SUPERPOWER INDIA: THE STUMBLING BLOCKS

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A superpower is a country in a dominant position, which has the capacity to hold influence or project leverage worldwide. The means to achieve this is through the combined influence of economic, military, technological, and cultural strength, as well as diplomatic and ‘soft power. Post World War II, the United States, and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers. Once the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 90s, the United States emerged as the sole superpower of the world.

For over a decade India and China have been touted as the next superpowers. The notion of India as a “rising global power” received broader acknowledgment when then U.S. President Barack Obama, on a visit to India in 2010, said that “India is not just a rising power; India has already risen.” Was this just a rhetorical component of a U.S. strategy to counter a rising China? Obama’s statement for sure attested to the existing acknowledgment of India as a capable and responsible power. Every Indian’s chest swelled with pride, but are we doing enough. Are we just about there or we have a long way to go? Let us analyze.

DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU

There are many expected attributes of a superpower. However, Economy, Military, and Technology are the core requirements of any superpower. We will restrict our discussion to these areas and see how India fares on these criteria.

Economy

Courtesy: knoema.com
  • Facts:
    • India is the fifth-largest economy in the world on the current price basis and third-largest on the basis of PPP valuation.
    • India is in the 145th position in terms of GDP (nominal) per capita.
    • Per capita income of India is approx 5 times lower than the world average.
    • This figure is over 50 times lower than the richest country in the world and approx 10 times greater than the poorest country in the world.
    • India is in the 33rd position in the list of Asian countries.
    • Young population(more than 50% below the age of 25).
    • Healthy savings and investment rates.
    • Increased integration into the global economy.
    • Fastest growing service sector(Net export estimate in FY20 stood at US$ 214.14 billion) and technology superpower.
    • India’s rank jumped to 22 in 2019 from 137 in 2014 on World Bank’s Ease of doing business.
    • The second-largest producer of food next to China.
  • Facts:
    • After the 1991 economic liberalization, India was one of the fastest-growing economies and achieved a 6-7% average GDP growth annually.
    • Since 2014 with the exception of 2017, India’s economy has been the world’s fastest-growing major economy, surpassing China.
    • Post-COVID Indian the economy will shrink by 5%(S&P) and 4.5%(IMF) in the current fiscal.
    • Taking advantage of Coronavirus China could be amongst the fastest growing economies, at 1% in 2020.
  • Laggards of Indian Economy:
    • Bureaucracy
    • Poor infrastructure
    • Inflexible labor laws
    • Political corruption and cronyism
    • Shunning of foreign experts and academics of Indian origin with stellar reputations, in the field of business and economics.
    • Lack of big-ticket and high impact reforms.
    • A relatively small player in the manufacturing sector.
    • Manufacturing accounts for only 16% of India’s GDP, at least 9 points below where it should be at India’s current stage of economic development. 
    • Data from the Reserve Bank of India suggests that between October to December 2019, nearly a third of the manufacturing capacity of Indian companies was lying idle.
    • The factories moving out of China have shifted their base to Bangladesh and Vietnam in case of apparels; Vietnam and Indonesia in case of leather and footwear. In fact, Indian apparel and leather firms have been relocating to Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, and even Ethiopia.

Military

  • Facts:
    • The Indian Forces consist of two main branches: Military and Paramilitary Forces.
    • The Indian Military(1,444,000 ) is the second-largest active-duty force in the world after China.
    • Indian Paramilitary Forces, over a million strong, is the second-largest paramilitary force in the world.
    • Combined, the total forces of India are 2,414,700 strong, the world’s third-largest defense force.
    • Tanks- 4,292, towed artillery- 4,060) and fighter aircraft- 538.
    • An estimated budget of 2020, $61 billion.
    • Indian Army is the world’s largest army in total numbers of armed personnel.
    • The Indian Navy is the world’s fifth-largest navy.
    • Indian Air Force is the fourth-largest air force in the world.
    • As per Global Firepower, overall fourth-most powerful armed forces in the world after the US, Russia, and China.
Courtesy: globalfirepower.com
  • Facts:
    • Modest nuclear capabilities
    • Anti-satellite (ASAT) missile technology capability.
    • Robust indigenous missile industry.
    • Robust indigenous space industry.
    • As per SIPRI, Stockholm, India ranked 19th for 2019 in the list of major arms exporters. 2018-19 exports were worth Rs 10,745 crore(.17% of global arms exports), a growth of over 700% since 2016-17 (Rs 1,521 crore).
  • Laggards of Indian Armed Forces
    • India lacks a defence industry.
    • India imports 99% of defence equipment
    • Russia, biggest arms supplier- 75%.
    • US and Western European countries(Israel, France, Britain, and Germany)- 25%
    • Indigenization, a rhetoric, no significant systemic transformation, huge cost and time overruns in domestic defence production.
    • IAF requires at least 44 fighter squadrons has only 34 fighter squadrons.
    • Most equipment belongs to a different generation, not the latest or of the best technology and in severe need for modernization.
    • Painfully slow and inefficient defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs), 41 Ordnance Factories, HAL, and Naval Dockyards.
    • Naval Dockyards:
      • Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant – Launched Aug 2013, likely commissioning early 2021- 8 Years
      • Chinese navy built 83 warships in 8 years.
      • Shandong’ China’s indigenous aircraft carrier – Launched in Nov 2013, Trials in April 2017, Commissioned in December 2019.
    • Ordnance Factories:
      • Workers strength 1.53 lakh – Annual turnover Rs 4000 crores.
      • Outdated technology and operations well below capacity.
      • Production of large quantities of defective gun barrels for T-72 tanks.
      • Defective manufacturing of 155 mm ammunition shells, mismatch of fuses and primers, long delays in delivery of indented howitzer ammunition with the incredibly high rejection rate.
      • February 2019, a joint venture(JV) with Russia to produce 750,000 AK-203 rifles in India. 100% indigenization in 32 months from the contract date.
      • The recently emergency purchase of 72,400 SIG916 assault rifles from USA for the Indian Army in addition to a $70-72 million contract for an equal number of rifles, signed in February 2019, shows that the Ordinance Factory production is nowhere in sight.
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
      • Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) – 37 Years.
      • Astra Air-to-Air Missile – 16 Years.
      • Arjun Mark I Tank – 20 Years.
      • Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system – 14 Years.
      • Nag Anti Tank Missile – 30 Years.
    • Emergency Purchases:
      • 240 Israeli-made Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike medium-range (MR) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and 12 launchers.
      • armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition fired by the T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks, additional
      • Heron drones,
      • Man-Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS),
      • mines and high altitude clothing, among other things.
      • 33 fighters – 21 Fulcrum MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi Flanker Su-30MKIs.
      • Similar panicky acquisition announcements ensued during and immediately after 1999, Kargil War with Pakistan.

Technology

The Global Innovation Index(GII) co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations) is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policymakers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. Let us have a look at a few of the indicators:

GII 2019 regional innovation leaders

  • Facts:
    • India maintains its top place in the Central and Southern Asia region as the 52nd ranked the economy in 2019.
    • In 2008-9 India was ranked 41 and China 37, India kept slipping the rank and landed up at 81 position in 2015.
    • From 81 in 2015, India’s 29-place move up the GII represents the biggest jump by any major economy, however, India still ranks behind countries like Cyprus, UAE and Chile.
    • India remains 2ndamong middle-income economies in the quality of innovation. Thanks to its high-quality scientific publications and universities.
    • India maintains top ranks in a number of important indicators such as productivity growth, and exports of services related to information and communication technologies.
    • India reached the 15th spot in global companies’ R&D expenditures.
    • India also features in the GII ranking on the world’s top science and technology clusters, with Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi included in the global top 100 clusters.
Tokyo– Yokohama tops this ranking, followed by Shenzhen–Hong Kong. Figure shows the concentration of top science and technology clusters worldwide. The U.S. continues to host the largest number of clusters (26), followed by China (18, two more than in 2018), Germany (10), France (5), the U.K. (4), and Canada (4). Australia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland all hosted three clusters each.

EDUCATION

Education is one of the fundamental building blocks for economic development. It helps economic and social factors, both important to a country’s international success. Not only does education improve a country’s economic health, but it also improves the quality of life. With more educated people there can be more doctors, more scientists, more well-suited politicians to make decisions on behalf of their citizens. All the important ingredients of a superpower, i.e. Economy, Military, and Technology would not be achievable if the country’s education system is weak.

  • Facts:
    • India’s higher education sector is one of the largest in the world with more than 51,000 institutions and universities.
    • Indian education suffers from low employability of graduates, poor quality of teaching, weak governance, insufficient funding, and complex regulatory norms.
    • Out of 1000 top universities in the world India has 21 and China has 51 universities. Out of the top 500, India has only 8 whereas China has 26.
    • First Indian university is IIT Mumbai at 172, whereas China has 2 universities in top 25.
    • India has 216.2 researchers per one million inhabitants, against 1,200 in China, 4,300 in the US, and 7,100 in South Korea.
    • India and China were spending almost a similar portion (0.6%) of their GDP on R&D in 1996 but two decades later China’s expenditure on R&D jumped by more than four-fold whereas India’s expenditure remained largely static.
    • China produces 483,595 research publications annually, the number in India is 148,832.
    • India has low citations per document. Low citation impact implies that the quality of Indian research papers is not on par with that of other countries. 
    • India filed 14,961 patent applications in 2017, while China filed 1.24 million applications in the same year.

IS THERE ANY HOPE

Nations are able to enhance their power by building up a range of demographic, economic, and military capabilities. Over the past two decades, India has demonstrated its ability to carry out underground nuclear tests and its capability to deliver nuclear warheads using intermediate ballistic missiles. However, it has not yet utilized these newly acquired capabilities to project power effectively. India’s armed forces are mostly stationed along the country’s extensive border areas with Pakistan and China. This inefficient assignment of military resources has limited India’s power projection beyond its borders. In international conflicts, India’s military has only been active in the UN missions. A global superpower should have the ability to influence the decisions of countries thousands of miles away, forcing a country to think twice before taking any step which could adversely affect it. Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries. The U.S. has been giving billions of dollars of financial aid to the needful countries, helps them in development, which gives it enough leverage to manipulate the policy-making of a country. The USA is also a member of all the major decision making and governing world bodies. India would take decades to gain such a stature in the global community. So how much ever chest-thumping we may do, India’s superpower status is still a distant dream. If India wants to be a power to reckon with, all the sections of government, private players, and individuals have to fire on all cylinders for a long time to come. Few actionable areas for India to ponder upon:

  • Just repeating slogans about a $5 trillion economy will not bring it about.
  • India needs to become a manufacturing and production hub rather than just an assembly hub. It needs to be done before India’s competitive advantages in labor and cost are overtaken by new automation technologies that require fewer people to do the same work.
  • The window for attracting manufacturing work for exports is not infinite, maybe another five years.
  • The shining star of the Indian tech- software industry would also lose its sheen soon, as the software costs are going up in India.
  • The advent of Artificial Intelligence(AI) means that the same jobs are being done by fewer people, therefore India would not have the same situation as China in terms of becoming a manufacturing hub. India has to innovate.
  • Big-ticket reforms in labor laws needed before the businesses shift to other countries.
  • India has to provide excellence in the infrastructure and logistics support systems to make sure that all the costs that are burdening India at the moment are taken out.
  • Set up ancillary industries, and retain interest. Interest can be sustained if India has the right policies that are driving the right investments, creating the right environment with consistency.
  • Business cases are highly influenced by the availability of power and the capability of distribution. India has to prioritize these sectors.
  • India has the opportunity to build an effective education and health-care system, using technology at scale, and delivering the same level of quality as developed market services, but at as little as a tenth of the cost of deployment.
  • India needs to curb insurgency proactively. This would send a message of stability to the world community.
  • Social divide and communal violence should be addressed on a priority basis.
  • As a country with such high ambitions, India should focus on improving its ranking in various indexes such as Human Development Index, Happiness Index, Freedom of Press Index, etc.
  • Self-sufficiency in the Energy sector would reduce India’s dependence on the outside world. The world is desperate to remove fossil fuel and possibly reduce nuclear energy dependence. Renewable-energy or fusion power are the answers to that. India is a world leader in renewable energy. India has 25% of the world’s thorium resources. India must maintain the lead and show the way to the world.
  • India needs to be proactive in capturing the fourth industrial revolution. The advancements in AI, IoT, Data Sciences, Life Sciences, New energy resources, materials, etc are essential for any future superpower. This should be done on a priority basis.
  • India is not a permanent member of the UNSC, this reduces India’s clout. India should leave no stone unturned in achieving that goal.
  • India needs to be more vocal in airing its views on various international issues, that would send a clearcut message to other nations about India’s policies and intentions.

No one said that the road ahead is not going to be tough if India wants to achieve Superpower Status. However, the road ahead is going to be tough in anyways, even if India doesn’t strive to be a Superpower. The task in hand is very much achievable given India’s unique disposition in the world order, strong governmental resolve, and undisputed public support. German-Austrian politician and statesman Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich gives very wise advice to the present Indian government, ”When called upon to handle important matters, the statesman must tackle them vigorously. For this to happen it is necessary that the course decided upon should not only be clear in the eyes of the Cabinet but should also be made clear in the eyes of the public”.

Data used if any is available in the public domain. Copyright © 2018-2020 Insightful Geopolitics. All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without written permission.

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122 thoughts

      1. That’s very kind of you. Yes, some people in the position of power do read my articles. Whether they implement anything or not, only time would tell.

  1. The difference between India and China is while most Chinese are working to earn throughout the day. In India there is still the purda system in interior villages. Most of the electronic gadgets that are used throughout the world are Chinese, simply because they have worked and produced them. Indians have a long way to go in order to compete as a global power.

    1. You are absolutely right, Sumita. That is why we have to work diligently without complaining. That is the only way ahead. Though China is our rival, we can still emulate some of the good practices.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  2. Hi Sandeep,
    Your posts are very insightful.
    I have a business and trade background.
    My observation is for India to become a manufacturing hub, we need to look after the cost our imports.
    Any product imported in India is under invoiced, the difference amount of the actual cost and the import bill amount is send out through hawala transactions, to reduce the import duty.
    Hence if v do not curb &/or eleminate hawala then NO production will be competitive / lucrative in India and we can never compete with imports ( along with various other reasons like cheap capital, labour laws etc, etc)
    HENCE under invoicing and Hawala payment HAS to stop.
    (You may research in detailed for in-depth report )

    Thanks,

    1. Thank you so much, Prashant, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      That is indeed a worrisome practice. I am sure there are the vested interests of some very powerful people to keep the system that way.
      Thank you so much for the input. I shall keep that in mind for my further research.

  3. You have considered virtually all parameters, to analysis the stumbling blocks in developments to achieve Superpower. With present pace it may take loong time to achieve this. I feel there is, rhetoric rather than actual action. Dont see any concrete actions on ground. One more thing to add to stumbling block is the Political atmosphere within the country is much to be desired……

    And yes, Corruption is still a major stumbling blcok…..

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I would say that 2014 was the watershed year. The incumbents had to cover a lot of ground due to lost opportunities between 2004-14.
      It has been observed that though the present government started off with a very focused approach, somewhere in between they lost track, especially with regard to armed forces modernization and procurement.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am sure we can get back on the right track with a little course correction.

    1. I like your positivity, Vaibhav. I am sure we will be there. We have a strong and focused government with the utmost public support.

  4. GDP (nominal) per capita.A better gauge of wealth, and of course difficult to quantify but seen in world wars, the quality of the armed forces which has given the edge to the USA always.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Always treasure your succinct remarks.

  5. Well researched and fact oriented article. It lays bare almost all angles that the world looks at, in general! Beyond these shortcomings and inabilities lies the Indian attitude. One tends to look at Govt for all these inabilities, but Govt is only a facilitator. Ofcourse political will is also an important criteria, but people from bottom to top have to get rid of “chalta hai” attitude….quality at every step is in itself a parameter that will leapfrog India. Can we get a self sealing cover of quality? Compare it with that from any SE nation….not US. We must demand quality…. automatically a lot of change will usher in

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have raised some very valid points. Though China is our rival turned foe, still we can imbibe good practices followed by them, especially the blue-collared workers are very hardworking. SE Asia has also set an example in the region. Despite our size and the might, we haven’t achieved what we deserve due to our lackluster attitude.

  6. Hi Sandeep, once again a well researched opinion supported by relevant data. A good read and looking forward to more articles from you.

    1. Thank you so much, Abhi, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

  7. Nicely written.

    However, we need to get over our obsession of looking at everything through the ‘Vs China’ perspective. Enough of Chasing the Dragon.

    Aur bhi gham hain zamane mein.

    1. Absolutely, Ashish. However, no harm in learning a few tricks from our adversary.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  8. Excellent compilation. Justification is outstanding. Same news to be inculcated by the country. Think tank in the country need to press the need of the day to the authorities and ensure the country starts pushing things to achieve the ultimate goal. It is achievable.

    Well done, keep up the show..

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts.
      There is a kind of urgency required in achieving the goals.
      After all, ”The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.”

  9. I agree with the points you have put forth in the post. India aspires to be a global superpower but it does not happen just making statements about future goals.

    India needs to overhaul its PSUs organisation structure and rules governing them. The work ethic is lazy because the employees know how secure their job is irrespective of the output derived. This problem along with the labour laws need to be addressed.

    Reforms in a education have become a joke. A new National Education Policy has been doing the rounds since Smriti Irani took over in 2014. Since then we have had Prakash Javadekar and now Ramesh Pokhriyal sitting on it. After Javadekar came in the policy was reworked in its entirety. It is difficult to cut down on red tape when it is created at the top.

    Most of our offensive military equipment in the recent past has been brought in the time of crisis. The plethora of scams and lack of modernisation since Bofors did not do much to help. The politicization of defence deals is the biggest obstacle to defence modernisation.

    Unless these issues are addressed and states pitch in shoulder their financial responsibilities I do not see the scenario change.

    1. Thank you so much, Hardik, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

      1. Get well soon, Sandeep! 🙂

        Looking forward to having a detailed discussion with you.

      2. Hardik, as you have brought out, the new education policy is out. Good or bad only time would tell, but I like movement and disruptions. They are better than the static environment. Similarly, the rise of India in the defence export sector in the past few years is a new dimension. As you bring to the fore… The issue is not the hardware but the software. It is time we Indians update our software, things would move in the right direction automatically.

      1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
        Warm regards.

  10. Very comprehensively analysed topic, covering most vital facets and supported with relevant facts. With this shared vision, clarity on priorities, committed leadership, cooperation of all stakeholders, high degree of involvement of concerned agencies, We can certainly achieve the desired results in a respectable time frame. A wonderful, useful and praiseworthy compilation indeed.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

  11. As always, you’ve provided a lot of fascinating data and perspective. Your keen insights into India’s internal and regional affairs have given me some food for thought about global affairs in general, and of course, America’s diminishing role as the world’s sole superpower. The next few decades will certainly be interesting!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

      1. Thanks. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling great right now, hope you’re feeling much better soon.

      2. Thank you so much. I am much better now. Indeed, the next few years are very interesting as well as very scary, keeping in mind the Chinese designs for the whole world. We are keeping a close tab on the situation and preparing ourselves for a showdown.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

  12. You have looked into everything here.
    I would add one more – the urgent need to positively and productively bolster our youth.

    Reintroduction of General Knowledge, Value Education and SUPW as compulsory subjects, in formative schooling years, should be looked into. We hated these classes then, but in retrospect, they worked well to make us self reliant, accountable and in the very least, unafraid to explore. Our youth today are shockingly inept at basic skills, ignorant of common facts, have a very narrow world view and abysmal sense of empathy.

    In an increasingly self-centric society deeply set in our disposable lifestyles, we can blame this on upbringing, but considering the limitless information so easily available to them, compared to what we had to manage with in our time, it is astounding how clueless and disconnected they are. We were a lot more aware!

    Barring a few genuine efforts to integrate with and uplift society, most of our youngsters who are seen participating in society today, are either groomed to serve a vested interest or are grossly misguided and hot-blooded. ‘Educational’ entities have been reduced to racing rat tracks and academic hot-houses driven by whimsical and unscientific national policies.

    Character building has taken a backseat.
    Our young, crumble under the slightest pressure and are ridiculously entitled.

    No nation can have a sound future with an emotionally unintelligent/misguided/disinterested/directionless youth force, especially when they constitute almost half the country!
    In the last couple of decades or so, we have grossly neglected this invaluable section of society. Urgent course-correction is vital.

    1. Thank you so much, Tejuthy, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

    2. Thank you so much. I am much better now. The world is changing very fast, what used to happen in a century earlier happen in a couple of years today. As you have brought out, education is the core strength of any nation. When we were growing up, the requirements were different. I remember my average classmates who shifted to western universities became stars of their classes. But things have changed drastically in the last two decades. Today we need a more analytical mind than just data collectors. That is why if you observe, in the graph, the inferior Chinese education system crossed the Indian education system around 2000. We love the status quo, and that is killing us in every field. I like disruption, that challenges the status quo and gives us hope. Thankfully we have a new education policy, good or bad, only time would tell.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

  13. Well researched & written post….though it’ll take time for India to become that superpower as most of the electronic products aren’t made in India….I think India is lagging in training & innovation. India has great potential though. Won’t you agree?

    1. Thank you so much, Navin, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

      1. You’re welcome…anytime…

        Hey FYI, I have sent you an invitation to re-follow my blog. has been some glitches with notifications. So I had to “remove you”. Pls check your mail & accept the invite if you would still like to follow my blog. Alternatively, you may click on “Follow” button in your WP reader 🙏✨

      2. Thank you so much. I am much better now. You are right, we are lagging behind in innovation. If you have noticed the pattern, the number of research papers being submitted in India, and what is the quality of those papers, you would come to know, in what direction we are headed.

      3. It’s good to know you’re feeling better.

        It looks like India is heading in the right direction….however if you notice in the world ranking of innovation & top institutes, you would notice there’s a long way to go. For eg…IIT is considered as the cream of the creams in India….although it’s not in the top 400 institutes in the world….I strongly believe the Indian education system requires an overhaul….I’ve heard things in the future would change, which is very much needed….India needs to give birth to innovators….not just followers or copycats….education is not the only criteria for that, but it’s one of the important tools….innovation requires inspiration as well….dreaming big….even though it seems impossible. I hope, India in the future would look different.

      4. That’s right, Navin. What a nation’s youth are doing today reflects that country’s future. As you said correctly, India lacks innovation but if you look around in the world you would find Indians are the biggest innovators. While India had a brain drain, China kept getting all those students back home, who had gone for higher education to the Western universities. That shows that we couldn’t give a conducive environment to our gifted scientists and innovators. As a democracy, we cannot employ the means applied by China, to keep its flock with in the country.
        However, I still feel that there is hope. A free environment would produce better results than anyone working in a threatening and intimidating environment, which exists under leftist and authoritarian regimes.

      5. Oh….I never said / meant, there’s no hope….I mean quite the opposite….with time & change in the education system, things will start clicking….I agree a 100% on “a free environment…..” 😊

  14. Well researched and summed up. The awareness amongst masses has to rise for the country to progress and reach her destined position in the comity of nations. Your current article has a universal appeal and needs visibility across India. I would appeal to all the visitors to your blog to repost it or its link in their blogs/groups for the message to reach its destination……..

    1. Thank you so much, Atul, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

    2. Thank you so much. I am much better now. You have brought it out very correctly. It is the masses, when they rise, the whole nation creates a synergy that cannot be created otherwise. That nation becomes unstoppable.

  15. Very well researched article on the prevalent scenario!Great analysis & compilation of facts! I don’t think you have missed out on anything regarding stats of our new emerging India and how it can sustain its aspirations of a developing economy! Thanks a lot ,dear,for providing the vital data!Keep up your good work!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

  16. Well researched article and a interesting read .I think areas like national happiness index and sustainability of the country should also be included since the way the communists have controlled there citizen ,I am sure the national happiness index would be amongst the lowest and with huge population could be on the verge to explode anytime.Its just a matter of time .When that time would come can be intelligently assessed. Though a secretive nation like they are ,am sure would be tough job for anyone to do. Also for a communist country with plethora of restrictions in place kills innovation so the country has resorted to stealing intellection property rights which again questions the sustainability .However er the country has done good for itself so fat .Let’s keep the future under our microscopic eyes .

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. I am under the weather presently, so I shall get back soon for a detailed discussion.
      Warm regards.

    1. Thank you so much, Anna, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It is indeed a priority area for India.

  17. Dear Sandeep, It is an interesting post where positive vibration is created on readers’ mind in the know-how to achieve higher growth for our nation. Even though it is an ambitious target for India, nothing can stop us from achieving it when collective efforts are focused. I am happy to read the well-articulated facts. A point which might be having both plus & minus is the younger population; this section needs to be groomed with national pride to achieve the growth target. Our nation should be blessed to have the right leader who can take care of. Looking forward to future posts.

    1. Thank you so much, Ramki, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts. It is indeed an ambitious target, but I always feel that if we target 20% more than our capability we can achieve that, provided our efforts are sincere and not just rhetoric. I am glad that after decades India has come out with new education policy. If you see the graph, China crossed our education standards in the early 2000s and we kept gloating in our glorious past.

    1. Thank you so much, Ishaan, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      I suppose that was a slogan given to people, to shake them out of their slumber. Unfortunately, very few people acted upon it, else the story would have been a bit different today.

  18. Insightful analysis ,well supported by relevant data …Citizens are an important factor in making a nation great,therefore there is a dire need to change the mindset to eradicate socio- economic factors like corruption,red tape,population explosion,vote bank politics,religious/community extremism,gender inequality , etc at all levels..We as people are equally responsible……Thanks for a well written article

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Every adversity gives a widow of opportunity also. That window is usually very narrow and needs some very intelligent and dedicated people to tackle. India’s large population was a curse for the country but our business and political leaders turned that into an opportunity, however, we need to innovate ourselves constantly else the same opportunity would again become a curse as the times and technology change.
      You are right in your assessment. If we peer into the past, we would see that every great nation had citizens from every walk of life rising to the occasion and contributing towards the nation-building.

  19. Fascinating. I’m wondering though, if the US doesn’t even rank for universities in middle income economies, what exactly does that mean? I ask only because I know that our colleges and universities are filled with students from China, India and other countries of SA and Europe, which leaves me to believe we have a substantial amount of worthy universities. It amazed me that even Mexico surpassed us in that regard. So perhaps I am not understanding this correctly?
    It also surprised me that many countries apparently don’t even concern themselves with nuclear weapons. It seems to be limited to just a handful of countries. Why do you think that is?
    I think what will kill the US is the arrogance of their youth, who are generally undisciplined and shallow.

    1. Thank you so much, Jolie, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. The United States got benefitted from the early lead in the education sector. Thereafter it became a vicious cycle. We all know, colleges, universities, and research work heavily depend upon the funds. These rich foreign students get funds, which makes those universities to produce quality work and improve their rankings, which in turn attract more students, and the cycle goes on.
      Regarding nuclear weapons, if you have noticed, there are two categories of nations holding them. One category is of responsible and capable powers. The other category is rogue states, who delve in disruptions. The rest of the nations do not really need them.
      The youth of every nation is their future. What they do today, affects the nations in the coming years.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am confident that we will overcome all the hurdles.

  20. I liked the way you have brought out all the drawbacks India has and the areas to work upon. I hope someone is listening in the administration.

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