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India to be world’s second-largest economy, by 2050 - PwC

India has the potential to become a superpower and it needs significant achievements in the fields of education, health and industry to make the cut, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said recently.

He also mentioned the country’s glorious history including major discoveries by ancient scientists like Aryabhata ahead of their western counterparts. In 1998, former president APJ Abdul Kalam, a scientist and administrator associated with India’s missile programme as well as the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, co-authored a book titled India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium.It had a simple message: India would be a superpower within the next two decades.
As predictions go, this was extremely bold.This potential is attributed to several indicators, the primary ones being its demographic trends and a rapidly expanding economy and military.

India is home to one-sixth of humanity or 1.2 billion people. With a young population and a grand consumer base – complete with ethnic and linguistic diversity – it is a country with unparalleled economic potential. In March, the OECD forecasted India’s GDP to grow by 12.6% in 2021 – a figure that if realized, would return the country to being the world’s fastest growing major economy.

According to ‘The World in 2050’ report (2017) by international professional services firm PwC, by 2050, India is projected to be the world’s second-largest economy (overtaking the United States) and will account for 15% of the world’s total GDP. (This report does not take account of the major events since 2017, including Covid 19 pandemic).The positive outcomes of that growth have already started to make an impact for residents.

“From the end of 20th Century and start of 21st, I have literally seen India changing in front of my eyes,” said native Saurabh Jindal, who runs the app Talk Travel. “The economy growing has led to manifold changes in people’s lifestyles, from the vibes in the city to the attitudes in society and eventually the overall walk and talk of the country and its inhabitants.” But it is a truism that the growth also hasn’t always reached every citizen equality.

“There are some sections of the society [that] are still living a very low quality of life,” said Jindal. “You can see slums next to high-rise buildings.”

Demographic Advantage

In a detailed section on India, a report released by China’s Central bank said the gap between the two countries is narrowing. As two big countries in Asia, China’s economic growth has been faster than India’s for a long time but in recent years, China’s demographic dividend is fading, India’s economic growth has tended to approach China’s, the report said. In a rare frank assessment, it added that China’s ageing population and the declining birth rate will become more serious in 10 years while India’s demographic structure will be further optimized.