India@75 is a pathbreaking initiative that was adopted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2008-09 with a view to building a new India, that is inclusive, sustainable and progressive by 2022, the year when India celebrates 75 years of Independence.
India@75 looks at a collaborative approach and seeks to bring all stakeholders together including citizens, industry, institutions and the Government to foster the development process of building a better India by 2022.
Padma Bhushan Late Prof CK Prahalad, renowned management guru, is the inspiration behind the idea of India@75. Prof. Prahalad articulated his vision of how India should be in its 75th year of Independence at the India@60 celebrations in New York in September, 2007.
Prof. Prahalad identified some key priority areas including education, infrastructure, sustainable development, innovation and entrepreneurship and anti-corruption, among others, as some of the key enablers that would act as catalysts to achieve the dream of a better nation by 2022. His compelling vision led CII to undertake the India@75 campaign to develop and action a vision for India, building on the gains made since 1947.
India’s Developmental Journey since Independence
India has made substantial progress since Independence in 1947. The country has seen wide-ranging positive changes across sectors such as health, education, technology, agriculture, and industry, to name a few.
From a Rs 2.9 trillion economy back in the 1950’s, India today has become a sizeable Rs 130 trillion economy, growing roughly by 44 times over the period and emerging as the world’s fifth largest economy. India’s average per capita income has increased significantly, with Per Capita Net National Income (PCNNI, at constant prices) going up from Rs 7,513 in 1950-51 to Rs 86,660 during 2017-18, going up by almost 11 times.
India has made huge strides in agriculture. It is today one of the leading producers of foodgrains in the world, with production going up from 77 million tonnes in 1959-60 to around 277 million tonnes during 2016-17. The country has not only ensured food security for its citizens but also entered the export markets for agricultural produce. India is also a leading producer of key commercial crops such as cotton and guar gum. In recent years, the country has also become a major fish producer of the world.
In education, literacy rates have significantly increased from only 18.3% during 1951 to around 73% in 2011. Higher education in India has seen a substantial expansion in the number of colleges and universities, with the former going up from 500 in 1950 to 39,050 in 2017-18 and the latter going up from 20 to 903 during the same period.
Technology is rapidly evolving in today’s world and India has taken major steps in this direction to pave the way for a nation shaping global technology. Its software exports have witnessed a tremendous increase, growing from US$2.2 billion in 2000 to a massive US$117 billion during 2016-17, transforming India to a knowledge brand. With the growth in the number of telephone subscribers from 4.9 million in 1999 to around 1,154 million in 2018, digitization is rapidly evolving in India.
In infrastructure, India has made considerable progress since the time of independence. Length of highways and roads has seen sizeable expansion and grew at impressive rates of 410% and 1,300% respectively during the 1950-2016 period. The Indian aviation industry has also come a long way and domestic passenger traffic has seen a massive surge from around 3.07 million during 1975-76 to around 103.75 million during 2016-17.
In the energy sector, the country moved to generating more than 1,433 billion KW of energy as of 2016-17 from a mere 6.6 billion KW during 1950-51. A major achievement has been the electrification of all village households – from only 3,051 electrified villages as of 1951, all 6.5 lakh villages have been electrified today.
The Indian manufacturing sector has progressively developed over the years. A notable achievement has been the substantial increase in the number of registered vehicles that went up from 0.306 million in 1950-51 to around 230 million in 2015-16. Another significant change is the increased production of fertilizers that went up from 1,059 thousand tonnes during 1970-71 to 10,514 thousand tonnes during 2017-18, registering a growth rate of around 9 times.
India has also made noteworthy strides under the various sustainability goals since Independence. Household’s (rural and urban combined) access to safe drinking water has increased from around 38% during 1981 to around 85.5% during 2011. Indians can now expect to live longer with life expectancy at birth going up from 41 years in 1960 to around 68 years during 2016.
CII has been playing a key role in India’s development journey since its formation in 1895. It plays an instrumental role in nation building through the development of industry by partnering with diverse stakeholders including Government, industry, civil society, academia and the citizens. CII undertakes various initiatives across various sectors including education, healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, among many others.
After Prof Prahalad articulated his vision for India@75 in New York, CII conducted an extensive collaborative public consultation and developed vision document plans for states and districts, besides a national vision document for India@75.
The idea is to collaboratively create an inclusive and sustainable India by 2022 by working on seven vision elements covering skills, education, economy, urbanization and environmental sustainability, agriculture and health, innovation and moral leadership. CII undertakes focused interventions in all these fields for ensuring an inclusive and social development of the nation.
India is expected to become the fastest growing major economy in the world and is projected to grow at the rate of 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019 as per International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook July 2018 update. While India’s growth prospects certainly look bright, development efforts must continue for translating the vision of India@75 into reality. The partnership between citizens, industry and the Government will be further strengthened for a better and new India in 2022.