A T T I T U D E S O F I N D I A N A. B. O J H A * S T U D E N T...
A T T I T U D E S O F I N D I A N
A. B. O J H A *
S T U D E N T S T O T H E F I V E - Y E A R
P L A N S O F I N D I A
But any definite conclusion, from a psycho-
logist's point of view, would have been a
T h e First and Second Five-Year Plans gross exaggeration unless a research tool was
of the Government of India are the first available by the use of which the attitude
two in the series undertaken by the could be objectively assessed and the effects
National Planning Commission to initiate of a number of socio-psychological variables
a process of development which will raise ascertained. In fact there are some reports
living standards and open out to the people relating social factors to attitudes to the
new opportunities for a richer and more plans, but these reports are scattered in the
varied life. These plans are crucial for the form of comments in daily and weekly news-
nation as besides providing hope for the papers, magazines, speeches of eminent
future, they also at present do involve a persons in India and abroad and there is
tremendous amount of national wealth. no review, as far as is known to the present
foreign exchange and h u m a n efforts. How-
author, on this subject.
ever it is rather surprising t h a t since the
initiation of the planning system in 1950,
W i t h these considerations in mind, a small
no attempt has ever been m a d e to assess survey was undertaken. This report deals
people's attitudes to this aspect of their chiefly with
(a) Development of a scale to measure
attitudes toward the plans
A general discussion of these plans and
(b) Some hypotheses concerning associa-
of their sociological and psychological
tions between attitudes towards the
implications revealed t h a t
plans (their various aspects) and
(a) people differed widely in their
some social variables (e.g. sex,
evaluation of the outcome of the
educational level, faculty and social
class or socio-economic status).
(b) the student population of the
universities and colleges of India were
D E V E L O P M E N T O F T H E SCALE
slow to become plan-conscious despite
T h e Likert1 (1932) method was followed.
the efforts of University Planning For this, 200 statements pertaining to
various aspects of the First and Second
(c) students held different opinions re-
Five-Year Plans were collected from news-
garding different aspects of the plans papers, periodicals and relevant literature
(e.g. social, economic, practical and on the subject. T h e statements were given
to two experts for their comments and
*Mr. Ojha is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Bihar University,. He is
now at the Student Health Centre, University College, London.
The author's thanks are due to Messrs. B. N. Shahee and B. L. J h a for their assistance
in the collection of data.
(1932) , A Techniqu e for the Measurement of Attitude , Arch. Psychol. 140.
A. B. OJHA
suggestions. On the basis of their evaluation, ment to strong agreement (the scoring was
a list of 66 statements was provisionally reversed for negative items). In this way
selected and was then administered to a the higher the total score, the more favour-
sample of 30 students of Bihar University. able the attitude: an overall score of 200,
Using the Arbitrary Weighting method score 160, 120, 80 and 40 was indicative of a
values were determined for each statement. strongly favourable, favourable, neutral,
The item-consistency was secured by com-
unfavourable and strongly unfavourable
paring the average scores of the highest attitude to the plans respectively.
and the lowest 33 per cent scoring subjects.
The items then were analysed for their
discriminatory power. Only 40 items which
The results set out in Tables 2-4 are
differentiated (the criterion being a differ-
based on the analyses of 100 returned
ence of 1.5 scale point) the highest and the questionnaires. There were 65 males and
lowest 33 per cent scoring subjects were 35 females; 54 postgraduates and 46 under-
incorporated into the final scale (see graduates. Seventy-three evaluated them-
appendix). The split-half reliability, after selves as belonging to social class 1, 17 social
the Spearman-Brown Correction, was .84 class 2 and only 10 social class 3. The faculty
which indicated that it was a satisfactory of study was evenly distributed: 50 arts and
scale for the proposed investigation.
50 science students. In all comparisons, the
statistical significance was tested by the Chi
square or whenever appropriate the Fisher's
The attitude scale consisting of 40 items (a) Attitude toward the Plans
was administered to a comparatively homo-
geneous sample of 125 students of L.S.
Table 2 shows that 65 were found to hold
College, Bihar University. Their ages favourable, 28 unfavourable and 7 neutral
ranged from 19 to 26 years with a mean attitudes to the plans. Postgraduates evalua-
ted them more favourably than under-
graduates (P = <.01), students from social
(b) Classification of items
class 1 were more favourable in comparison
The scale items were divided into 4 cate-
to students from social classes 2 and 3
gories independently by 3 judges. Table 1 ( P = < . 0 1 ) . No association was found
shows the items that describe attitudes between overall attitudes to the plans and
toward social, economic, cultural and practi-
sex and faculty of study.
cal aspects of the plans.
Items (numbers correspond to statements in the
appendix) referring to different aspects of the plans.
Each positive item was scored 1, 2, 3, 4
and 5 for the degree from strong disagree-
ATTITUDES OF INDIAN STUDENTS TO THE FIVE-YEAR PLANS OF INDIA
(b) Social aspects
Eighty students were found to hold
favourable, 18 unfavourable and 2 neutral
attitudes toward the social aspects of the
plans. Breakdown on faculty (see Table 3)
shows that arts students, as compared to
science, viewed the social aspects of the
plans more favourably ( P = < . 0 5 ) . Students
from social class 2 were more favourable
than those from social class 3 ( P = < . 0 4 5 ) .
(d) Economic and Practical aspects
ATTITUDES TO SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE PLANS
No significant association was found
between attitudes to these aspects of the
plans and different social factors. Science
students were found to be more favourable
to the practical and economic aspects of the
plans as compared with arts students but
the difference was statistically insignificant.
However, 49 out of 64 males as compared
to 17 out of 34 females (P = <.01) were
favourable to the economic aspects of the
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Seven students were non-committal, males
were more favourable than females and
postgraduates more favourable than under-
(c) Cultural aspects
graduates. It is not surprising. The investi-
gation, on the whole, confirms as predicted
Of 100 students, 51 held favourable and that the student population is relatively slow
49 unfavourable attitudes to the cultural in becoming plan conscious and that there
aspects of the plans. Social factors as faculty is considerable difference in attitudes asso-
of study, sex and educational level except ciated with differences in educational level,
social class influenced attitudes to this aspect social class and sex. The social norm—both
very clearly. Arts students were found to be roles and values—differs so much with age,
more favourable than science students sex, socioeconomic status and education that
(P = <.05), females more favourable than attitudes to the plans seem to reflect them.
males ( P = < . 0 1 ) and postgraduates more More neutral and unfavourable attitudes in
favourable than undergraduates ( P = < . 0 5 ) females, their favourable attitude to cultural
No association was found between social aspects and unfavourable attitude to eco-
class and attitudes to the cultural aspects nomic aspects presumably suggest their
of the plans (see Table 4).
subordinate status and lack of responsibility
A. B. OJHA
in the Indian society. Even students in will, therefore, be required before the
general regardless of sex, family background results can be confidently accepted.
and education, one gains the impression,
However, the following interesting trends
more often find it convenient to throw the emerge from this study:
entire responsibility on to persons who
1. Students on the whole hold favourable
actively participate in the policy-making
attitudes to the plans.
without any awareness of the fact that their
2. Male students in general are more
decisions regarding matters of national
favourable in their attitude than
concern also do involve them.
But there are two reservations in respect
3. Favourableness of attitude to the
of the data on which the following
plans correlates highly with educa-
conclusions are based. First, there is no
tional level and social class—the
reason to justify that the attitudes of the
higher the social class and educational
students of one particular college of Bihar
level, the more favourable the
University do necessarily reflect the attitudes
of Indian students in general. Secondly it
4. Attitudes to the plans in general and
was not possible in this report to check the
to their various aspects differ widely
results against contamination due to over-
among students depending upon their
lap. Further studies on a much wider scale
sex, educational level and social class.
ATTITUDES OF INDIAN STUDENTS TO THE FIVE-YEAR PLANS OF INDIA
12. The plans have not rightly directed our
country toward a socialistic pattern of
The Attitude Scale
Below are the forty statements pertaining 13. The plans are the embodiment of
to the First and Second Five-Year Plans
national cooperation and strength of
of India. Here you are required to give
your own opinion to each statement in "your 14. The plans are doing more harm than
opinion" column. Be frank in your judg-
ment. Do not consult anybody while you
give your opinion.
15. The majority of our countrymen have
faith in the plans.
Note: You have to use the following 16. The country cannot prosper, if the
symbols in your judgment:
plans are dropped.
+ + for strongly agree; for — strongly
17. The plans direct the nation's efforts
towards the nation's goals.
+ if you agree on the whole; — if you 18. The people are very hopeful about the
disagree on the whole; and O if you
are undecided about it.
19. Expenditure incurred on the plans has
yielded maximum return.
20. The plans are responsible for present
1. The plans should be continued.
2. The plans encourage social improve-
21. The plans are leading the country to
the ideal of a welfare state.
3. The plans are entirely unnecessary.
22. The plans have brought about an
4. The plans have earned a good reputa-
awakening in the mass.
tion for India.
23. The plans are well thought out steps
5. The plans are both the assessment of
to promote rapid and balanced economic
past achievements and also of the future
24. The plans have made the rich richer;
the poor poorer.
6. The plans do not rebuild rural India.
25. The plans have been able to create a
7. The plans give opportunity of services
new atmosphere in the country and a
in the common cause of eliminating
new outlook in the minds of the people.
26. The people are not ready to meet the
8. Because of the plans, a great and bright
challenge of the plans.
future lies ahead of India.
27. The plans provide progressive improve-
9. The plans have no positive value.
ment in the level of national wealth.
10. The plans give help in meeting our 28. For the success of the plans, it is our
duty to contribute our maximum help.
11. The planning system provides an 29. The plans have given disproportionate
abiding faith in the future of the
weight to rural rather than to the
A. B. O J H A
30. India would have been better off, 36. The plans are bound to succeed as they
without these plans.
are utilising all the available resources
31. The plans are the only means by
of the country.
which the country can materially 37. The plans are too ambitious in scope
to benefit the people.
32. The plans have provided peace and
security to Indians.
38. The plans have provided few facilities
33. The planning forums in colleges have
for the common people.
made the students plan conscious.
39. The plans are not adequate for social
34. The plans benefit no one.
35. The plans constitute the best of all
possible programmes which could be 40. The plans have secured enough public
undertaken by the present government.