economic Development | NCERT Social Science Textbook for Class X | Chapter 1 Development

Developmental goals and aspirations of different categories of persons

Refer text book page 4

Category of person – farmers who depend only on rain for growing crops

Developmental goals and aspirations – more rainfall; good rainfall means that they will get higher yields; they also want better irrigation facilities in their area so that even if they don’t get good rainfall in a year, their crops won’t wilt.

Category of person – a rural woman from a land owning family

Developmental goals / aspiration – high yield and hence more prosperity; better education facilities for her children; access to good healthcare; she also wants greater involvement in family decision making

Urban unemployed youth – find a good job that offers a regular source of income; they also want to be able to take care of their family; get respect from parents and the society

A boy from a rich urban family – own a super fast sports car; holiday abroad; have access to the latest gadgets; hang out with friends

An adivasi from Narmada valley – own a piece of land; find a source of income

Refer page number 6

1. Why do different persons have different notions of development? Which of the following explanations is more important and why?

(a) Because people are different

(b) Because life situations of persons are different.


Different persons have different ideas of development because their circumstances and their priorities are different. The biggest life goal of a middle class young girl hailing from a rural family will probably be getting a university education and finding a good job. However, the elders in her family may object to this because there are still many people who believe that it is dangerous to give education to a girl. Similarly industrialists in both urban and rural areas will want more electricity to run their factories. However, in order to produce that electricity more dams will have to be built and this will often lead to the displacement of tribal people or rural poor. The displaced people will eventually lose their home and livelihood and the biggest aspiration of their life is to be able to hold onto their land and property. However, this is against the developmental goals of rich industrialists. Obviously, developmental aspirations and ideas of development change when life situations change. However, one thing is certain. All people need a secure source of income, a sense of security and equality, adequate levels of freedom and respect of others.

2. Do the following two statements mean the same? Justify your answer.

(a) People have different developmental goals
(b) People have conflicting developmental goals


The two statements need not necessarily mean the same in all situations; however, they can certainly mean the same in certain situations. For example, the developmental aspirations of industrialists who need more electricity may not agree with the developmental aspirations of tribal people who will lose their land and livelihood due to the construction of major irrigation projects near their land. Likewise, a young girl’s need for more freedom and greater involvement in decision making may conflict with the future aspirations of her father or brother. In the same way, a woman who works outside and earns money will want her husband to share the household responsibilities with her; however, her husband may resent this and refuse to offer help creating conflicts in the family. Thus it is evident that sometimes the developmental goals of one person may conflict with those of another person.

3. Give some examples where factors other than income are important aspects of our lives.


Income is important; however, it is not the only important thing in our life. In order to feel happy and to experience a sense of contentment, we all need a sense of security and freedom. Someone may be rich but if they live in constant fear, they cannot be happy. Likewise, all of us need some amount of freedom. We want to be able to decide how we should live our life. Respect of others is another thing that all human beings value. We want people to treat us with respect and consideration.

Expected questions

1. Why income is one of the most important things to consider when we compare countries?

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Development can mean different things to different people; even so, income is one of the most important things to consider when we compare countries. Rich countries, or countries that have more income, are generally considered more developed than countries with less income. This is because when countries have more income their people can have more of all that they need. This could be education, better health care, entertainment or food. We need money to buy the necessities and comforts of life and since rich people can afford to buy all that they need, income is considered to be one of the most important attributes of development.

2. What is per capita income or average income?

Per capita income or average income is the total income of the country divided by its total population.

3. Which body brings out World Developmental Reports?

World Bank

4. Define rich countries and poor countries

According to World Bank rich countries are those countries with a per capita income of US $12736 / annum or above in 2013 and poor countries are those countries with a per capita income of US $1045 or less. Since India’s per capita income was just US $1570 per annum in 2013, it comes in the category of low middle income countries.

5. Explain why average income is not an accurate measure of development.

Average income is the total income of a country divided by the total number of its people. While we can use average income to compare countries, it is not a good measure of development because it hides disparity. Most people in a country may be poor but its average income can still be high if that country also has a handful of extremely rich people. Thus it is evident that average income is not a true reflector of development. In fact, a better sign of development is the equitable distribution of wealth.

6. Why do you think average income is an important criterion for development?

The total income of a country is the income of all residents of that country. However, we cannot use total income to compare countries because countries have different populations. In order to find out if people in one country are better off than people in another country, we need to find out what an average person earns. Hence we calculate the average income by dividing the total income with the total population. The average income thus calculated allows us to compare the living standards of people in different countries; hence it is considered as an important criterion for measuring development.

6. Explain why income is not an adequate indicator of living standards

There is a common belief that rich people certainly enjoy better living standards than poor people. However, this is not always the case. There are several important things that money cannot buy. For example, money cannot buy you a pollution-free environment. Urban people tend to be richer than rural people, yet, they are less healthy because urban areas are polluted and hence people living in large cities develop many chronic illnesses that significantly reduce the quality of their life. That explains why the infant mortality rate in Maharashtra which has a higher per capita income than Kerala is more than double of what it is in Kerala. This is because the Kerala government has invested heavily in basic health and educational facilities. Consequently, a child born in Kerala is more likely to have access to better health and higher education. Thus it is evident that income is not a perfect indicator of living standards.

Class 10 Economics | Chapter 1 Development | Text book questions and answers (refer page 16)

1. Development of a country can generally be determined by

(i) its per capita income
(ii) its average literacy level
(iii) health status of its people
(iv) all of the above

Answer: all of the above

2. Which of the following neighbouring countries has better performance in terms of human development than India?

(i) Bangladesh
(ii) Sri Lanka
(iii) Nepal
(iv) Pakistan
Answer: Sri Lanka

3. Answer: 6000

4. What is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries? What are the limitations of this criterion, if any?


Per capita income or average income is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying countries. Per capita income of a country is the total income of that country divided by the total number of its people. The biggest limitation of using this criterion is that it is not an indicator of income distribution. For example, a country with a large number of extremely poor people can still have a high per capita income if it also has a small number of extremely rich people. However, the standard of living in that country will be poor because most of its people are poor. Thus it is clear that while per capita income is a useful indicator of a country’s progress, it has certain limitations as well.

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5. In what respects is the criterion used by the UNDP for measuring development different from the one used by the World Bank?


While the World Bank mainly uses the criterion per capita income for comparing countries and measuring their progress, the UNDP compares countries based on the educational level of the people, their health status and per capita income.

6. Why do we use averages? Are there any limitations to their use? Illustrate with your own examples related to development.


Income is the main criterion used to measure the progress of a country and to compare it with others. However, the total income is not a useful indicator of a country’s progress because countries have different populations. Some developed countries like Germany or the United Kingdom have small populations. While their total income may be smaller than that of a country like China, Germans and Britons enjoy considerably higher living standards than the Chinese. This is because China is the most populous country in the world. So, even if China has a high total income, an average Chinese person earns considerably less than an average American or German. It is for this reason that we use the average income or the per capita income of a country to find out if its people are better off than the people of another country.

However, the concept of average has its limitations. For example, in order to calculate the average income of a country we divide the total income of that country with its total population. So, for example, if a country has 100 people and its total income is 10,000 dollars, its per capita income will be 100 dollars. However, this does not mean that all the 100 citizens of that country earn the same amount. In fact, some could be earning much higher and some could be earning much lower than the average. Thus it is clear that the biggest disadvantage of using the criterion average is that it does not show the distribution of wealth.

7. Kerala, with lower per capita income has a better human development ranking than Maharashtra. Hence, per capita income is not a useful criterion at all and should not be used to compare states. Do you agree? Discuss


No, I do not agree with the argument that per capita income is not at all useful in measuring the progress of states. While it is true that per capita income has its limitations, it gives a decent understanding of the level of progress a state has. In fact, it is not possible for a country or a state with a very low per capita income to perform better in other aspects. Likewise, it is very unlikely that a country or a state with very high per capita income will perform poorly in aspects such as health or education. In the case of Kerala, its per capita income is lower than that of Maharashtra; however, the difference does not amount to much. Hence, Kerala’s better performance in health or education does not mean that per capita income is a useless measure. Rather, it merely shows that Kerala has invested more than Maharashtra in its human resources.

8. Find out the present sources of energy that are used by the people in India. What could be the other possibilities fifty years from now?


India mainly uses coal, petrol, diesel and electricity to meet its energy requirements right now. Many households now use LPG in addition to firewood and cow dung for cooking purposes. Renewable energy sources like nuclear, solar and wind are also being used in India; however, these sources now meet only a small portion of the energy requirements of the country.
India’s dependence on traditional and non-renewable sources of energy is likely to decrease over the coming decades and 50 years from now the country will most probably be running on green energy sources like nuclear energy, solar energy, hydroelectricity and wind energy.

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9. Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?


Sustainability is important for development because most of the resources that we use today are non-renewable. Take, for instance, the case of crude oil reserves. If they are extracted at the current rate, we will run out of their supply in about 5 decades. This is a dangerous prospect especially when we consider the fact that most economies around the world depend on oil reserves for energy. Obviously, if oil reserves exhaust, development will come to a standstill after a few years or decades. In order to sustain development, it is therefore important to conserve our natural resources. If resources are exploited unethically, our future generations will not have access to any of them. This requires us to invest in alternative and renewable sources of energy like wind or solar. Only then can we sustain development.

10. The earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person. How is this statement relevant to the discussion of development? Discuss


This statement is highly relevant to the discussion of development because development requires resources. The earth has adequate resources but we have to use them judiciously; otherwise, we will soon run out of their supply. As we have already seen, resources are required for development; however, when we use resources, their stock exhausts. That means development leads to the depletion of resources. It is therefore important that we use the available resources for the benefit of all and not to satisfy our greed. At the same time, we need to invest in alternative sources of energy such as wind or solar.

11. List a few examples of environmental degradation that you may have observed around you.


Deforestation is the biggest environmental degradation that I observe in my state. Forests are cleared for agricultural and industrial purposes. The decrease in forest area has also led to a decrease in the annual rainfall. Another problem that affects my state Kerala is the excessive mining of river sand. As the sand bed thins, the river loses its ability to hold water. Consequently, the state is facing severe drought like situations in the summer months. Depletion of ground water resources is yet another problem that I am sure will create many problems for my state in the coming years. Tube wells are being dug without any concern for the environmental degradation they cause.

13. Refer page number 17


(i) Compare the nutritional level of people in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh


According to a survey of various states for the year 2005-06, 22% of the male population and 18% of the female population of Kerala are undernourished. That means 1 in every 5 person in Kerala is undernourished. In Madhya Pradesh 42% of the male population and 38% of the female population are undernourished. That means 2 in every 5 person living in MP is undernourished. This also means that about half of the people living in MP are undernourished. Undernourishment has far reaching consequences for the people and the country. It prevents a person from reaching their full physical and intellectual potential. It is not possible for a country or a state to develop when more than one-third of people are undernourished.

(ii) Can you guess why around one-third of people in the country are undernourished even though it is argued that there is enough food in the country? Describe in your own words.


There is enough food in the country; yet 1 in 3 Indians are undernourished. This is because although the nation produces enough food for all the people, only two-third of them has the means to access it. The rest of the population does not have access to adequate food because of various factors such as poverty. The public distribution system which provides food grains at highly subsidized rates for people below the poverty line is fully functional in states like Kerala or Tamil Nadu. Consequently, the percentage of undernourished people in those states is considerably lower than that in states like Jharkhand where only 8% of the people have access to a ration shop. Thus although the country produces enough food, about one-third of its people do not have enough to eat.

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