Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisages making the nation developed by 2047 but is it easy said than done? Can India use its present resources and manpower to break into the exclusively developed nation category by 2047?
The roadmap: In its recent report the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that with an average annual real GDP growth of 7.6 percent over the next 25 years India can become a developed nation.
Interestingly, India registered a growth of 7.2 percent during the period 2022-23. The RBI’s projection for GDP growth for the current fiscal year is 6.5 percent.
India will have to increase the share of the industrial sector to GDP from the current level of 25.6 percent to 35 percent by 2047-48.
In the next 25 years, Agriculture and services activity would have to grow at 4.9 percent and 13 percent per annum having a sectoral share in GDP at 5 percent and 60 percent, respectively, in 2047-48.
Also at the same time India’s per capita GDP needs to rise by 8.8 times from the current level to become a developed country by 2047. India’s current GDP is USD 2,500 which needs to rise to USD 22,000. At present, the developed world is far ahead in terms of per capita GDP. The OECD countries and the USA have a per capita GDP of USD 42,095 and USD 70,430 respectively.
India is forecasted to become the world’s third-largest economy by as early as 2030 and has a GDP exceeding that of the US by 2060. India of the present day is an economic powerhouse in itself which has increased its per capita GDP by five times since 2000.
Digital technology holds the key:
In the 18th century, India accounted for nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. But due to Colonialism, India became of the poorest nations in the world by the end of the middle of the 20th century.
After independence, India made fast progress and today it has risen to become the fifth-largest economy in the last 76 years after the United States of America, China, Japan, and Germany
The expansive digital public infrastructure has ensured a fast pace of development making delivery to the last mile. In recent times digital technology has advanced our food safety net to 800 million Indians. The government has distributed more than 300 billion dollars of benefits digitally.
India aims to become a developed nation by 2047 when the nation celebrates its 100 years of independence. In this endeavor, it seeks to digitalize even its remotest village.
Challenges: The biggest challenge before India is to transition from an agrarian, informal economy to a services, advanced manufacturing, and knowledge-led hub.
Its growing population also poses a serious problem. As India becomes the world’s largest population country it will provide not only opportunities but also several challenges. Only if India could harness the skill of its citizens and provide adequate opportunities then only it will be able to make the transformation. India’s development journey will provide a model to the world for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
The other big challenge would be to deal with the inequitable distribution of income. India’s bottom half of the population earns Rs 53,610, but the top 10 percent earns 20 times at Rs 11,66,520. While the top 10 percent hold 57 percent of national income (and the top 1 percent hold 22 percent), the share of the bottom 50 percent has slipped to 13 percent. If India envisages becoming a developed nation by 2047 it will have to fill this glaring gap of income inequality.
On the right track: India has been leaving no stone unturned to become a developed nation. A record 13.5 crore people moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21 as per NITI Aayog’s recent Report. Rural areas saw the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59% to 19.28%. Uttar Pradesh registered the highest decline in the number of poor with 3.43 crore, followed by Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Improvements in nutrition, years of schooling, sanitation, and cooking fuel played a significant role in bringing down poverty.
India also has been taking lot many efforts to equip its youth manpower with skills through ambitious schemes such as Skill India. Also, the new National Education Policy emphasizes on skill building of the children from a very young age.