Indian Century

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Republic of India
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India (orthographic projection).svg

The Indian Century[1][2] (or India's Century[3]) is a term referring to the possibility that the 21st century will be dominated by India, similarly to how the 20th century is often called the American Century,[4] and the 19th century as Pax Britannica (British Peace).[5]

According to the report named "Indian Century: Defining India's Place in a Rapidly Changing Global Economy" by IBM Institute for Business Value, India is predicted to be among the world’s highest-growth nations over the coming years.[6][7][8] Economists and Researchers at Harvard University have projected India’s 7% projected annual growth rate through 2024 would continue to put it ahead of China, making India the fastest growing economy in the world.[9][10]


According to scholars,[11][12][13] media sources[14][15][16] and economic historian Angus Maddison in his book The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, the polities of India constituted the largest economy in the world from ca. 1 CE to 1000 CE.[17][18] Also, during the period when China was the dominant economy in the world, India held the second position of the largest economy.[17] India's share of the world income (economic output) went from 27% in 1700 (compared to Europe's share of 23%) to 3% in 1950.[19]

In the 17th century, India and China accounted for 60-70 percent of world GDP.[20][21]

A number of modern economic historians have blamed the colonial rule for the reduced status of India's economy, investment in Indian industries was limited.[22][23]


Projected economies of India and China compared to US between 2009-2050.

India has been identified as a potential superpower.[24][25] It is also often referred as South Asia's natural hegemon because of its overwhelming dominance of the region in all aspects – political, economic, military, cultural, and demographic. India contributes 77% of South Asia's population, 75% of its GDP, 77 percent of its territory, 80% of its defence budget, and 82% of its armed forces. One of the key factors includes its populous democracy.[26][27] It has the largest economy in the region, and has impressive GDP growth which sits today at 9.2%[28] According to political analyst C. Raja Mohan: "India's omnidirectional engagement with the great powers has paid off handsomely. Never before has India had such expansive relations with all the major powers at the same time—a result not only of India's increasing weight in the global economy and its growing power potential, but also of New Delhi's savvy and persistent diplomacy." [29]

India is generally considered an emerging power due to its large and stable population, and its rapidly growing economic and military sectors.[30][31] With the largest defence budget in the region, India possesses nuclear weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and operates two aircraft carriers. It has successfully developed a Ballistic Missile Defense system, becoming only the fourth country to do so. In 2007, India became the fourth nation in the world to complete atmospheric reentry for Manned Space Mission, an indication of its recent scientific progress.[32] India has also successfully sent probes to the Moon and to Mars.

Many industries are established in the country due to investments in technology and in the professionalism of manpower, in addition to its tradition of Exact Sciences.[33] However, several problems such as economic, political, and social problems need to be overcome to be considered a superpower.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nayan Chanda; Clyde Prestowitz. A World Connected. Yale University Press. 
  2. ^ Martin Halliwell; Catherine Morley. American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press. p. 10. 
  3. ^ D. Arora, N. Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. pp. 35–7. )
  4. ^ "21st century is going to be Indian century: Alagappan." December 1, 2007. OneIndia News/(UNI).
  5. ^ Halliwell, Martin; Catherine Morley (2008). American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-0748626021. 
  6. ^ "Indian Century - Defining India's place in a rapidly changing global economy" (PDF). IBM. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "India to be world's highest growth nation in 21st century: IBM study". Business Standard. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "21st century is India's century: IBM chief Virginia Rometty". Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "New Growth Projections Predict the Rise of India, East Africa and Fall of Oil Economies". 7 May 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "India Will Be Fastest-Growing Economy for Coming Decade, Harvard Researchers Predict". 1 January 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cover Story: India, the Silicon Jewel of the East". Digital Journal. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "All the riches of the east restored". Le Monde diplomatique. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "India and China Will Catch Up with the United States". Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Ruin of India by British Rule". Marxist Writers’ Archive. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Gems of Pre-British India". Infinity Foundation. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  16. ^ McRae, Hamish (4 June 2013). "When – not if – China overtakes the US, normality will have returned". London: The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "The World Economy (GDP) : Historical Statistics by Professor Angus Maddison" (PDF). World Economy. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Maddison, Angus (2006). The World Economy - Volume 1: A Millennial Perspective and Volume 2: Historical Statistics. OECD Publishing by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. p. 656. ISBN 9789264022621. 
  19. ^ Madison, Angus (2006). The world economy, Volumes 1–2. OECD Publishing. p. 638. doi:10.1787/456125276116. ISBN 92-64-02261-9. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Will China really dominate?". World Finance - The Voice of the Market. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Asia: A Profile of Economy and Finance" (PDF). Future Of Financial Markets (FOFM). Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  22. ^ Booker, M. Keith (1997). Colonial Power, Colonial Texts: India in the Modern British Novel. University of Michigan. pp. 153–154. ISBN 9780472107803. 
  23. ^ T.R. Jain; V.K. Ohri. Statistics for Economics and indian economic development. VK publications. p. 15. ISBN 9788190986496. 
  24. ^ Perkovich, George (2003). "Is India a Major Power?" (PDF). The Washington Quarterly (27.1). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  25. ^ Dilip Mohite (Spring 1993). "Swords and Ploughshares- India: The Fourth Great Power?". Vol. 7, No. 3. Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS). Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  26. ^ "‘India’s decade could pave way for an Indian century’." Hindustan Times.
  27. ^ "Next century will be India's, says WSJ - Oman Tribune". omantribune. 
  28. ^ "India's Economic Growth Unexpectedly Quickens to 9.2% (Update7)". 30 November 2006. 
  29. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Articles - India and the Balance of Power". 
  30. ^ A Índia como economia emergente: a importância das energias renováveis na estratégia de sustentabilidade energética - Universidade Tecnológica de Lisboa
  31. ^ Lydon, Christopher (6 August 2010). "Real India: A Historian's Cautions on "The Indian Century" (AUDIO)". Huffington Post. 
  32. ^ Hindustan Times Giant step in space as capsule returns
  33. ^ O outro Vale do Silício - Veja Online
  34. ^ A Índia e a nova ordem mundial Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

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