independence in 1947. It has also made these programmes a focus of interest to those in other countries who would either like to copy some of their features, or use them as the basis for avoiding similar programmes in their own country. On the one hand, like similar schemes in the United States,
these programmes have a considerable constituency and are perceived as politically popular. On the other hand, a body of economic criticism has emerged which questions whether the programmes concerned are a cost-effective use of public resources. The critics suggest that they may even hinder
the technological development of Indian industry.