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Political Stability Under PM Modi Putting Rocket Fuel Into New India: Report


New Delhi:

United Kingdom's Telegraph newspaper in a recent article stated that India which was mired by fractious politics has undergone great political stability under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has allowed for legal reforms, improvements to basic welfare systems, and a vast upgrading of the country's infrastructure.

In his September 2 article in the newsdaily, author Ben Wright writes that India holds potential and also some problems, but under the leadership of PM Modi, India definitely holds the bold targets, it aims to achieve.

The author has pointed out that with the success of Chandrayaan-3, India became only the fourth (and third extant) country to achieve a “soft” landing on the Moon, following the US, the Soviet Union, and China


The fact that Russia's attempt to land in the same previously unexplored region had ended in ignominious failure a few days earlier further accentuated the achievement, which, rather deliciously, coincided with the BRICS international relations summit in Johannesburg.

India's successful lunar mission was met by wild celebrations across the subcontinent and was hailed as “another one of the many straws in the wind,” illustrating the country's ascendancy, according to Ray Dalio, a billionaire News Sport Business Opinion Ukraine Money Royals Life Style Travel Culture Puzzles 11 1 hedge fund manager, The Telegraph reported.

Notably, India's population recently overtook that of China's: the International Monetary Fund's forecast that it will be one of the fastest-growing large economies in 2023 and for the next five years; the sheer acreage of red carpet rolled out in foreign capitals around the world to welcome Narendra Modi, the prime minister; and Air India's recent world record order of 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing.

Opening his company's first retail outlets in Mumbai and Delhi in May, Tim Cook, the Apple boss, declared India was “at a tipping point”. Over the summer, a unit of Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant that makes iPhones, started drawing up plans to build a USD 1 billion factory in the southern state of Karnataka; the US-based Micron Technology announced it will start building a new semi-conductor facility in Gujarat later this year; and Goldman Sachs held its first board meeting in India in more than a decade, The Telegraph reported.

The author further points out that the country's rising influence can be seen in other spheres, too.

Cricket's Indian Premier League is now the second most valuable sports league in the world, behind just American football's National Football League, with offshoots in an increasing number of countries.

The newly-released Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the first US blockbuster to feature an Indian superhero. In the film, which played to packed cinemas across India over the summer, Pavitr Prabhakar (whose name is a play on Peter Parker) admonishes another character when he asks for “chai tea”: “‘Chai' means tea, bro! You're saying ‘tea tea!'” Call it cultural reappropriation, perhaps, The Telegraph reported.

According to the author, India also appears to be benefiting from the convergence of several economic mega-trends.

On current estimates, it will be the world's third largest economy in four years' time; its working-age population will exceed China's by an astounding 235 million (roughly the population of Pakistan) in seven years; and its gross domestic product will more than double to USD 8.5 trillion (2.78 trillion Euros) in 10.

As globalisation has seemingly gone into reverse following the Covid pandemic and as international frictions intensify, India should be well-positioned to profit from a boom in “friend-shoring”, The Telegraph reported.

US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen was in India earlier this year talking up the idea. Western companies want access to India's burgeoning middle class, and Western politicians have a vested interest in helping boost a second centre of economic gravity to compete with China in the region.

The author further pointed out that the world's biggest democracy with over 600 parties has historically been bedevilled by fractious politics. However, under PM Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party has won consecutive parliamentary majorities and looks on course to make it a hat trick next May.

Coupled with the marked decline of the Congress Party, this has provided a measure of political stability that has allowed for legal reforms, improvements to basic welfare systems and a vast upgrading of the country's infrastructure, according to the Telegraph report.

However, the report also warns that the clock is ticking. Economists say the demographic stars align just once in the lifetime of any given nation. India currently accounts for one in every four people of working age in the entire world but its elderly population is forecast to increase by 40 per cent in the coming decade. The economy must maximise growth while its demographic boom is peaking or it will, in the words of Samiran Chakraborty, chief India economist at Citigroup investment bank, “get old before it gets rich”.

The economy's heavy reliance on the services industry means the country is struggling to generate enough jobs to employ India's youth. Education standards are well below par and malnutrition is stubbornly high. The top 1 per cent and top 10 per cent in India capture 22 per cent and 57 per cent of income (the 3rd and 4th highest share across major countries). And there are signs that economic anxiety appears to be breeding a generation of angry youngsters and creating toxic identity politics, The Telegraph reported.

Unsurprisingly, PM Modi has been emphasising the positive aspect when he riffed at length on the theme of India's “demographic dividend” during his Independence Day speech last month. The prime minister noted that, while other countries are ageing fast, the average India is just 28, adding: “My country has crores [tens of millions] of hands, crores of brains, crores of dreams, crores of resolutions!”

That all adds up to crores of consumers. Few people have a better idea of what they are up to than Gautam Singhania. One of the country's ever-expanding cadre of billionaires, he runs the Raymond Group, a conglomerate that has, in common with many successful Indian businesses, branched off into a variety of different areas, including real estate, auto services and, until he recently sold off a men's consumer care unit, Kamasutra-branded condoms.

But the company was built on the back of its clothing and fabric brands, which sells material for as little as 300 rupees (£3) a metre up to as much as 2 million rupees a metre. This gives Singhania an extraordinary overview of the spending habits of every strata of Indian society.

“Indians are getting richer and trading up; every sector is growing because consumption is booming,” says Singhania. “India is on a trajectory that will be hard to shake. It's a juggernaut,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The report highlights how in Mumbai, the traffic situation is very poor. The city is a building site with four massive infrastructure projects. The new Coastal Road, which will run along the west side of the city, connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali in the north, will act as a kind of bypass for the peninsula.

The Trans-Harbour link, which when completed will include the longest sea bridge in India, will link Mumbai to Navi Mumbai across Thane Creek. Then there is the Metro, one line of which when opened next year is expected to carry 1.7 million passengers a day and take the pressure off the city's overcrowded suburban rail network. A new airport is also being built in Navi Mumbai, The Telegraph reported.

In addition, there's already a medium-high-speed Vande Bharat Express linking Mumbai to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and a bullet train line following the same route is under construction.



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