"A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up - and succeed." - A P J Abdul Kalam.
The economy of India is eleventh largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).The country's per capita GDP (PPP) is $3,176 (IMF, 127th) in 2009. Following strong economic reforms from the socialist inspired economy of a post-independence Indian nation, the country began to develop a fast-paced economic growth, as free market principles were initiated in 1990 for international competition and foreign investment. Economists predict that by 2020, India will be among the leading economies of the world.
A German survey; result of a worldwide representative survey by the German Bertelsmann Stiftung says that three-fourth of Indians see themselves as a super power in 2020.
In distinction, 57 % see the USA as world power, followed by 55 % for China, 32 % for Japan, 30 % for the EU and 26 % for Russia. India ranks sixth but above the UN, and the countries like UK, Germany, France, and Brazil.
Presently 12 % of surveyed people rank India as great power. But if counts in India, the percentage goes to 39 %. “Mera Bharat Mahan” element knocks heart of India every time.
As India is a large nation with 2nd largest population few issues still left which needs to work out to make India super power?
- Infrastructure- Roads, electricity, airports
- Social issues Poverty, Corruption, Population
Connectivity (Transport): Airports, Roads, Railway network India still working hard to provide connectivity to all based on growing demand for increasing pressure on transport network. It is a big challenge for India to provide road connectivity with good quality of roads to rural as well as metro locations. In metros pressure on roads is very high so either government has to find new meanings of public transport or make wider and high quality roads. For India to become super power this is big challenge for Indian government.
A good road network can generate many commercial and social benefits for rural economies through increasing access to goods as well as services such as health and education, said the World Bank’s Country Director for India, Roberto Zagha.
As per the National Highways Authority of India, about 65% of freight and 80% passenger traffic is carried by the roads. The National Highways carry about 40% of total road traffic, though only about 2% of the road network is covered by these roads.
Kingfisher Airlines, Air India and Jet Airways are the most popular brands in domestic air travel in order of their market share. These airlines connect more than 80 cities across India and also operate overseas routes after the liberalization of Indian aviation. However, a large section of country's air transport system remains untapped.
India is world's 6th largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4% of global energy consumption. Due to India's economic rise, the demand for energy has grown at an average of 3.6% per annum over the past 30 years. In June 2010, the installed power generation capacity of India stood at 162,366 MW while the per capita energy consumption stood at 612 kWH.
Electricity losses in India during transmission and distribution are extremely high and vary between 30 to 45%. In 2004-05, electricity demand outstripped supply by 7-11%.
So from above facts one can understand India is lagging behind in power sector. And this is one of the hurdles to India to become the super power. The Government of India has an ambitious mission of POWER FOR ALL BY 2012. This mission would require that the installed generation capacity should be at least 200,000 MW by 2012 from the present level of 164,800 MW. Power requirement will double by 2020 to 400,000MW.
Due to shortage of electricity, power cuts are common throughout India and this has adversely effected the country's economic growth.
Objectives for power sector:
* Sufficient power to achieve GDP growth rate of 8% * Reliable power * Quality power * Optimum power cost * Commercial viability of power industry * Power for all
Education in India is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: federal, state, and local. Child education is compulsory.
India has made a huge progress in terms of increasing primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately two thirds of the population.
India continues to face stern challenges. Despite growing investment in education, 35% of its population is still illiterate; only 15% of Indian students reach high school, and just 7% graduate. As of 2008, India's post-secondary high schools offer only enough seats for 7% of India's college-age population, 25% of teaching positions nationwide are vacant, and 57% of college professors lack either a master's or PhD degree. As of 2007, there are 1522 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with an annual student intake of 582,000, plus 1,244 polytechnics with an annual intake of 265,000. However, these institutions face shortage of faculty and concerns have been raised over the quality of education.
Women have much lower literacy rate than men. Far fewer girls are enrolled in the schools, and many of them drop out. According to a 1998 report by U.S. Department of Commerce, the chief barrier to female education in India are inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in curriculum (majority of the female characters being depicted as weak and helpless). Conservative cultural attitudes stop girls from attending school.
So for India as super power in 2020 it has to improve quality of education. And reach of education to whole country is must.
Socio economic issues:
One-third of India's population (roughly equivalent to the entire population of the United States) lives below the poverty line. India is home to one-third of the world's poor people. Though middle class has gained from recent positive economic developments, India suffers from substantial poverty. Wealth distribution in India is fairly uneven, with the top 10% of income groups earning 33% of the income. Despite significant economic progress, 1/4 of the nation's population earns less than the government-specified poverty threshold of $0.40/day.
So if we want to see India as super power we have to find out the ways to increase per capita income.
Corruption is widespread in India. India is ranked 72 out of a 179 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, although its score has improved consistently from 2.7 in 2002 to 3.5 in 2007. Corruption has taken the role of a pervasive aspect of Indian politics and bureaucracy.
In India, corruption takes the form of bribes, evasion of tax and exchange controls, embezzlement, etc. A 2005 study done by Transparency International (TI) India found that more than 50% had firsthand experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office. The chief economic consequences of corruption are the loss to the exchequer, an unhealthy climate for investment and an increase in the cost of government-subsidized services. The TI India study estimates the monetary value of petty corruption in 11 basic services provided by the government, like education, healthcare, judiciary, police, etc., to be around Rs.21, 068 crores. Political corruption in India is a major concern.
Criminalization of Indian politics is a major setback as well as a serious problem. In July 2008 The Washington Post reported that nearly a fourth of the 540 Indian Parliament members faced criminal charges, "including human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder".
India suffers from problem of overpopulation. Though India ranks second in population, it ranks 33 in terms of population density below countries such as The Netherlands, South Korea and Japan. To cure this problem, Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, had implemented a forced sterilization program in the early 1970s but failed.
Agricultural and allied sectors accounted for about 52.1% of the total workforce in 2009-10. While agriculture has faced stagnation in growth, services have seen a steady growth. Of the total workforce, 8% is in the organized sector, two-thirds of which are in the public sector. The NSSO survey estimated that in 1999-2000, 106 million, nearly 10% of the population were unemployed and the overall unemployment rate was 7.3%, with rural areas doing marginally better (7.2%) than urban areas (7.7%). India's labor force is growing by 2.5% annually, but employment only at 2.3% a year.