India 2039: An Affluent Society in One Generation
This book provides a perspective on where India could be in the year 2039, if it maintains the economic growth rates it has experienced recently. In addition to emphasizing the virtuous cycle between growth and poverty reduction, the book outlines the salient challenges that India must overcome to achieve this end. These challenges include:
- Addressing structural inequalities that lie at the core of poverty and exclusion of the most vulnerable groups.
- The provision of education and health services, and infrastructure services to rural and urban populations.
- Ensuring an improved environment—clean air, clean water and sanitation etc.
- Launching an energy revolution, with a view to reducing the economy’s carbon intensity.
- Overcoming critical infrastructure bottlenecks.
- Improving the quality of education and access to secondary and tertiary education.
- Improving the business environment to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Taking on the role of a responsible global citizen.
The book proposes that India could be one of the top three global economic powers in 30 years. It presents a persuasive case that if India succeeds in sustaining its recent economic success over the longer term (as many East Asian economies have done in the past), India can realistically aspire to become an affluent society—with a GDP per capita of $22,000 (PPP terms and no poor people–within one generation. India 2039 assesses the many hurdles – political, social, policy and institutional – that India must overcome to realize its vision to become a modern, affluent, inclusive society and lift millions of Indians from relative poverty within 30 years. It provides an agenda of intergenerational issues that are central to India avoiding the middle income trap—where countries stagnate at middle income levels and are unable to achieve high income status– that so many other countries have fallen into. The recommendations emphasize a pro-active stance on the climate change agenda, because itis in India’s self-interest. In addition, the authors provide recommendations on the measures required to enhance India’s global competitiveness based on improving the business environment, strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship, and building the required physical, technological and information infrastructure. Importantly, the recommendations also covered cross-cutting issues such as:
- Improving governance at the national, state and municipal levels.
- Reform of the bureaucracy, civil service, and judiciary.
- Measures to address structural inequities, such as those based on ethnic and religious differences that affect the most vulnerable populations.
The book has been extensively featured in the press (Link to “In the news”) and was favorably reviewed. A paperback version will be available in early 2012.