It's Time for India to Become a Top Nation by Per Capita Income: Here's Why

23 Apr 2024

India has doubtless achieved a seminal milestone by surpassing its erstwhile colonial master, the UK to become the 5th largest economy in the world with a $4.1 trillion[1] GDP to its credit. It is all set to become the third largest economy after the U.S. and China overtaking Germany in the next three years and even touch $7 billion by 2030.

India is also a formidable space and nuclear power right there at the top among the US, Europe, China, and Russia. Considering that India was an impoverished nation with an almost non-existent industrial base and often required foreign help to feed its people at the time of independence, its growth is very impressive indeed.

But the constant tom tomming of the nation's arrival on the world stage as a global colossus is misplaced and shows us in a very poor light. It is all very well for a nation of 1.4 billion people to aggregate an annual income of $4.1 billion, but the real test of a nation's prosperity is its wealth ranking in terms of per capita income.

With a per capita income of $2848, India ranks a poor 143rd out of 195 countries.[2] The corresponding figure for the UK in contrast stands at $51,070 placing it at a creditable 21st place worldwide. India also fares quite poorly on the Global World Hunger Index at 111 out of 125 countries, despite the green revolution and the massive subsidized distribution of food grain.

It does not behoove a nation of India's standing, capability, and expertise to have to bear the stigma of such basic and fundamental problems. There needs to be a reorientation of priorities to ensure that there is equitable distribution of wealth allowing India to rapidly ascend the rankings as soon as possible. If India can send probes to the Moon, Mars, and the Sun and think of staging the Olympic Games, it can surely devise the means to make the country truly rich in real terms. It is all a question of realigning one's priorities.

If a first-world country like Australia can pass on the opportunity to stage the much smaller Commonwealth games because it thought that its funds could be put to better use in serving its people, perhaps India could defer its grandiose aspirations till the time that it at least comes near a middle-income status.



Feature Photo by Sohel Patel:

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