India is known for many things – a vast history, diverse culture, versatile geography and lately, as one of the fastest growing economies of the world. With a pro reforms government at the center and the growing interest of global investors, experts believe that India is all set to be the world’s next big superpower.
Although, it’s not the best time for most major emerging economies, India remains a bright spot. The latest economic data shows that India’s annual economic growth actually accelerated to 7.4 percent over the last quarter, up from 7.0 percent in the previous quarter. There are many reasons for this surge in growth rates.
In his first year in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was elected on the promise of development, has moved on a number of fronts and has achieved considerable success. Government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat (Clean India) have helped in improving the perception of the country. He has travelled the whole world to woo global investors and the investors are responding. Today, India is considered as one of the hottest investment destinations in the world. For investments in sectors like Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Communications, Defense, etc., the government is seeking partnerships with countries like USA, UK, Japan, Russia, etc.
Developing countries around the world are comparing India and China, struggling to decide which model is best for achieving rapid economic growth. The authoritarian government of China has been key in achieving historic growth rates. Obstacles that generally frustrate growth in a democratic India can be bulldozed away in China. India must prove that democracy doesn’t equate to inefficiency and that free people are capable of reform. The Indian government is also working towards making it easier to do business in India by simplifying processes and approvals.
One of India’s biggest strength is the population mix. With 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population. Skilling the youth of India should be top priority for the Indian government, which will go a long way in developing a sustainable economy.
It shouldn’t be a surprise if India achieves real double-digit annual growth rates for the next 20 years. After all, India can merge the best of both worlds: harnessing the expansion that comes from catching up with the developed world and enjoying the growth that comes with its high-tech expertise. This will not only benefit the people of India in terms of a strong economy and improved standard of living, it will also set an example for the rest of the developing world. Perhaps this will be the true sense in which India can achieve superpower status.