Looking to the Future
A land with thousands of years of history, India chose a system of politician allegiance to democratic principles and voluntary compliance. This is in stark contrast to regional rival China which had chosen a much stricter and coercive system of government. Although the latter system has achieved great results for China, it comes at a price. Human rights violations and lack of freedom are a constant affront for the people. India on the other hand, a country of great aspirations and as many frustrations is lagging behind but still in the realms of a newly industrialised country with democratic rights for all its citizens. It is the country full of great heritage and culture galore.
So how is India progressing?
India has the 5th largest economy by nominal GDP. It accounted for 3% of the world’s GDP compared to 8.5% in 2017. It is now bigger than its colonial master! It is the 3rd largest by purchasing power parity (ppp).
Literacy rates have increased from 12% in 1947 to 74% in 2017. Oxbridge and Ivy League universities are still prized career ladders, but the famous IIT colleges of India are now some of the world’s best. The CEO’s of Google and Microsoft are both IIT educated.
India may not be the most powerful nation on the planet, but can be considered the most diverse religiously. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are the birthplace. Zoroastrianism is the adopted faith. Islam numbers the second highest in the world and other faiths have significant influence in the country. As a secular nation, it celebrates all the major faiths as well as numerous others.
The biggest producer of films in the world. Bollywood itself is now becoming intertwined with Hollywood productions and the crossover has begun. Hollywood produces around 700 films per year compared to Indian cinema which releases around 1200.
Food grain production has increased five-fold since independence making famine a very rare occurrence. In the last famine in 1943 before independence, two million people died in Bengal. Poverty has fallen from over 80% in 1947 to around 22% currently.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sent a mission to Mars which was cheaper than the Hollywood blockbuster Gravity - that is around $70m. ISRO also released 104 satellites in a single mission – a world record.