Let's get straight to the point: India is one of the biggest developing countries today. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a detailed, strong vision of developing our country and taking the lead in the 21st century. He believes that India’s journey towards being a developed country should be completed in one generation. If we consider this looking at the current developments in our country, it is an achievable goal.
Let’s take a look at the post-independence era and the rise of a great country called India.
India became independent on 15th August 1947. With a mere 2.33% GDP growth in 1951-52, the country started developing in various sectors. It has had a steady growth ever since. In a few decades of being free from the colonial rule, India's economy expanded, and today, the nation's foreign exchange reserves have touched $400 billion. The country has been making progress in almost every sector, to take forward the economy.
Here is a look at the three key macro indicators of India's economy since independence.
India’s GDP has grown from Rs. 2.7 lakh crore to Rs. 113.58 lakh crore (2015-16) in the 70 years of independence. India is currently the world’s seventh largest economy. It is growing fast at and is expected to have an economy that is projected as the world’s second largest, behind China, by 2050.
2. Foodgrain Production
India's food grain production has more than doubled over the decades and has reached record 273.38 million tonnes during 2016-2017.
3. Industrial Development
Industrialisation began soon after the independence, in public, private and joint sectors. With a lot of resources and raw material available in the country, Bokaro, Rourkela, Ranchi, Renukoot, Bhilai, Jamshedpur, etc. had emerged as major industrial hubs during the first few decades post independence.
Today, the core industrial sector is showing strong growth and in the next 50 years, it will probably grow faster than the rest of the world.
Let’s move on to the current situation that is helping India advance and will lead to India being the growth engine for the 21st century.
1. Curbing the Corruption and Making India Go Digital
Recently, there have been quite a few advancements that have led to digitalisation in India. One of the major examples is demonetisation. Our Prime Minister brought out a sudden change in our economy by announcing demonetisation. There were mainly two reasons for it to take place: First, to bring into circulation all the black money that has been causing corruption and assisting Maoists, Naxalites, and other terrorist groups and second, to encourage cashless transactions.
Due to this, digital transactions have surged in a range of 400-1000% since 8th November 2016, when the government announced the discontinuation of 500 and 1000 the rupee notes. It has led to the usage of digital currency through bank transactions, online payments, electronic payment apps, etc. From businesspeople to housewives to milkmen, everybody is switching to digital payment methods nowadays which is leading the digitalisation efforts.
Apart from the fact that Indians are now switching to digital payments, there have been other developments too. One such big change is the entry of Jio in the Indian Telecom Sector. Jio launched budget-friendly offers in such a way that high-speed internet became affordable to a majority of Indian citizens. This led to competition in the market where each mobile network company dropped their rates to as low as possible, reducing communication charges across the country and effectively making India go digital.
2. Implementation of GST
The implementation of goods and service tax in 2017 has led to a lot of benefits, but it will also have a huge positive impact on our country’s economy in the coming years. It is expected to ease the double taxation problem, helping many industries considerably. It will make Indian products competitive in domestic as well as international markets.
GST will also make international trade more accessible by simplifying the import and export businesses. Though it has faced a few hurdles since its launch, GST does have a lot of positives for the economy.
3. The Make In India Campaign
On 25th September 2017, our Lion turned 3. The goal of this initiative is to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. It is progressing extremely well. By October 2017, India moved up reached the 100th position in "Ease of Doing Business 2017" report, while attracting investments worth billions of USD from major companies like Samsung, Phillips, LG, Bosch, and Flextronics. This campaign will help India attract more investments into the manufacturing sector and hopefully break the Chinese dominance as the "World's Factory".
Also, while we fuel our economic growth, our Science and Technology sector is also reaching the stars, literally. ISRO has reached the Mars and also achieved a big milestone with the launch of 104 satellite in one single launch in Feb 2017. This launch is a definite benefit not just commercially, but it will help India create its place of strategic importance in the space industry.
We are developing in the education field too. The Indian online education sector is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 52% to $1.96 billion by 2021, according to a joint study by Google and KPMG.
Still not sure why India will probably be the growth engine for the 21st century? Let me take you on a "metro ride" and give out some facts.
- India is home to around 1.34 billion people that is, 18% of the world population. We are also the world’s largest youth population. Hence India clearly has huge human resource availability.
- According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017, India ranks 23 among all the other countries for a perceived efficiency of public spending.
- India is one of the major exporters of IT and software services. This sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy. Our net IT exports grew from nearly nothing in 1990 to around $70 billion, two decades later.
- India is the second-largest English speaking country in the world, fueling the strong growth of the outsourcing industry.
- India produces the largest number of films in the world. Well, this matters too, no? ;)
As you can see, there are a lot of positives and really not many obstacles that can stop India from being the growth engine of the 21st century. Unless we do something stupid, we are going to be a superpower, and I am so proud to be a part of this growth through our businesses and non profit initiatives, here at Deshpee.
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