The Rise of Modern India

Edward Luce, Washington Bureau Chief of the Financial Times and author of “In Spite of
Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India”, discusses the
economic and social challenges facing the subcontinent. Luce served as the
paper’s South Asia bureau chief from 2001-2005, based in New Delhi. A recent
report from Goldman Sachs predicted that if current growth rates are sustained,
India could have the world’s fifth largest economy within ten years, overtaking
Italy, the UK, and France. But the much vaunted tech sector employs no more than
one million of India’s 1.1 billion people. Only 35 million people, in fact, have
formal enough jobs to pay taxes, while three-quarters of the country lives in
extreme deprivation in India’s 600,000 villages. Amid these extremes exists the
world’s largest experiment in representative democracy—and a largely successful
one, despite bureaucracies riddled with corruption. What challenges does India
face in harnessing its economic potential? What are the implications of Indian
growth for global energy demands? What role can India play in US China policy?

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