From the thump of midnight on August 15, 1947, India has had an eventful journey. Elaborate plans coupled with many trials and errors have helped it carve its status as the largest democracy and the sixth-largest economy in the world.
It has now become one of the fastest moving economies in the world, with an aspiration to reach high middle income status by 2047 and a goal to achieve net-zero emission by 2070.
According to the World Bank Poverty and Inequality Portal and Macro Poverty Outlook, Spring 2023, in the past two decades India made remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty. According to estimates, the country has halved the share of population living in extreme poverty i.e. below $2,15 per person per day.
Although there are still many challenges persisting ahead with the aim of decreasing child malnutrition rate, inequality in consumption, unemployment, let's take a look at India’s development across several indicators as we complete 76 years of Independence this August 15.
Exports are considered one of the key factors driving the economy of the country. During 1950-51, the country merely exported $1.27 billion worth goods and services across the globe.
Moreover, the country posed many challenges in terms of foreign trade after independence. Demand for imports was much higher than the exports, making it stagnant for many years.
With the adoption of the 1991 reforms, that is, after the implementation of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation (LPG) policies, India opened its economy to the world.
Currently, India's overall exports in June 2023 is estimated at $60.09 Billion. The country's trade deficit improved by 28.26 percent during April-June 2023 to $ 22.59 Billion from $31.49 Billion in April-June 2022.
India's exports in the FY23 rose 6 percent to $447 as against $442 billion in FY22.
The foreign Exchange Reserves (Forex Reserves) in India are the foreign assets held or controlled by the country's central bank and these reserves are made of gold or a specific currency.
Since the 1990s, India's Forex Reserves have witnessed tremendous growth. According to the ministry of Information and Broadcasting data, the country's forex reserve which stood at $9.22 Billion in 1991-92, jumped to $ 607 billion in 2021-22. Currently, it has passed the $600 billion mark for the first time since May 2022 and as of July 14, India's forex reserves stood at $609 billion making a 15-month high.
Food grain production
India's food grain production has witnessed a remarkable rise since its independence.
According to the data released by the government, in 1950-51, the country produced 50.82 million tonnes of food grains. The production has witnessed a surge since then. In the year 2021-2022, the country recorded the highest ever food grain production of 314.51 million tonnes.
According to estimates, the total food grain production in the country in 2022-2023 is set to go up 330 million tonnes.
India's aviation sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing and largest in south Asia with almost 70 percent of domestic traffic and it is a significant contributor to the country's economy.
Currently, India is the third largest aviation market in the world. The sector contributes to five percent of GDP and four million jobs.
Power sector growth
After Independence, India has witnessed a significant surge in the power sector. Currently it is the third largest consumer and producer of electricity worldwide, with an installed power capacity of 416.59 GW as of April 30, 2023.
As per the National Infrastructure Pipeline 2019-25, energy sector projects accounted for the highest share (24 percent) out of the total expected capital expenditure of $ 1.4 trillion (Rs. 111 lakh crore). The total FDI inflow in the power sector reached $ 16.57 billion between April December 2022.
At the time of Independence, the total power generation capacity in the country was merely 1,362 MW and the overall per capita electricity consumption was limited to 16 units only.
India was classified as a 'third-world' country during the time of independence from British rule in 1947. But over the past seven decades, it has witnessed a significant growth in various sectors and made a significant remark across the globe.
It is currently classified as a developing nation, with a GDP growth of $3.30 trillion, literacy rate of 77.70 percent in 2022 from 18.3 percent in 1951 and a life expectancy at birth of 70.15 in 2020 (from 49.7 in 1970-75).
As a developed country is characterised by its high level of economic growth, standard of living, and higher per capita income as well as performing well on the Human Development Index (HDI) which includes education, literacy and health, India still needs to continue its significant growth ahead to reach as a developed country.