India, the superpower?

Good article in Fortune magazine titled: India, generic The Superpower? Think Again by Cait Murphy.

She points out that India has done a marvelous job in building a revenue (and tax) generating IT sector employing 1 million people, drugs but it has only 7 million employed in the formal manufacturing sector vs. 100 million people in China. The bottom line is that India is not generating enough jobs for the 10+ million Indians who enter the job market each year.

Other economies in Southeast Asia have successfully developed ahead of India “by being relatively open to trade; by investing in primary and secondary education; and by building pretty decent infrastructure (not only roads and ports, buy but health clinics and water supplies). India has begun to embrace one leg of this triangle – freer trade … As for the other two legs of this development triangle – education and infrastructure – these are still badly broken. About a third of teachers fail to show up on any given day (and, of course, are unsackable); the supply of both water and power is expensive and unreliable.”

Other key areas which India needs to focus on before boasting about being a superpower: an unreformed state banking sector; labor regulations that actively discourage hiring; abstruse land laws (and consequent lack of land titles); misshapen subsidies that hurt the poor; and corruption that is broad, deep and ubiquitous.

It is a very good thing to have a free press which publicly calls out these kind of issues.

2 thoughts on “India, the superpower?

  1. India presents a very interesting example of hunger and poverty NOT being a consequence of lack of resources or economic growth.For example, Bangladesh, which has a lower income level and much slower economic growth, has overtaken India in reducing child mortality rate (had India matched Bangladesh’s rate of reduction in child mortalityover the past decade, 732,000 fewer children would have died in India). India is indeed the world’s largest democracy, with the third largest scientific and technology workforce. It is a net exporter of food, number one producer in sugar, peanuts, tea and fruit; it is number two in rice, wheat, vegetables and milk. And yet 53% of India’s children under age 5 are malnourished and underweight, compared with 32% in sub-Saharan Africa. 33% of India’s babies are underweight at birth due to malnutrition and ill health of their mothers. This compares with 15% of those born in sub-Saharan Africa. 60% of Indian women of childbearing age are underweight and malnourished. By contrast, the proportion of malnourished women in sub-Saharan Africa is 20%.India has to transform its deeply entrenched social conditions (such as low status of women, for example) to resolve is human development issues.Warmest regardsEkaterina


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