It has been a popular assessment by economic predictors that India has the potential to be one of the biggest players in production and trade in the coming decades. With a population of 1.2 billion and counting, India certainly has the manpower to contribute on a global scale, and could have the buying power to create a seismic shift in the way the rest of the world makes and markets products. India still has a long way to go, though. Before the country can really be an economic force on par with the United States, the European Union, and China, it will have to undergo a major overhaul of everything from education to infrastructure.
1. Cleaning Up the Government
It's no small task to order and administer more than a billion people spread out over nearly 1.3 million square miles. If any of the necessary changes to life and business in India are to come to fruition, the country is going to need comprehensive but flexible government. More than just government, India needs to see massive improvements in governance.
By vote and by enforcement, India's government needs to see a renewed dedication to accountability. Voters will have to organize themselves, and push for political leaders who live and breathe results, especially in regard to public services.
The Indian government needs to divorce itself from industries that should be private. While socialized human services like health care can have a positive impact on the economy, production tends to suffer under government control because it's relieved of market pressure to create satisfactory products.
The Indian government should decentralize to allow local governments more leeway to address the needs of individual communities, reducing waste and increasing the quality of life for workers and consumers.
2. Investing in Education
From the halls of the White House, to the offices of top universities all over the world, everyone agrees that education has a positive effect on a society's economy. India needs to focus a decent chunk of its current resources on primary education to ensure that as many people from as many socioeconomic backgrounds as possible have access to proper schools. India should put more effort into teacher training, as there simply aren't enough educators to meet the needs of the population.
This could involve leveraging education resources from outside the country, though India's education system should by no means become dependent on foreign teachers. Education officials should also recognize that a larger demographic of young people with primary and secondary schooling will increase the demand for higher education, so the government should increase funding for universities and encourage the creation of new, private universities held to high standards and affordable tuition.
With primary education, adults should also be educated in ways to save for their future so they don’t find themselves in economic despair. Educators can model their lessons after many proven U.S. techniques save retired citizens from government aided financial help. Resources like Annuity Assist by Fisher Investments help to teach all adults how to invest and save money for their futures.
3. Overhauling Infrastructure
Making sure roads, rail, waterways, and airspace knit a country as large as India together efficiently is no small task, but it's among the most important. India has significant service gaps in its infrastructure, with deterioration of existing infrastructure providing another serious problem.
Experts and analysts from government sources and financial publications discuss issues like infrastructure overhaul in their examinations of emerging economies, though we don't need to look deep into academic or esoteric conversations to see the impact inconsistent transit has on a society.
It's no coincidence that the ongoing economic struggles in the United States are happening in a time when bridges are collapsing, and roads are falling into disrepair. This is one area where decentralized government in India can really shine. If communities can identify their individual infrastructure needs, the government can respond more quickly and accurately.
4. Developing Progressive Trade Policies
India already has great economic resources in its universities and financial institutions in the form of experienced experts. Along with limited consultancy relationships with global partners, these are the people who should be working with the government to set smart economic policies. Chief among these policies should be a greater emphasis on trade partnerships with other nations.
Despite India's volatile relationship with Bangladesh and Pakistan, these countries should form long-lasting trade agreements to diversify their international client base, and avoid becoming too dependent on big spenders like the United States and China. Furthermore, trade partnerships promote peace and, contrary to many beliefs about the impact of war on macroeconomics, smart spending in peacetime leads to lasting economic growth while war creates unsustainable spikes at best, and patterns of collapse at worst.
The government and people of India already have a lot of great stuff to work with. India has a good manufacturing base, plenty of room for educational growth and strong economic ties with other nations. By improving conditions within the country and fostering positive relationships beyond its borders, India could live up to its highest economic potential.