What are the remarkable facts about India’s progress?

India has taken steps towards achieving self-reliance in the field of defense, and many defense products are also being exported. Additionally , In many areas, India has achieved self-reliance while helping its neighboring countries. In recent years, India has become a problem-solver for many of its neighbors.

AUTHOR

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Prahlad Sabnani Retired Deputy General Manager, SBI

If we study the ancient economy of India, then it comes to mind that the economy of ancient India was prosperous. According to British economic history writer Mr. Angus Madison and many other research papers, India’s share in the global economy remained 35-40 % for 15 centuries before BC, and India was the world’s most prosperous country from 1st to 1500 AD. According to Mr. Angus Madison, India’s contribution to the global economy was 24.4 % in 1700 AD, even after the Mughal economic stagnation. During British colonial exploitation, this had come down to just 4.2 % in 1950. According to “India’s Deindustrialization in the 18 and 19 Centuries” by Mr. Geoffrey Williamson of Harvard University, India’s share in global industrial production declined from 25 % in 1750 to 2% in 1900 after the East India Company arrived in India. The share of Gaya and England, 2.9 % in 1700, had risen to 9 % by 1870. Unfortunately, in the economic books being studied in India, the description of the economic glory of ancient India is rarely found.

bank banking banknotes business
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The cottage industry flourished in ancient India due to ample employment opportunities available to all the citizens, and everything was produced in abundance. As a result, even at the village level, all essential products were available in sufficient quantity, so commodities’ prices were always controlled. Instead, the costs of the products were often seen decreasing due to the excess availability of the goods in the market. Whereas in today’s market, the inflation rate is very high due to the lack of availability of goods in sufficient quantity.

asian female farmworkers sorting cotton in countryside
asian female farmworkers sorting cotton in countryside

Many millennia before the rise of civilization in many parts of the world, India had advanced trade, production, commerce, foreign trade across seas, transportation of goods for sale by water, land, and air, and advanced rules relating to it today, regulation of business and taxation. A very detailed explanation of India’s principles is abundant in the ancient Veda texts. There is also evidence of the existence of an economy with advanced business administration and management in ancient India. However, during the last about 1000 years, India had come to the ground from its glory period due to the continuous invasions and plundering of invaders from Arab countries and the British rule.

Insight into the core role India plays in the world right now!

But, now, the circumstances have changed rapidly for India in the last 8 years of fragmentation. India is again moving towards becoming a superpower at the global level. Now India is coming forward in helping its neighboring countries while achieving self-reliance in many areas. Recently, India has become the troubleshooter of many of its neighboring countries. For example, India has provided financial assistance of US $ 350 million to Sri Lanka, which has been going through a bad phase of economic crisis since the beginning of this year. Apart from this, 4 lakh tonnes of fuel along with food items and medicines have also been supplied by India.

Similarly, India is continuously sending relief materials to disaster-hit Afghanistan. India has sent 20 tonnes of medicines in 7 consignments under humanitarian aid. 5 lakh doses of the life-saving, anti-TB, and anti-Covid vaccine are included. Along with this, India has provided 35 thousand metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan on a humanitarian basis.

Ever since the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, the availability of food items, especially wheat, on a global scale has been dramatically reduced as both Russia and Ukraine are the largest exporters of wheat. Even at such a time, wheat is being supplied to many countries by India itself. However, India banned wheat export on 13 May 2022 to maintain adequate wheat availability in its country. But, despite this, keeping in mind the humanitarian aspects, 18 lakh tonnes of wheat has been exported to about 12 countries only recently. The countries to which wheat has been exported so far include South Korea, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Oman, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Switzerland, Bhutan, Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Yemen.  

During the financial year 2021-22, the export of agricultural products from India has reached its highest level of USD 500 million, registering a growth of about 20 percent of wheat, Exports registered an increase of 273 percent, and India has achieved a global share of 50 percent in rice exports. Similarly, India’s maritime exports are also making new records. Marine product exports grew by 30.26 percent to USD 776 million during the financial year 2021-22. In addition, India exported 13,69,264 tonnes of seafood products. Simultaneously, India’s textile and apparel exports also registered a growth of 41 percent in the financial year 2021-22 to reach US$ 4,440 million, which is the highest in any financial year. Man-made fabrics and apparel accounted for 14 percent (US$ 6300 million), and handicrafts accounted for 5 percent (US$ 210 million) of clothing exports. The most significant 27 percent of garments and apparel were exported from India to the US.

Now India has taken steps towards achieving self-reliance in the field of defense, and many defense products are also being exported. More recently, India’s indigenously built Tejas light combat aircraft has emerged as the first choice of Malaysia. Malaysia competed to replace its fleet of old fighter jets. Malaysia has preferred the Indian aircraft Tejas despite stiff competition from China’s JF-17, South Korea’s FA-50, Russia’s MiG-35, and Yak-130. Today, many government and private sector companies in the country are making world-class defense equipment in India, and the doors of foreign markets have been opened for them. In this episode, on 30 December 2020, under the Self-reliant India scheme, the Central Government approved the export of the indigenous missile Akash.

Akash missile is the identity of India, and it is an indigenous (96 percent) missile. Southeast Asian countries Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, besides Bahrain, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, have expressed their interest in purchasing the Akash missile. Along with the Akash missile, several other countries have also shown interest in buying Coastal Surveillance systems, Radar, and Air Platforms.

The country’s defense agencies, especially DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization), are constantly trying to bring India up in the ranks of the exporting countries of defense equipment, and now its positive results are also visible. India is also preparing to export BrahMos missiles to many countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia soon. In addition, some other countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, etc., have also shown interest in buying BrahMos missiles from India. The BrahMos missiles, three times the speed of sound, the speed of Mach 3, and the range of 290 km, are a classic example of Indo-Russian military cooperation. The advantage of BrahMos is that it can be launched from any launching device located on land, sky, and sea is that it is the only cruise missile of its kind. Today, defense equipment is being exported from India to more than 84 countries. The list also includes countries like Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq, Ecuador, and Japan, where India exports body-protecting equipment, etc.

In addition to agriculture and defense products, technology, information technology, automobiles, pharma, mobile manufacturing, renewable energy, digital systems, infrastructure development, start-ups, drones, green energy, and space, India is rapidly establishing itself on the global stage.

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