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The evolution of Indian rural development programmes over the last 20 years is reviewed, showing how policies arise from political and administrative interaction and emphasizing the effects of deficient knowledge of rural development processes, with a view to guiding future policy making. In Part I, The evaluation of rural development policy, J. W. Mellor discusses in general terms the rural development policy since 1947, appraising the effect of each of the 5-year plans. The three sections following analyse in detail rural development in three different areas, expanding some of the points made in Part I. Part II, The farmers of Raipur (T. F. Weaver) illustrates the bearing of Indian history and institutions such as the caste system on contemporary problems. Against a substantial background in microclimatology and agronomy technical detail is given regarding the need for agricultural research, specifying the extremely complex irrigation problem. In Part III, The traders of Sholapur, U. J. Leledeals almost exclusively with the trading patterns and organization of the grain merchants of Sholapur District, western India. Refined statistical measures of the degree of perfection with which markets work are provided. Part IV, The village of Senapur (S. R. Simon) illustrates the interaction beteen the rural and urban sectors by describing income, consumption and investment changes in this north Indian village over 10 years. The implications of economic development for the total fabric of rural society are examined. In Part V, J. W. Mellor considers the prospects for future agricultural production increase and for relieving rural unemployment, the next problems likely to be encountered, and the lesson on rural development emerging from Indian experience. P.H.

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