THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
V.K .R.V. Rao, India’s National II/come 1950 1980. All Analysis of Economic Growth and Change. Sage Publications India Pvt . Ltd., New Delhi, 1983, pp.xv + 208, Tables (text) 146 + (appendix) 6, Appendices, Index; Price (hardbound edition) Rupees (Indian) 125.00.
The history of Indian national income estimates goes back to 1876 when Dadabhai Naoroji made the first crude estimates for the year 1867-68. However, these estimates and most of the work that followed was tainted by the political biases of t he researchers. The main purpose of national income statisticians including Naoroji, uptil 1934, was to point out the stark poverty and sub-marginal conditions of an average Indian as a direct result of an alien rule. In 1934 V.K.R.V. Rao published “an Essay on India’s National Income, 1925- 29”, which IS widely regarded as the first authentic academic exercise into the estimation of the national income of India. In 1949 the Government of India, realizing the need for reliable estimates of national income for policy purposes appointed the National Income Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Mahalanobis. The Committee had two members, Professor Gadgil of the Gokhale Institute lt Poona and Professor Rao, the then head of the Delhi School of Economics. This Committee was responsible for putting the national accounts estimation of India on a modern footing.