Regional socio-economic disparities in the Kashmir Valley (India) – a geographical approach
KeywordsIndia, Kashmir Valley, regional disparities, countries, factor analysis
The problem of regional disparities in the levels of social and economic development is a universal phenomenon. Both developed and developing countries have witnessed this problem in the path of their socio-economic advancement. India is a large federal nation and it is well known that there are widespread disparities in the levels of socio-economic development among the different regions of the Indian nation. Balanced regional development has always been an essential component of India’s national development strategy in order to ensure the unity and integrity of the nation. Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India, has been divided into three geo-physical regions, viz. Jammu, the Valley of Kashmir and the Ladakh. The Kashmir Valley is the most thickly populated area of the state; the overriding characteristics of the economy of the Kashmir Valley is its extreme backwardness which is largely the result of the peculiar physical features of the Valley and traditional society. The indicators to be used in the present study have been assigned statistical weights derived through the factor analysis method. The changes in the index values have been examined to trace the direction of development. Finally, the sectoral indices have been pooled together to derive a comprehensive composite index of development. This gives an aggregate picture of the changes in the levels of development of all the tehsils over two time periods, i.e. 1981 and 2001.
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