When Will India Become A Superpower? | NowThis World

Over the past two decades, India has gone
from a developing economy to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Today it reigns as an emerging superpower,
with significant growth in nearly all areas: population, financial markets, military and
more. In 1998, APJ Abdul Kalam, the soon-to-be 11th
President of India predicted the country would achieve superpower status by the year 2020. So, we wanted to know, is that goal still
realistic, and when WILL India become a superpower? Well, in some areas, India has far surpassed
expectations. In the early 1990s, a series of neoliberal
economic policies focused on capitalist growth rather than a long term socialist economy. This resulted in a GDP jump from about 500
billion dollars in 2002, to 2 and a quarter trillion dollars in 2017, one of the most
significant increases in recent history. On the back of this dramatic growth, millions
in India have been lifted out of poverty, and since the early 2000s, the country has
been on track to double average income. After China and the United States, India has
the third most purchasing power on earth, making them a strong contender for superpower
status based on economic influence alone. Another major sign of a superpower is military
might, and in this arena, India has also shown huge increases in spending and global cooperation. Over the past decade, India has tripled its
defense expenditures, and as of 2016 was the fifth largest military spender in the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced
plans to focus on arms production, as currently India imports more weapons than any other
country, accounting for a massive portion of its 55 billion dollar defense budget. As of 2017, Global Firepower ranks India as
the fourth most powerful military on earth. Notably, India is one of the few nuclear-ready
countries. And in fact, this military power has meant
that India is able to forge strong geopolitical alliances in Asia, particularly as a US ally. The United States has ongoing counter-terrorism
efforts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, both of which border India. As such, India has provided the US use of
its military bases, and serves as an important counterpoint in the region against China,
another emerging superpower. India is even close to a permanent seat on
the UN Security Council, having been repeatedly elected, and with the support of the US, the
UK, Russia, and France. Even China has supported a larger role for
India within the United Nations. All of these major achievements, coupled with
being the second largest population in the world, and the single largest democratic nation,
would suggest that India is well on its way to being a preeminent superpower. But India still faces major developmental
challenges. Widespread issues such as corruption in government,
the use of bribery, and sweeping nepotism are significant hurdles to overcome. A 2005 study found that more than 9 out of
10 Indians had at one point paid a bribe to a public official, and globally, India ranks
79th in corruption. India also still struggles with extreme income
inequality, and a caste system that while improving, is still very much a social problem. Based on one’s ethnicity and family, people
in India are segregated for opportunities like college admission, career, living conditions,
even salary. While aspects of the country’s economy,
industrialization, and military are well on their way to being a superpower, as with any
other country, there are still social conditions to address. But these hurdles are not intractable, and
have steadily improved over the past decade. As 2020 approaches, fewer and fewer academics
and political analysts believe India has enough time left, with estimates revising India’s
timeline to superpower by 2030, following the European Union and China. The question isn’t whether or not India
WILL be a superpower, but what KIND of superpower it wants to be. Many economists have predicted that India’s
economic growth has long to go before it drops off. Some have even suggested India will surpass
the US economy in just a few decades. To learn how, check out this video to the
right. Thanks for watching NowThis World, don’t
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