I am already above 70 years. I don’t know how long will be my life span. But the body that undertook the pain and agony of heart trouble and surgery psychologically may not last the very best that I wish.
But let me tell why I wish a long life. My liking of food and drinks can’t be the reason, nor do I spend a lot of time in travelling to exciting destinations. I do also neither live in a big happy joint family.
But still I sometimes wish to see 2039 when I shall be 100 years of age. Do you know the reason? It’s because I came across a book ‘India 2039: An Affluent Society in One Generation’ edited by Harinder S. Kohli and Anil Sood, and published by Sage Publications. I dream to see with my own eyes an affluent India. Surprisingly, the prediction is doable but for the integrity of the politicians. And this can happen with a growth rate of about 8%, and the task becomes easier and faster with double digit GDP growth rate that the economist Prime Minister and his finance Minister promised in course of India Budget Speech 2010.
India has already strong fundamentals: neighbourhood effects of Asian growth, increases in savings and investment rates, growth of manufacturing, demographic divides, increasing urbanization, the middle class fuelling consumption and entrepreneurship and changes in values. And even the constraints in infrastructure, health, education and governance can be debottlenecked.
According to the book, India can easily reach a per capita income of $5,500 in 2039, and an overall gross domestic product of $8 trillion. However, a determined India can also take India to a per capita income of $22,000 in 2039 and a GDP of $36 trillion.
Is it not exciting enough reason to live a life of 100 years?
But even at 80 and 85, I can expect to see a great India and a country with excellent manufacturing strength. Manufacturing had been my weakness. And so the CII-Boston Consulting Group report made me wish to see year 2025. According to the report, India can match, and even surpass, the best performing manufacturing economy in recent years-China. The report provides roadmap for India to become the fourth largest manufacturing economy in the world by 2025 from the current ranking of 13th.
And if I go by media reports, many things are happening to make it possible:
The world’s largest truck maker Daimler on Thursday promised to invest Rs 4,400 crore over the next five years to set up a manufacturing plant on 400-acres in Chennai with an initial capacity of 36,000 units in the first phase that will be scaled up to 72,000 units finally, and almost all big commercial vehicles manufacturers are setting up their shops. And other auto manufacturers from Japan and Europe are coming in India.
The continued buoyancy in the country’s industrial production in the current fiscal has got appreciation from the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In its latest Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2010, the Vienna-based UN body said in 2009 India overtook developed countries such as Canada and Mexico and emerging economies such as Brazil to move up to the ninth slot among the world’s top-10 industrial countries.
And so there is lot of exciting reasons to live a long life. Kapil Sibal has given me one more reason. India in 2030 will be most educated in the world.