August 2018 \ News \ CONQUERING THE RAJ
The Age of Awakening

It took just over seven decades after the British left India...

By Amit Kapoor and Chirag Yadav

It took just over seven decades after the British left India, but recent growth trends make it clear that this year the latter will overtake its erstwhile coloniser to become the fifth-largest economy in the world. A few months ago, World Bank data revealed that India had already muscled past the French economy in 2017; another minor coloniser of the Indian subcontinent. At this pace, it is estimated that around the centenary of Indian independence, the power balance that existed for most of the past 2000 years will be restored, where China and India would be much larger economies than that of Europe or America.

India has come a long way in its 71 years of independence. The average Indian is today seven times richer than what he was in 1947. The education and health standards, despite being severely wanting, have witnessed significant gains as well. While only 18 percent of the population was literate in 1951, the figure has now risen to account for approximately three-fourth of the country. The gross enrolment in elementary education is also reaching near universal levels, although a lot of challenges remain to be addressed in the actual learning imparted. On the health front, Indians who used to survive to an average age of 32 at the time of independence, now live up to 68 years of age. Infant mortality rate has declined from 146 in 1951 to less than 34 as of today.

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