Can India Emerge As A Superpower by 2020?

Posted on September 18, 2010 in Business and Economy

By Aditi Kumar:

With the current geopolitics being highly unpolar and treading on thin ice, the countries which strike right will dominate the global arena in the coming years. It goes without saying that the countries which are currently looked upto as potential successors of U.S.A and other European countries in global economic and political supremacy are the BRMIC (Brazil,Russia,Mexico,India and China)

All these countries have different reasons to feature in this exclusive list, The Latin American countries for their rich resources of raw material and high investment conducive environment, China has already proven its potential by its rapid capture of global markets and the will to fully exploit its human resources through a staunch Communist stance.

Now the question is how well does India justify its position here and thus, will it be able to maintain it and rise up to the expectations of being a superpower within the near future. India has of course come a long way since its independence,and there the bandwagon stops.

Since the past two decades, India has been enjoying the status of imperialism in the info-tech sector,being one of the major markets for IT industry . Then as a developing country it has mass potential in terms of an emerging market for investment, a pool of young educated and internationally competent professionals. We have all the tools, but the mechanism is not in place.

India’s middle class is very ideally clinged onto this Utopic idea of Superpowerhood, but only thinking about it will not make it happen. We have some major constraints that pull us back and have made us one fourth the size of our giant neighbours economy in terms of GDP over these two decades. So what are these problems?

The one and major is the pervasive poverty that impedes India’s progress in every sector, every way. We have not been able to absolutely tackle the problem in spite of it being a major highlight in every five year plan conceived since independence. What has been happening all these years is creation of a widening gap between the rural and the urban and middle-class. And with poverty, needless to say, attach all these problems of malnutrition, illiteracy and lack of basic facilities in the lives of the impoverished. We face major internal security threats with Naxals and citizens in complete agitation with the country. Food security is another major issue at hand where on the one hand we see our food grains go waste due to lack of storage and at the same time face hunger and malnutrition problems. Our growth today, does not overshadow or in any way minimise the pertinence of these problems.

Another major factor which affects a country’s growth is of course its system of governance. India has been this fairly hyped largest democracy in the world, but its effectiveness is getting less credible as you speak. What we need are radical moves and radical changes and a stronger government hand in policy implementation. The country almost need the rule of the stick to inculcate what we direly lack in all spheres of life: discipline. The Indian system of governance has always been about the petty politics of retention of power and patronage.

We have to bring ourselves to terms with reality and hence predict our country’s fate. Without structural changes in economy, we cannot expect it to race ahead of its time. Research, innovation, risk taking policy and absolute implementation is the need of the hour. Capacity building and decreasing our dependence on other economies is another requirement. We still are major importers of our Arms and ammunition which means dependency, as opposed to China which is now among the five major exporters of the same.

The ambitions for this sub-continent are not Utopic, but will be if we don’t find the right way to realise them. With the passing of the nuclear liability bill, we are at a position to exploit our nuclear capabilities. The recent global economic recession and how our country was relatively less affected and also was one of the first to recover, shows the existence of a stable and growing economy. The output is expected to increase by 10% in the next few years. So the cynics won’t be here to stay long, but in order to make our presence assertive globally, we need to employ a focussed approach in achieving our goals. With global and regional competition from China, it sure seems a Herculean task,but so has every major achievement been, and we all know this one will have more rewarding results than we could ever fathom,after all super powerdom is one ring that will rule them all.

The writer is the Assignments Editor at Youth Ki Awaaz.