It is said, “We no longer discuss the future of India, we say future is India.” This optimism for India’s rise in the 21st century is not random but has strong historical and analytical backing. If we go back to the 17th century, economic historians point out that India then accounted for about 23% of the world’s GDP. India’s share of world income went down from around 23% in 1700 (when Europe’s share was 23%) to about 3% in 1950 as a result of colonial rule. Some historians opine that India was the largest economy of the world in the 1st millennium, i.e., for 1000 years from 1 to 1000 CE and was described as a ‘golden sparrow.’
A key question for 1.3 billion Indians is whether we can reclaim the position held for a thousand years or even that which we occupied in the 17th century. The answer to this question lies in the achievement that we made after independence. The period after 1947 was of momentous significance. We took giant strides in various fields that helped to release the people and the country from the shackles of colonialism.
The 21st century has brought new hopes and aspirations among the people of India. These hopes and aspirations of the people have been created by various research and analyses conducted by different institutions worldwide. Today, India is the sixth-largest economy in the world in terms of GDP; but most analysts agree that by 2030, it would be on its way to become the third-largest after the US and China.
Apart from rapid economic growth, India is also an emerging military power. With the largest defence budget among South Asian countries, India possesses nuclear weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, aircraft carriers, etc. India has made huge progress in space technology, embarking on ambitious projects such as the Mars Orbiter Mission, which has not only garnered international acclaim but has also demonstrated India’s prowess in space technology and innovation.
1. Demographic Dividend:
India’s young population presents a significant opportunity for economic growth and innovation. A well-educated and skilled workforce can contribute significantly to the development and adoption of new technologies, boosting productivity and economic growth.
2. Technological Advancements:
India’s advancements in information technology, space research, and other fields hold the potential to drive innovation, improve infrastructure, and enhance the quality of life for millions of citizens.
1. Income Inequality:
One of the major challenges facing India is the stark income inequality. Ensuring equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities is paramount for sustained economic growth and social harmony.
2. Environmental Sustainability:
Balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability is another crucial challenge. India must adopt eco-friendly practices and technologies to preserve its natural resources for future generations.
3. Infrastructure Development:
Adequate investment in infrastructure development is essential for supporting India’s growing economy and population.
In conclusion, India’s rise in the 21st century, filled with numerous opportunities, is not without its share of challenges. Tackling these issues effectively while harnessing the available opportunities will pave the way for India to reclaim its historic economic position; ensuring prosperity and progress for its people in the years to come.