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‘India will be among top 3 nations by 2050'

Special Correspondent



Making a point: Planning Commission Member Arun Maira and Dr. Habil F. Khorakiwala, chairman, Wockhardt Limited, at the 3

HYDERABAD: Planning Commission Member Arun Maira has said that by 2050, India will be in the top three nations globally, with China and United States, in terms of Gross Domestic Product and per capita income.

Delivering the 3 {+r} {+d} Dr. B.L. Maheshwari Memorial lecture on the theme ‘21 {+s} {+t} Century Planning and Leadership for India', he said currently India and China were way below the US that had a GDP size of between US $ 10000 and 12,000 billion and a per capita between US $ 38,000 and 40,000, quoting a Goldman Sachs report. However, he said the way ahead would not be as easy as the forecast sounded, even given India's demographic advantages.

“Granted that India would have a potential surprise population of 47 million people in the working age group by 2020,” he said, but pointed out at the realities. He explained that 480 million people were under the age of 18, but 45 per cent of Indian children were severely malnourished comprising almost half of the world's malnourished and less than 40 per completed Class X in school, with only 75 per cent reaching Class V.

He said only 31 per cent of Indians had adequate sanitation facilities, while 139 million did not have access to safe drinking water. Considering these facts, the planners were working out how to engage a diverse nation democratically in the quest for sustained security and prosperity by coming up with new models of change and leadership.

Mr. Maira recalled a study conducted a few years ago, on which two expert groups comprising those in India and the United Kingdom had worked out an analysis. The groups had come up with three models, naming them ‘Atakta Bharat' (India getting stuck) ‘Bolly World' (resembling the movies where everything was shown as hunky dory) and ‘Pehle India' (India First). Narrating how the models worked, he explained why ‘Pehle India', the third one, that had the components of integration with the world, inclusive growth and development, would work to propel the nation into its vision for 2050. The way ahead was to work on a sound macro-economic framework and progress. This involved enabling children and women to access relevant knowledge using technology, facilitate local initiatives, strengthen infrastructure and propagate success stories to build confidence.

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