India Economic Conditions in the 2000’s

South Asian state. During 2000, the population of the India exceeded one billion individuals and the definitive data of the 2001 census attributed to the country 1,028,610,328 residents. The average density corresponded to 313 residents / km 2 with a very unequal distribution of the population; the highest densities were found in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. The Himalayan regions are always very sparsely populated: the lowest densities are maintained in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram and Sikkim. Again according to the 2001 census data the composition by age was also particularly unbalanced: about one third of the residents of the IU were under 15, while the population over 65 was less than 5 % of the total; the average age in 2006 was estimated at 24.4 years for males and females. The population growth rate, while continuing to decline slowly, has not undergone significant changes (+ 1.6 % in the 2000-2005 period): the drop in the birth rate has found substantial compensation with the decrease in the mortality rate and, in particular, with the reduction of the infant mortality rate. In the first five years of 21° sec. the urban population did not reach 30 % of the total. Also in this respect, the differences between the various territorial components of the country have remained quite sensitive: in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat the level of urbanization was much higher than the average (about 40 % of the population), while in Bihar only 10 % of the residents lived in urban areas. Not less than 50 millions of residents populated the major metropolitan areas: Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Delhi and Chennai (formerly Madras). As a consequence of the continuous and locally rapid process of industrialization, the metropolitan areas of Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad are also rapidly expanding. In fact, however, a large part of the population remains settled in the countryside and, directly or indirectly, continues to depend on agriculture. Although the phenomenon is in sharp decline, the number of people living below the poverty line is still high. The figure does not only concern the countryside: international organizations estimate, in fact, that about a quarter of the country’s poor live in urban areas. The new middle class (estimated at approx 300 million individuals) characterized by income levels such as to allow ever greater access to consumer goods. Strong public investments in the education and research sector have significantly reduced the illiteracy rate (in 2004 it was estimated that about 61 % of the population over the age of 15 was able to read and write); the number of those who complete the entire cycle of studies is still modest, but growing. The World Bank noted that the growth of social indicators remains unsatisfactory, as a consequence of the uneven distribution of services, especially health services.

Economic conditions

According to ebizdir, the India economy still has heavy backward characters. Despite the undoubted progress of the twenty years at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the per capita GDP it remains anchored to very low values, also as a consequence of the very high rate of demographic increase. For the purposes of economic development, the India has undoubted strengths, but also persistent weaknesses, which, moreover, the State does not seem able to remedy, at least in the short or medium term. Among the former we must mention the abundance of manpower, available at very low costs and characterized by considerable technical knowledge; a consolidated democratic system; low external debt and good availability of currency resources; low inflation and a well-organized financial sector. Among the latter, alongside regions characterized by a certain social instability and recurrent situations of religious tension, the strong backwardness of the transport infrastructures as well as the inadequacy of the essential services for the social growth of the population (insufficient development of the water network, of the electricity supply and, in general, of the social and health services) should be emphasized. The bureaucratic system, although simplified and modernized, still has archaic characteristics, with strong penalties for the growth of the production system, especially in the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Agriculture is still penalized by a low infrastructural level and by an excessive dependence on climatic events; despite the investments made over the last half century, the extension of the irrigated area is still insufficient, while the technological equipment of the sector does not allow the achievement of significant progress in productivity levels.

Furthermore, the Indian economy is characterized by the persistence of strong sectoral and territorial imbalances. The income growth trend has always remained at high levels, but the variability of internal situations is considerable and involves the production sectors as a whole. Like all new globalized economies that depend heavily on both exports and the inflow of foreign capital, India is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in international markets. The Asian financial crisis of 1997, the recession in the United States, worsened after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, as well as the constant tensions with Pakistan, have had a significant weight in the slowdown of the albeit vigorous economic growth and in discouraging the inflow of foreign capital in the years at the turn of the century. Finally, in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, the India had to deal with the tumultuous growth of the Chinese economy, the competition of which was felt above all on the production of traditional goods. In December 2004 a tsunami of great intensity ( tsunami ) hit the eastern coast of the country, devastating about 2300 km of coasts; the states most affected were: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and the Territories of Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Over 10,700 people lost their lives in the disaster, while another 5,000 were missing. Damage to facilities and manufacturing operations was estimated at over $ 1 billion. It is not yet possible to assess the impact of the disaster on economic growth, however it is believed to be quite contained, given the modest contribution of the affected area to the formation of GDP. In order to prevent the recurrence of such disastrous events, the government has decided to equip the country with a tsunami forecasting network which should be active by 2007..

India economy

About the author