India as an emerging superpower
|Republic of India|
The Republic of India is considered as one of the possible emerging superpowers of the world. This potential is attributed to several indicators, the primary ones being its demographic trends and a rapidly expanding economy and by GDP India became world's fastest growing economy in 2015 with 7.3% GDP rate. The country must overcome many of the economic, social, and political problems before it can be considered a superpower. It is also not yet as influential on the international stage when compared to the United States or the former Soviet Union.
- 1 Factors in favour
- 1.1 Possible future advantage of location
- 1.2 Demographic factors
- 1.3 Political factors
- 1.4 Economic factors
- 1.5 Military factors
- 1.6 Cultural factors
- 2 Points against the rise of India as a superpower
- 2.1 Political obstacles
- 2.2 Economic obstacles
- 2.3 Social issues
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
- 6 External links
Factors in favour
India lies in the cultural region of Indian Ocean - a zone with unprecedented potential for growth in the scale of transoceanic commerce, with many Eurasian and increasingly Afro-Asian sea-trade routes passing through or close to Indian territorial waters. The subcontinent's land and water resources, though strained, are still sustaining its massive population. According to George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston of the British Empire:
The central position of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of men, its great trading harbors, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army always in a high state of efficiency and capable of being hurled at a moment's notice upon any point either of Asia or Africa--all these are assets of precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan; on the north, it can veto any rival in Tibet; on the north-east . . . it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Siam. Possession of India gave the British Empire its global reach.
Possible future advantage of location
In the future, the world is expected to exit the "fossil fuel age", and perhaps the "nuclear energy age", and enter the "renewable-energy age" or even further into the "fusion power age", if and whenever these technologies become economically sustainable. Being a region in the sunny tropical belt, the Indian subcontinent could greatly benefit from a renewable energy trend, as it has the ideal combination of both - high solar insolation and a big consumer base density. For example, considering the costs of energy consumed for temperature control (a major factor influencing a region's energy intensity) and the fact that - cooling load requirements, unlike heating, are roughly in phase with the sun's intensity, cooling from the excessive solar radiation could make great energetic (and hence economic) sense in the subcontinent, whenever the required technology becomes competitively cheaper. India also has 25% of the world's thorium resources.
India has the world's second largest population. The PGR for the country is 1.25. A very large number of India's population, about 50% , is below the age group of 24. This provides the nation with a large workforce for many decades, helping in its growth. The government is training a 400 million-workforce, which is larger than the population of the United States and Brazil combined.
Due to its high birth rate India has a young population compared to most aging nations. It has approximately 65% of its population below the age of 35. In addition, declining fertility is beginning to reduce the youth dependency rate which may produce a demographic dividend. In the coming decades, while some of the powerful nations will witness a decrease in workforce numbers, India is expected to have an increase. For example, while Europe is well past its demographic window, the United States entered its own in 1970 (lasting until 2015), China entered its own in 1990 (and will last until 2025), India would not enter its own window until 2010 (and it will last until 2050). Regionally, South Asia is supposed to maintain the youngest demographic profile after Africa and the Middle East, with the window extending up to the 2070s.
Foreign language skills
The importance of the English language in the 21st century is a topic of debate, nonetheless the growing pool of non-native English speakers makes it the best contender for "Global language" status. Incidentally, India has the world's largest English speaking/understanding population. It claims one of the largest workforce of engineers, doctors and other key professionals, all comfortable with English. It has the 2nd largest population of "fluent English" speakers, second only to the United States, with estimates ranging from 150 to 250 million speakers, and is expected to have the largest in coming decades. Indians are also learning Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
India is the world's largest democratic republic, more than three times bigger than the next largest (the United States). It has so far been successful politically, especially considering its functionality despite its difficult ethnic composition. The fact that India is a democracy has improved its relations with other democratic nations and significantly improved its ties with the majority of the nations in the developed world.
Candidacy for Security Council
India has been pressing for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (as part of the G4 nations) but with a clause that it won't exercise its veto for the next 15 years. It has received backing from France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. However, China and the United States have not been supportive of the bid. With improved India–United States relations, the United States is expected to reconsider its stand.
As of 2016, India is said to have receive support from all the five permanent members of United Nations Security Council for its candidacy.
India has developed relationships with the world powers like the European Union, Japan, Russia, and the United States. It also developed relationships with the African Union (particularly South Africa), the Arab World, Southeast Asia, Israel and South American nations (particularly Brazil). In order to make the environment favourable for economic growth, India is investing on its relations with China. It has significantly boosted its image among Western nations and signed a civilian nuclear deal with the United States in March 2006. It is also working for better relationships with Pakistan.
Role in international politics
Historically, India was one of the founding members of Non-Aligned Movement, and had good relationships with Soviet Union and other parts of western world. It played regional roles in South Asian affairs, e.g. its use of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in the Bangladesh Liberation War and in Sri Lanka. It took a leading initiative to improve relations between African and Asian countries. India is an active member of the Commonwealth and the WTO. The evolving economic integration politics in the West and in Asia is influencing the Indian mood to slowly swing in favour of integration with global economy. Currently, India's political moves are being influenced by economic imperatives. New Delhi is also being observed to slowly, cautiously, and often hesitantly, step into the uncharted role of becoming one of the two major seats of political power in Asia, the other being at Beijing. Some enlightened thinkers from the subcontinent have also envisioned, over the long run, of a South Asian version of free trade zone and even a Union, where the South Asian nations relinquish all past animosities and move to make economic growth a pan subcontinental phenomenon.
A new and highly controversial geopolitical strategy, being debated in the West, is whether India should be trusted/helped to become an economically strong democratic citizen of the world and be used to balance the powerful but non-democratic forces, to insure a more stable world. Generally speaking it is discussed in the context of adopting a policy of offshore balancing on the part of the United States. A new American strategy towards India has been indicated in George W. Bush's recent visit to the subcontinent.
India's current economic growth (as the world's fastest-growing major economy as of 2015) has improved its standing on the world's political stage, even though it is still a developing country, but one that is showing strong development. Many nations are moving to forge better relationships with India.
The economy of India is currently the world's third largest in terms of real GDP (PPP) after the USA and the People's Republic of China. According to the World Bank India overtook China to become the fastest-growing major economy in the world as of 2015 Its record growth was in the third quarter of 2003, when it grew higher than any other emerging economy at 10.4%. Interestingly, estimates by the IMF show that in 2011 (see List of countries by future GDP estimates (PPP)), India became the third largest economy in the world, overtaking the Japanese economy and the Seventh largest economy by GDP (Nominal). India has grown at 7.5% in 2015.
India, growing at 9% per year, is the world's second largest producer of food next to China. Food processing accounts for USD 69.4 billion as gross income.
India is still relatively a small player in manufacturing when compared to many world leaders. Some new trends suggest an improvement in future, since the manufacturing sector is growing at 11-12%.
India currently has an expanding IT industry which is considered one of the best in the world. Some have begun to describe India as a technology superpower. It is considered the World's Office and is leading in the Services Industry. This is mainly due to the availability of a large pool of highly skilled, low cost, English speaking workforce.
Science and technology
India is trying to develop more highly skilled, English speaking people to fit in the future knowledge economy. India is becoming one of the world's leading producers of computer software and with mushrooming R&D centres it is experiencing a steady revolution in science and technology. A typical example of India's rising scientific endeavours is that it was the 3rd nation to found a National Space Agency called ISRO, after the USSR and the U.S. It was the third Asian nation to send satellites into space after China and Japan in 1970, starting with Aryabhata in 1975. In January 2007, India became the fourth nation to complete atmospheric reentry In October 2008, India launched its first unmanned lunar probe, Chandrayaan 1, which operated until August 2009. On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter at 20:06 and was deliberately made to strike the Moon near the south pole, making India the fourth country to reach the Moon's surface. Among its many achievements was the discovery of the widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil. On 24 September 2014 India became the fourth nation to have a satellite orbiting Mars. India is the first Asian nation to achieve this and the first to do so in its first try. India and the United States have increased mutual cooperation in space-travel related technologies, such as increasing the interoperability between Indian and US systems, and prospects for a commercial space launch agreement with India that would allow US satellites to be launched on Indian vehicles. India is among the world leaders in remote sensing, a technology coming to great use, among others, to Indian fishermen & farmers. India is also trying to join international R&D projects - e.g. it has recently joined the European Galileo GPS Project and the ITER for fusion energy club. Some Indian educational and research institutions like IIT, NIT, BITS Pilani, IIM, IISc, TIFR and AIIMS are among the world's best.
To reduce the energy crisis, India is presently constructing ~ 9 civilian nuclear power reactors and several hydro-power stations. On 25 January 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin offered to build 4 more reactors on a visit to India and India is expected to clinch this deal of strategical importance. Recently it also made a civilian nuclear energy deal with the US and EU. In recent years, India joined China to launch a vigorous campaign to acquire oil fields around the world and now has stake in several oil fields (in the Middle East and Russia).
Mass transit system
India is in the process of developing modern mass rapid transit systems to replace its existing system which is seen as inadequate to cater to present and future urban requirements. A modern metro rail system is already in place in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. Work is in progress or would be commencing shortly for developing similar mass transit system in cities of NOIDA, Hyderabad, Indore, Ahmedabad and Kochi. Indore is leading the track by implementing world class GPS enabled, low floor buses in a Rapid Transport System. With growth in economy and technology, India is welcoming modernisation. The Indian rail network traverses the length and breadth of the country, covering a total length of 63,140 km (39,200 miles). It is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting over 9 billion passengers and over 350 million tonnes of freight annually. Its operations covers twenty-seven states and three Union territories and also links the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, other public transport systems, such as buses are often not up to the standards followed in developed countries. India is heading towards implementation of high-speed rail in the country.
India, with its diverse and fascinating history, arts, music, culture, spiritual & social models has witnessed the growth of a booming tourism industry. India is a historic place with a diverse history of over five millennia. About 3.9 million tourists travelled to India in 2005, each spending approximately $1,470 per person, higher than that of France (the leading tourist destination in the world). Foreign visitors in 2005 spent more than US $15.4 billion annually in India. Many travellers find the cultural diversity an enriching experience, despite the hassles inefficiency, pollution and overcrowding. Monuments like the Taj Mahal are among the many attractions of this land. As of 2006, Conde Nast Traveller ranked India the 4th most preferred travel destination. The Planning Commission expects 5.8 million tourists travelling to India by 2010. The World Travel and Tourism Council believes India's tourism industry will grow at 10% per annum in the next decade, making it lead the world in terms of growth. Tourism contributes 6% of India's GDP and employed 40 million people, making it an important factor in India's economic growth. More than 8 million foreign tourists arrived in the year 2015 against 7.68 million in 2014 recording a growth of 4.4 percent over 2014.
"First World medical services at Third World prices" - Indian Metros have emerged as the leading destination of medical tourism. Last year, an estimated 150,000 foreigners visited India for medical procedures, and the number is increasing at the rate of about 15 percent a year.
The Indian Armed Forces, India's main defence organisation, consists of two main branches: the core Military of India and the Indian Paramilitary Forces. The Military of India maintains the third largest active duty force in the world after China and the United States, while the Indian Paramilitary Forces, over a million strong, is the second largest paramilitary force in the world. Combined, the total armed forces of India are 2,414,700 strong, the world's third largest defence force.
The Army of India, as the Indian army was called under British rule before 1947, played a crucial role in checking the advance of Imperial Japan into South Asia during World War II. It also played a leading role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Today, the Indian Army is the world's third largest army after United States Army and Chinese People's Liberation Army.
The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world. India recently inducted its second indigenously manufactured combat aircraft. India is also developing the fifth generation stealth aircraft.
The Indian Navy is the world's fifth largest navy. It is considered to have blue-water capabilities with sophisticated missile-capable warships, aircraft carrier, minesweepers, advanced submarines and the latest aircraft in its inventory, along with a significant use of state of the art technology that is indigenously manufactured. It operates two aircraft carriers and also plans to induct the INS Vikrant by 2018 followed by a larger INS Vishal.
India started the IGMDP to be a self-reliant nation in missile development. The IGMDP program includes five missiles like the Prithvi and Agni of ballistic missiles, surface to air missiles Trishul and Akash and also the anti tank Nag missile. Prithvi and Agni missiles are inducted into the armed forces and form the basis of Indian nuclear second strike capability. Trishul missile is declared a technology demonstrator. The Akash (Sky) is in service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. While Nag and Helina missiles are undergoing user trials. Recently, a new weapons system, the beyond visual range air-to-air Astra missile was added to the project. Also India has fielded many modern missiles like the anti ballistic missiles like the AAD and PAD along with submarine launched ballistic missiles for its Arihant class of nuclear ballistic submarines. The expertise in developing these missiles has helped Indian scientists to contribute to joint weapon development programs like the Brahmos and Barak-II. India is also developing long range cruise missiles similar to the Tomahawk class of missiles called Nirbhay. There are reports of India developing an intercontinental ballistic missile beyond the range of ten thousand kilometers. India is self-reliant in missile technology.
India has possessed nuclear weapons since 1974, when it did the Pokharan I nuclear tests, and the means to deliver them over long distances. However, India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (on grounds of security concerns and that India condemns the NPT as discriminatory).
India is currently world's largest arms importer, spending an estimated US$16.97 billion in 2004. India has made military technology deals with the Russian Federation, the U.S., Israel and the EU.
Current major roles
The Indian Armed Forces plays a crucial role in anti-terrorist activities and maintaining law and order in the disputed Kashmir region. India has also participated in several United Nations peace-keeping missions, currently being the largest contributor to UN peace keeping force and is the second-largest contributor to the United Nations Democracy Fund behind the USA.
India is one of two ancient civilizations, dating back to at least 5,000 years, which have stood the test of time and survived against all odds. Indians invented the numbering system (introduced into the West by Arabic mathematicians, Arabic numerals), the concept of zero, logic, geometry, basic algebra, calculus, probability, astronomy etc. India has a long history of cultural intercourse with many regions of the world, especially within Asia, where its cultural influence has spread through the philosophy of religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc. - particularly in East and Southeast Asia. Many religions with origins outside the Indian subcontinent - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Bahá'í Faith - have found followers in India. Indian culture has spread to foreign lands through wandering traders, philosophers, migration and less through conquest. According to Chinese ambassador to the United States, Hu Shih:
India's film industry produces more feature films than any other. In a year, it sold 3.6 billion tickets, more than any other film industry in the world (In comparison, Hollywood sold 2.6 billion tickets). The cinemas play a major role in spreading Indian culture worldwide. Indian cinema transcended its boundaries from the days of film Awara, a great hit in Russia. Bollywood films are seen in central and west Asia. Indian films have also found audience in eastern societies. India's film industry is now becoming increasingly popular in Western society, with Bollywood festivals occurring numerous cities and Bollywood dance groups performing in New Years Eve celebrations, treatment which other non-English film industries generally do not receive.
Unity in diversity of world view
India has a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious society living together. The subcontinent's long and diverse history has given it a unique eclectic culture. It is often associated with spirituality. Thanks to its history of both indigenous and foreign influences - like the ancient Indian religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism and the ancient Middle East Asian schools of thought (Abrahamic - Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc.) - the current Indian civilizational psyche is evolving into a complex mix of them - sometimes a superposition of religious philosophies with acceptance of the conflicting cosmologies, sometimes striking a middle ground, and sometimes taking the practical attitude - popular with the young - of "filtering the common best, and leaving the rest", thus leading to the creation of many syncretic mix of faiths (such as Sai Baba of Shirdi). Since Independence, India has regained its more progressive schools of thought, like - democracy, secularism, rule of law, esteem for human rights, rational deductive reasoning, development of Science and Technology, etc. - are making slow but steady inroads into the collective modern Indian psyche. India's diversity forces it to evolve strong foundations of tolerance and pluralism, or face breakup. The Indian public is now also accepting modern western influences in their society and media - and what is emerging is a confluence of its past local culture with the new western culture ("Social Globalisation"). For some futuristic social thinkers, the miscegenation of diverse ancient culture with modernity, spirituality with science/technology, Eastern with Western world-view is potentially making India a social laboratory for the evolution of futuristic global-unity consciousness.
Points against the rise of India as a superpower
Cost of democratic republicanism
Democratic republicanism has its value, more so in a multi-ethnic country like India. However, the applicability of the "theoretical" virtues of republicanism on a country like India is sometimes questioned. Some thinkers consider India's diverse democracy to levy a huge tax on its economy. The Indian government has to consider many interest groups before decision making. However, it should be noted that India is relatively a much younger republic when compared to other major democracies. Moreover, it is predicted that in the long run, India being a democracy will provide it an edge over non-democratic competitors like China.
India has had significant successes with quelling many insurgencies, most prominently the Punjab insurgency (Khalistan) and the surrender of large sections of insurgent outfits like the United Liberation Front of Asom in 1992 and National Liberation Front of Tripura in 2000-2001. However the Indian government has acknowledged that there has been a dramatic increase in support for the Maoists (Naxalite) insurgency in the last decade. Maoist rebels have increased their influence over the last 10 years, especially in regions near Nepal, particularly by targeting and gaining support from poor villages in India. The boom in support appears to have been also boosted by the successes of the nearly 10-year-old Maoist rebellion in Nepal. The maoist insurgency exploits the poor by forced conscription. India's government has recently taken a new stance on the Maoist insurgency, pulling the affected states together to coordinate their response. It says it will combine improved policing with socio-economic measures to defuse grievances that fuel the Maoist cause.
India's growth is impeded by disputes with its neighboring China and Pakistan (over historical border and ideological issues) and disputes with Bangladesh (over water availability and the Farakka Dam). Hence, India's neighbors such as China and Pakistan remain distrustful towards India. It is also occasionally burdened with instability issues within some localised-regions of the subcontinent. In an effort to reduce political tension and increase economic cooperation, in recent years, India has improved its relations with its neighbors.
Lack of international representation
India is not a permanent member of the UNSC, although currently it is one of the four-nations group actively seeking a permanent seat in the council. Thus India lacks the ability to extend its influence or ideas on international events in the way superpowers do.
As of 2011, approximately 21.9% of India's population lived below poverty line. Poverty also begets child labour. Various reforms, including mass employment schemes have been undertaken by the government to tackle this problem, and India has been quite successful in reducing its share of poverty. The number of people living on $1 a day is expected to fall in South Asia from 41.5 per cent in 1990 to 16.4 per cent until 2015. However, the issue of poverty in India is not fully resolved. There is consensus among economists that overall poverty in India has declined, the extent of poverty reduction is often debated. The economic reforms of the early 1990s were followed by rates of high economic growth. Its effect on poverty remain controversial, and the official numbers published by the Government of India, showing a reduction of poverty from 36% (1993–94) to 26% (1999 – 00), to 22% (2004–05), have been challenged both for allegedly showing too little and too much poverty reduction. While there is a consensus on the fact that liberalization has led to a reduction of income poverty, the picture is not so clear if one considers other non-pecuniary dimensions (such as health, education, crime and access to infrastructure). With the rapid economic growth that India is experiencing, it is likely that a significant fraction of the rural population will continue to migrate toward cities, making the issue of urban poverty more significant in the long run. Economist Pravin Visaria has defended the validity of many of the statistics that demonstrated the reduction in overall poverty in India. He insisted that the 1999-2000 survey was well designed and supervised, and he further defended that just because the numbers did not appear to fit preconceived notions about poverty in India, they should not be dismissed outright. Nicholas Stern, vice president of the World Bank, has published defenses of the poverty reduction statistics. He argues that increasing globalization and investment opportunities have contributed significantly to the reduction of poverty in the country. India, has shown one of the clearest co-relation trends of globalization with the accelerated rise in per-capita income.
The social infrastructure in India such as roads, power grid, water, communications infrastructure, housing and education are often below standards, and not catching up with the tune of its economic progress. Continued poor infrastructure might serve as a bottleneck to further economic development. The 2012 India blackouts, which affected millions, was a result of such problems. The government is, however, improving the infrastructure, such as expanding the freeway and highway system and bringing it up to global standards. As of 2005, India only had 4,885 km of central-divided expressways, while the U.S. and China have 90,000 km and 41,000 km of expressways, respectively.
India's continual economic prosperity is also hindered by bad governance and ubiquitous red tape (‘Bureaucratic Raj'). Retrogressive government regulations affect many areas. For example, in some states, black outs and power rationing are common due to underinvestment, differing state and local regulations, etc.
Inflation and overheating
Despite India's growth spurt of 8% p.a. in recent years, its sustainable pace is still much lower than China's, which puts its economy more at risk of overheating and rising inflation. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has acknowledged the risk of overheating and has been tightening monetary policy steadily. It is debatable whether this alone will be sufficient to ease inflationary pressures. The economy is running near or above capacity, and the RBI has noted that production must rise at a pace sufficient to match overall GDP growth if further inflationary pressures are to be avoided. The Indian government has said that much of the rise in inflation recently can be attributed to short-term supply constraints, such as a shortage of key foodstuffs thanks to an erratic summer monsoon.
Energy dependence and costs
India heavily depends on foreign oil - a phenomenon likely to continue until non-fossil/renewable energy technology becomes economically viable in the country. To avert an energy crisis, India is desperately seeking alternate means of energy. India can sustain its growth to higher trajectories only by the co-operation of other countries. As for now, India is energetically expensive since India has to import over 70% of its energy, thus making costs of comforts - like personal car or even air conditioning - extremely high. It is however, steadily combating its energy issues.
Unless India finds a quick way to generate jobs, its population of unemployed youths could be a reason for instability. India's growth in the services sector and Information Technology sector has not been matched by growth in manufacturing which can provide more jobs. Some claim that this sector may lose importance in the future. India is leveraging on new sectors like the KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing).
Though, unemployment rate on February 2017 was claimed to be around halved to 4.8% against 9.5% estimates at August 2016.
India's health scenario is dismal with diseases and malnutrition constantly affecting the poorest quarter of the populace. Mortality is still relatively high and the bane of AIDS is spreading quickly. According to a report of United Nations Development Programme, India has the highest population living with AIDS/HIV and its economy might suffer a setback if it does not check the problem of the virus' spread. It is estimated that India's economic growth will decline by 0.86 percentage annually if the AIDS problem is not properly dealt with. To improve the situation, a number of projects such as the building of hospital chains (like the Apollo Hospitals, amongst others) has laid the foundation for a health system that matches global standards. However, these hospitals are sometimes used by foreigners as a cheap yet effective source of health services and much remains to be done for India's very poor.
As per the 2011 India census, India's national literacy is only 74.04% (2011). Literacy drive is spreading slowly to other states. India's youth (age 15 to 24) literacy rate was 76.4% between 2000 and 2004. At current rates India will take no less than 20 years for a literacy of 95%. Literacy in India is not homogeneous, some states in India have more impressive literacy rates than others. Kerala, a south-Indian state widely recognized as the most well-educated state in India, recorded an impressive 93.9% literacy rate in 2011. On the other hand, the north-Indian state of Bihar lags behind with 63.8%. India's adult literacy rates (61.3% in 2002), is just a little better compared to other nations in South Asia except Sri Lanka's 92%, with Nepal next at 44%, Pakistan at 41.5% and Bangladesh the lowest at 41.1%.
Climate and environmental problems
The majority of India lies in the tropical climate zone, which may have a negative impact on its agricultural and overall economic development. The climate thesis of economic development was first argued by Adam Smith and recently by David Landes in his The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. Tropical areas generally average enough rainfall, but the timing is often irregular and unpredictable. The rain drops are large and the rate of fall often torrential. One answer to irregular moisture is storage and irrigation, but this is countered in these regions by incredibly high rates of evaporation. In the Agra region of India, for example, rainfall exceeds the needs of local agriculture for only two months in the year, and the excess held in the soil in those wet months dries up in only three weeks. Tropical zones are also more prone to endemic water-borne and parasitic diseases such as cholera and malaria. As a result of climate change, the Gangotri Glacier, among others, is receding. Also, of the 3 million premature deaths in the world that occur each year due to outdoor and indoor air pollution, the highest number are assessed to occur in India.
India has a diverse mix of various religions and races. The majority are Hindus by religion, followed by Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Bahaii and many more. Though most religions in India have been practising religious tolerance in their histories, the partition and subsequent terrorism had created some degree of uneasiness among some.  However, in recent years, relations between the different religious groups have considerably changed for better. For instance, a real chunk of India's celebrities - sporting legends, film stars, industrialists, artists, politicians, scientists, head-of-state, etc. - have come from various non-majority roots, representing the true diversity of India.
The problem of India's social divide is often linked to its centuries-old caste system. In an attempt to eliminate the caste system, the Indian government has introduced special quotas for low-caste Indians in educational institutions and jobs. The measure is with the motive of helping lower-caste Indians to pursue higher education and thereby elevate their standard of life. However, the system is often criticised about its effectiveness as so called creamy layer (rich among the lower caste) get non-needed advantage & leave other lower caste groups poor only. There also have been cases of reverse-discrimination and persecution of upper castes by lower castes.
- NIC Global Trend
- "USATODAY.com - Prediction: India, China will be economic giants". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Lowy Institute paper - The Next Economic Giant
- Newsweek : India Rising
- The Weekly StandardThe Great Game by Daniel Twining
- "Our Energy Future: Fusion, Space Solar Power or both? -- kuro5hin.org". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Future energy development
- "The Energy Debate: my conclusions...". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Energy-Atlas Solar radiation". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "NASA Visible Earth: Population Density". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Solar LEDs Brighten Rural India's Future". TreeHugger. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS - Technology - Solar plan for Indian computers". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Solar Cooling German report
- Paper presented at International Conference on Solar Air Conditioning, Germany Archived 2007-10-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Solar Cooling - Case Studies". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "International Programs". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Michael Lingenheld. "Demographics Will Power The World's New Growth Leader: India". Forbes. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS | South Asia | US approves Indian nuclear deal". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- "India's demographic dividend (Customer World)". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India's potential `demographic dividend'". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India Argues as Window of Opportunity Closes: Andy Mukherjee". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Demographic Windows - Table19(pg 93), TableA19(pg 250) Pop2300, UN
- WORLD POPULATION TO 2300 The United Nations
- "The Indian Diaspora". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Socioeconomic Statistics & Demographics : Asian-Nation :: Asian American History, Demographics, & Issues". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Sphere of Influence?
- Chicago Boyz. "Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » Language matters. Borders matter.". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- English in the Global Village
- "English as a Second Language. English as a Global Language.. Going Global: Adventures in Web globalization and all that it entails". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "English as a Global Language". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- ABC Australia
- "Versatile, skilled human capital". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India needs at least 160,000 foreign language professionals by 2010". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Why Spanish Is On Its Way to Becoming One of India’s Favoured Foreign Languages". Yahoo News India. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- The World's Largest Democracy
- "Google Answers: Democracy in India". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India as a future superpower The Trailing Edge
- G4 Nations Bid for Permanent Security Council Seat
- "Premier: China supports India's bid for UNSC seat". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- France backs India’s UNSC bid
- "Russia wants India in UNSC with veto power: Putin clarifies statement". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- UK supports India’s bid for UNSC seat
- Administrator. "US and China Unite to Block G4 Plan". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- US won’t back India’s bid for UNSC
- "Bajaj Allianz Collects Rs 206 cr Premium In Nine Months". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Content Not Found - Mail & Guardian". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- China-India Entente
- "MANJU PARIKH -- INDIA-PAKISTAN RAPPROCHEMENT: A CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM? -- LOGOS 4.1 WINTER 2005". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Economist's View". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Two Sleeping Asian Giants Awaken". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- South Asian Union
- "The Seoul Times". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- The Great Game by Daniel Twining, The Weekly Standard
- India Rising MSNBC Newsweek
- "PM lauds India and puts runs on board for trade links". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Amelia Gentleman. "Booming India finds that America wants to be its new best friend". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India's growth rate set to surpass China this year: World Bank". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- The Finance Professional, 2004
- India's Rising Economy by John Williamson
- "Indian Economy". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Manufacturing in India
- India Gains Credibility as an Emergent Export Titan
- Manufacturing in India
- "India eyes hi-tech manufacturing". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Manufacturing in India - Opportunities, Challenges, and Myths
- "Indian Economy". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India acts as a technology superpower – provides IT grant to Uzbekistan! India Daily
- Information Technology in India The Emergence Project
- India IT NZ Herald
- India: The next knowledge superpower NewScientist
- "Knowledge for Development - India and the Knowledge Economy: Leveraging Strengths and Opportunities". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "9news.i.com.com". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Biotech: The Next Tech Revolution In India
- "IT Business Edge - News, Analysis, and Trends". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India in Space
- "BBC News - SOUTH ASIA - India joins space elite". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Hindustan Times Giant step in space as capsule returns
- "Europe, India Cooperate for India's Moon Mission". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "NASA Seeks Berth On India's Moon Mission". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "World's nations will shoot for the moon in the next decade". SFGate. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- The other rising Asian space power
- "IRS (Indian Remote Sensing Satellite)". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- NewScientist - Indian Space programme
- "EurActiv". EurActiv - EU News & policy debates, across languages. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS - Science/Nature - India joins nuclear fusion club". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Imported From India". 19 June 2003. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Information Library". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS - South Asia - Historic breakthrough for India-US relations". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- France and India agree on atom deal
- INDIA'S ENERGY FUTURE
- "India keen on stake in 4 oil fields in Kazakhstan". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Parwini Zora (12 April 2005). "India joins the scramble for oil - World Socialist Web Site". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India, China and the Asian axis of oil". Global Research. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Salient Features of Indian Railways. Figures as of 2002.
- India's incredible tourism story only gets better by Saikat Neogi, October 16, 2006
- smh. "Tourism Booming in India". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Foreign Correspondent - 08/11/2005: India - Medical Tourism". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Association for Asia Research- India&'s tourism industry booms". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- A Travel Guide to India Road Junky Guides
- Rough Guides Travel
- "Geographia - Asia Homepage". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Tourism in India
- PTI (2016-01-09). "Foreign tourist arrivals grow by 4.4 pc in 2015". The Financial Express. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
- "Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 11 May 2016. On the left side of page, English releases are displayed by months; select January 2016 from the menu and click on second last post among the posts displayed on left side.
- "Surgeries, Side Trips for 'Medical Tourists'". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- See List of countries by number of active troops
- See List of countries by size of armed forces
- John Pike. "India - Air Force". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Indian Air Force website
- Project Seabird
- Global Security The Indian Navy
- Ankit Panda, The Diplomat. "India Is Capable of Developing a 10,000-Kilometer Range ICBM". The Diplomat. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "..:: India Strategic ::. Missiles: Indias Self-Reliant Missile Journey". Retrieved 11 September 2015. C1 control character in
|title=at position 41 (help)
- "Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Search". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Aspects of India's Economy No. 41". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "COUNTING SYSTEMS AND NUMERALS". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Indian numerals". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Laputan Logic - The Evolution of Numbers". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Astronomy in Ancient India - Crystalinks". www.crystalinks.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Plofker, K.: Mathematics in India (eBook and Hardcover).". press.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
- "The Indian Origins of the Calculus and its Transmission to Europe Prior to Newton and Leibniz. Part I" (PDF).
- Spiritual Journeys Quotes About India
- ThinkExist Hu Shih Quotes
- "American Chronicle". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Richard Emblin. "The Diary of an Intimate Stranger". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Bryan Pearson. "In Kabul, hooray for Bollywood". Variety. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS - South Asia - Bollywood bowls Tajiks over". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC News - South Asia - Bollywood stirs Uzbek passions". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - Bollywood draws global stars". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Indian soft power sways China". dna. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Apun ka Choice New York Film Festival kicks off with Ananda
- MG Distribution Indian Film Festival
- Thats Melbourne New Years Eve Celebration - Bollywood dance group
- "New Business and Global Consciousness". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "India's Place in Global Consciousness". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Science, Global Consciousness And The Self
- "Missing File". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Democracy and Islam Iranian
- Democracy, drought and starvation in India
- The New Internationalist Team. "Desperately Seeking Democracy -- New Internationalist". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Puneet Singh Lamba. "The Sikh Times - News and Analysis - "Indian Democracy Has Collapsed"". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Democracy's drawbacks". The Economist. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Race to the Top of the World - India vs China - BBC Documentary
- Insurgency VOA News
- Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Thomson Reuters Foundation". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India, China to speed up border dispute talks Xinhua Net
- Is India a Major Power? Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- Child labour in india
- Rural Employment Project VOA
- "Poverty rate drops in India: World Bank". 18 November 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Poverty in India World Bank
- Data and dogma: the great Indian poverty debate A. Deaton (Princeton Univ.) and V. Kozel (World bank)
- The Multidimensions of Urban Poverty in India Archived June 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., Centre de Sciences Humaines - New Delhi
- Lifting The Poverty Veil J. Ramesh, India Today
- Globalization, the Investment Climate, and Poverty Reduction, World Bank ICRIER
- Technology for Poverty Reduction UNDP
- "Economist's View". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India: A Nation Of Dropouts Business Week Magazine
- 15,766 km. of expressway needed to ease traffic hold-ups The Hindu. Retrieved 3 December 2006.
- Expressways being built at frenetic pace Retrieved 3 December 2006.
- India Has a Babu Dilemma
- "India: a new economic powerhouse without government red tape". On Line Opinion. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India's economy - Too hot to handle Economist, Nov 23rd 2006
- India's blossoming economy Economist Intelligence Unit Briefing
- India's energy needs Lowy Institute
- INDIA'S ENERGY FUTURE Ecoworld
- Johnson, Jo (November 16, 2006). "Engaging India: Demographic dividend or disaster?". Financial Times. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- "`Growth in manufacturing sector key to generating employment'". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Look out world, here come's booming India by Dick Morris
- "Global Innovation: A Research Project of TIM @ TUHH". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Leveraging the knowledge advantage
- "NDTV.com". www.ndtv.com. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Arsenic poisoning
- Burden Of Disease In Rural India
- "HIV & AIDS in India". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Literacy Facts University of Hamburg
- Literacy, Indian Census
- The Quiet Revolution IMF
- "What We Do". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India special, New Scientist
- Kerela literacy Archived 2010-07-26 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Census Statistics for Bihar". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Economic Survey 2004-05, Economic Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, quoting UNDP Human Development Report 2004.
- The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David Landes, Chapter 1.
- The Geography of Poverty and Wealth Harvard
- "The Hindu : Magazine / Environment : The Ganga could run dry ...". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- DECLINE OF WORLD'S GLACIERS
- India's Environmental Issues EIA
- "Hindu-Muslim Conflict in India". Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Religious intolerance in India". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Diversity" In India Capitalism magazine
- Indian Muslim image is transforming Milli Gazette
- Caste system main barrier to India's IT superpower ambitions? Express India
- Furore reflects India's caste complexities BBC News
- World Bank warning India India Daily
- "'We Are Like The Jews' - Ashokamitran - Apr 11,2005". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Are Brahmins the Dalits of today?". Rediff. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- India: The next knowledge superpower
- India Economy grows at torrid pace - New York Times
- Indian economy on take-off stage with demographic bonus
- India Awakens by Michael Elliott (Time.com)
- The New India, and the Old One
- India's Economic Contrasts
- A New World Economy by Businessweek
- China and India by Businessweek
- India: Emerging Power by Stephen P. Cohen (ISBN 0-8157-1501-3)
- India 2020 by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Y.S. Rajan (ISBN 0-14-027833-8)
- India as an Emerging Power by Sumit Ganguly (ISBN 0-7146-8321-3)
- India: Towards the Millennium Development Goals, UN
- The Changing Geopolitical Landscape by National Intelligence Council
- Prospects for China and India in the 21st Century, Marvin Cetron, World future Society Conference, 2004.
- China and India Hold World in Balance
- India and the World: Balancing Agenda
- India: the Next Economic Giant, 2004, By Lowy Institute, Australia.
- Newsweek Coverpage on India
- Businessweek on India's attractiveness
- Socioeconomic statistics and demographics of Asians in America
- New World-Order Paradigm: The Best of the West Agrees It’s Moving East
- Relocating to India
- India, China, and the United States: A Delicate Balance
- Made for India
- China and India - The Future of Investors
- A Race to the Future
- Indians on India Vision
- What's Behind Asia's Gold Rush? A Health and Demographic analysis by Harvard School of Public Health
- Is India a science superpower?
- China, India Superpower - Not so fast.
- Why India lags behind China
- Does demography advantage India?
- The end of Gandhi's dream: India's economic boom and bust
- Why Has China’s Economy Taken Off Faster than India’s? A Research Paper by Harvard and Tsingua University faculties, presented at Stanford Center for International Development
- India is China's economic equal? Bah!
- The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Thomas L. Friedman
- Three Billion New Capitalists by Clyde Prestowitz
- India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age by Gurcharan Das (ISBN 0-385-72074-2)
- India: An Investor’s Guide to the Next Economic Superpower by Aaron Chaze
- Social Problems in India/B.K. Prasad
- Energy Crisis in India by M. G. Mehetre
- World is Flat, T. Friedman, Colloquim Recording at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- One Land, two planets (listen)