Next Decade 2010-2020: Some Predictions/Expectations

Many exciting predications have appeared in media about India in 2020. I may doubt if I shall be able to witness the achievement of India by 2020. But these predictions are also something that makes persons such as me aspire and provide strong will to live longer. And perhaps that is the reason that any prediction that relates to 2030 such as one by London-based Legatum Institute doesn’t make me exhilarated, though it predicts India to be the world’s most important economic power by 2030.

Is it not exciting when the prime minister of the country declares the decade 2010 as the “Decade of Innovations”? And it is clear it shall not happen in the final year. One can see and feel it happening in the whole period. And how good as an Indian I shall feel seeing the wishes of Raghuram Rajan, Professor of Finanace at University of Chicago’s Booth School of business and Honorary Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister getting realized? He has said, “If India has to take its rightful place among nations, every sixth CEO of a Fortune 500 firm should be an Indian. Every sixth Nobel Prize winner should be an Indian.” Perhaps similar was the target set by C K Prahalad, one of the topmost management thinkers of the time.

I have been writing so many times about India vs. China. And every news report of China excelling India by manifold, I confess, makes me envy. So will I not be really excited to see India overtaking China as Swaminathan Aiyar and many predict?

However, I find T N Ninan of Business Standard giving some factual details and that makes morose.

India in all probability will continue to achieve economic growth at an annual rate of 9 per cent. India’s GDP will go up from about $1.3 trillion (Rs 60 lakh crore) today to 2.2 times that figure a decade from now in 2020, at just under $3 trillion at today’s prices and exchange rates.

The number of households with a monthly income of Rs 25,000 and more should more than treble, from about 30 million today to 100 million by 2020. The spending power of the middle class will multiply six-fold. Some markets will grow tenfold in the next decade.

However, per capita income will have doubled to become a little better than where Sri Lanka’s is today!

India’s share of global GDP will be only slightly better than 4 per cent even in 2020 – well short of the 24 per cent that prevailed more than three centuries ago, and not much better than the 3.8 per cent of 1952!

2010=20 will certainly be the ‘deciding decade‘ for India. It requires continuously rising saving and consistently maintaining investment booms. But more important will be the priority for massive quality education programmes and health care measures rather than the present gimmicks of loan waivers and innovations for winning the elections.

And those who shall get it happen must realize that 2020 is less than ten years away. But this is doable.

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