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Indian Economy In The Ages Of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

India needs the values ​​of Gandhi and Buddha, Vivekananda's vision and JRD Tata's goal more than ever to become 'Ram Rajya' in the coming period

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This year we are completing 75 glorious years of being an independent nation. 15 August 1947, the day was also the beginning of the renovation of the economy. The country was badly impoverished and financially collapsed by the various attacks by the British. In the last 75 years, Indian democracy has come a long way with many twists and turns. According to Bank of America, the Indian economy is expected to become the third largest by 2031.  

When India became independent in 1947, its GDP or total income was Rs 2.7 lakh crore and its population was 34 Crore, whereas today, in 2022, the country's GDP is about Rs 235 lakh crore and its population is more than 1.3 billion. India's literacy rate has increased from about 12 per cent in 1947 to 75 per cent today.  

India, which faced a shortage of food grains at the time of independence, is now self-reliant in exporting food grains to countries across the world. The Green Revolution resulted in record grain production. India has now become the largest producer and consumer of pulses. It is the second largest producer of sugar and the third largest producer of cotton. In 1970, the White Revolution (Operation Flood) turned the country into the largest milk producer in the world.  

Road and highway construction, airports and ports have been expanded across the country to increase mobility. Indian Railways is now one of the largest railway networks in the world comprising 1,21,520 km of tracks and 7,305 stations. Like the lines of fate, roads are the way to progress. In 2001, the Vajpayee government launched the Golden Quadrilateral, the largest highway project in India, connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. For the first time in the country, 37 km of national highways are being built every day from 6 to 12 lanes. The total length of national highways in the country was 24,000 km in 1947 which has now increased to 1,40,115 km. Today the Indian road network has become the largest in the world. Electricity was available in only 3,061 villages in 1950, while 5,97,376 villages were electrified by 2020.  

The advent of large-scale computerization in the mid-eighties is one of the significant positive developments for post-independence India, which ultimately led to India being regarded as a huge IT power. The future of the country is 'digital'. The rise of digital transactions and the growing popularity of QR codes among small merchants are in the headlines, with temples getting digital donations through QR codes.  

The industrial licensing system was abolished in 1991 by globalizing the economy and opening up the economy to more private sector participation as well as foreign investment. India's ranking in the global GDP rose rapidly due to the 1991 reforms. The rise and fall of any economy is largely dependent on the health of its financial sector.  

In the 75 years of independence, the role of banking has always been important and it has progressed through several stages. Nationalization in 1969 shifted banking from 'class banking' to 'mass banking' (social banking). In 1947, there were about 5000 branches of 664 private banks, today about 1 lakh 40 thousand branches of 12 government banks, 22 private sector banks, 43 regional rural banks and 46 foreign banks functioning in the country. In this year's budget, India has announced a digital currency. The merger of HDFC Bank with the parent Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) will make it one of the top 10 most valuable banks in the world and will also be the first Indian bank to break into the world's top 10 clubs.  

In pharmaceuticals, India is now a major producer and is constantly conducting new research to develop new drugs. The country touched new global benchmarks in engineering and electrical machinery. In the 1960s, only 4% of the working population was employed in the service sector, which now employs over 30%. The services sector currently accounts for over 50% of GDP, and the figure is expected to increase in the future. Make in India, Skill India and Goods and Services Tax continue to strengthen the country's economy. 

The present government over the years has tried to promote a culture of entrepreneurship in the country. The country has now moved from basic infrastructure to 'multi-modal connectivity infrastructure. According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India is the fastest growing country in the world with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 8.2% for the fiscal year 2022.  

There is no doubt that the country has come a long way in these 75 years and that is a milestone but we are still a 'developing country, and the country still has a long way to go. There will be many challenges in front of the country in the coming time. The railway is currently the biggest employer yet there is a long waiting list to get a reserved seat in a train. The issue of employment generation will also remain an important challenge for the country. India added one billion more consumers after independence but purchasing power is limited to a few people. Economic inequality is also a big issue in the country, today we are self-sufficient in agriculture, but farmers are going out of this profession. The national debt has increased to 620 billion.  

All the citizen of the country has to come together to make India a developed country in the next 25 years. Today, India needs the values of Gandhi and Buddha, Vivekananda's vision and JRD Tata's goal more than ever to become 'Ram Rajya' in the coming period.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Dr Brajesh Kumar Tiwari

The author is Associate Professor at Atal Bihar Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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