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“India yet to reach in the League of Developed Nation”
When India got independence on August 15, 1947 and chose democratic form of the government, many countries in the world mocked India and predicted the collapse of Indian democracy by the middle of the 20th century. But for their dismay, India is today the largest democracy of the world.
At the same time when the world was divided into socialist and capitalist countries ushering the cold war, though India claimed to be a mixed economy having features of both socialism and capitalist form of economies, inclination of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru towards socialism was not hidden from anyone. In fact socialism was mentioned in the preamble of the constitution as well.
Politically, India is one of the very successful countries of the world where a vibrant democracy has thrived for the last 69 years; however, as far as overall development is concerned, we are yet to reach into the league of developed countries.
Some of the significant indicators which would indicate how far India had travelled on the road to development since Independence in 1947 are as under:
Per Capita GDP:
Though GDP is not accepted as the sole indicator of development but everyone agrees that it is one of the most important criteria to check the level of economic development in a country. According to the World Bank, the per capita GDP of India in year 2013 was around US$1500. During the same year, per capita GDP for the US was US$ 53000. Though difference would be narrowed if it is calculated on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) but there is no denying of fact that India had to miles to go to put its foot in the league of developed countries on the basis of GDP per capita.
As already stated, GDP is not the sole criteria of per capita of income. Realising this fact, the United National Development Programme has started releasing the Human Development Index (HDI) which is a composite index of development measured on the basis of per capita GDP (the economic indicator), life expectancy (health indicator) and gross enrolment ratio (indicator of literacy). In the Human Development Report (HDR) of 2014, India was ranked 135 among 187 countries that were ranked on the basis of HDI. As per the HDI, India is a medium development country coming into the leagues of countries like Egypt, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa, Indonesia etc. The top 5 countries on the basis of HDI are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the US.
In the global ranking of educational institutions, none of the Indian University ranks in top 200 universities of the world. The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT- B) which is the top ranked institute in India was placed at 222 in global ranking of institutions. If we exclude the few top notch institutes and universities in India, the standard of higher education is very traditional and pathetic where graduates and post graduates are produced just for the sake of getting tag of graduate. There is no university industry interface which would help in changing the structure of education according to the needs of industry. Recent controversies relating to fake degrees scandal had increased the gap between level of higher education in India and that of developed countries.
Innovation is the factor which economists believe would be the driver of future growth. The level of innovation in a country is determined by the level of research and development (R&D) taking place as well as the recognition of that R&D by filing patents on time. In the global list of countries ranked according to the filing of patents, India ranked 7th with 43,955 patents in 2012. However, 78% of these patents were filed by NRIs which means that only 22% of the patents were indigenous. It is because of the low level of research and development in the country. While countries like Japan and South Korea spends 3.67% and 4.36% of their GDP respectively, the R and D expenditure in India is less than 1%.
If we compare India to the countries like China, Singapore, etc. who were more or less at the same level of development in 1950, they are far ahead than India in every respect except the population growth. However, the social and political dimensions of China and Singapore are very different from India. India is a very diverse country unlike China with a thriving democracy and here any policy is not imposed upon its citizens but a consensus is reached. Similarly, India is not a small island nation like Singapore and here a pan India implementation is not as easy as in Singapore.
Despite all the challenges, India has scripted a very exemplary story of development by involving the every section of the society. Though India has yet to find itself in the queue of developed countries, there are areas like information technology, atomic research, and space research etc, where India is second to none.
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