In a national day address on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India would aim to become a developed nation within 25 years through policies to support domestic production in power, defence and digital technology.
The Indian youth was one of the key points of the PM’s speech given from the 17th-century Red Fort in Delhi as India celebrates its 75th year of independence from British colonial rule. PM Modi called on the young Indian citizens to “aim big” and give their best years for the cause of the country.
“We must turn India into a developed country in the next 25 years, in our lifetime,” said the 71-year-old Modi, wearing a turban in the colours of the Indian flag, in his 75-minute-speech in Hindi. “It’s a big resolution, and we should work towards it with all our might.”
Currently, India falls under the World Bank’s category of “a lower-middle income country”. This label is used to designate countries with a gross national income per capita of between USD 1,086 and USD 4,255. Meanwhile, high-income countries, for instance, the United States, have a per capita income of USD 13,205 or more.
While today India is the world’s sixth-largest economy, it is expected to grow at over seven percent in the current fiscal year ending in March 2023. The feat is a particular brow-raiser as India is set to become the fastest developing major economy with many experts pointing at the country as possibly turning into the world’s third-largest by 2050 after the United States and China.
Still, per capita income, currently around USD 2,100, may remain low compared to many countries.
Moreover, China would be outstripped by India as the most populous country in the world next year. Currently, India boasts around 1.4 billion people against China’s similar number.
India is already seen by major players in the international arena like the United States as a future contender to China’s dominating influence in Asia and beyond. Words of congratulation came from US President Joe Biden on Sunday for India’s national day and said the United States and India were “indispensable partners” that would continue to work together to address global challenges in the years ahead.
In the meantime, over the Indian-Pakistani border, Pakistan, with a colonial past as part of British India that came to an end with a proclamation of independence at the same time as that of India, celebrated its independence day on Sunday.