Improving Conditions in India: Emerging Economies
Currently, India is a low middle-income country and is set to become an upper middle-income country within the next decade. The improving conditions in India have been shown in many different sectors throughout the country. It is abundantly clear in sectors like the travel sector, health sector, telecommunications, and the space program.

Improving Conditions in India: Travel

The prime minister of India passed the national civil aviation policy which has had a positive impact on the travel and economy in India. It was passed in an effort to make flying more affordable for India’s growing middle class. The national civil aviation policy states that domestic carriers no longer have to operate for five years before they can fly abroad. This change immediately affected Vistara and AirAsia India. The number of passengers on domestic flights increased by 21 percent to over 80 million passengers and this number is estimated to reach 300 million by 2022.

The government has also lowered prices of domestic travel, only on the less popular routes, to be capped at $37 each hour of air travel. This has increased travel within India and has helped airports and airlines welcome more business which has had a large effect on the improving conditions in India. The effect has been shown through increased jobs in the travel industry and stimulating the economy in other parts of the country with new travelers that will purchase things in new cities like hotel rooms, food or even souvenirs.    

Improving Health

The life expectancy in India has doubled in just approximately 70 years. It has gone from 35 years in 1950 to almost 70 years today. This has come from various changes throughout India. One of the biggest changes is the access to toilets in the country. As a result of the efforts of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a movement in India that aims to clean up the city, infrastructure and rural areas of the country. From the efforts of this program, millions of more people have access to toilets in India which has greatly helped improve conditions.  

Improving Telecommunication

The government of India has recently wanted to improve telecommunication in the north-eastern states of the country. To do this the government has invested around $1.7 billion to fund projects that will help the telecommunication throughout the country. These improvements are set to be completed by December of this year. There has been a deal signed between Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Universal Service Obligation Fund (USO) to set up almost 7,000 mobile towers in over 8,000 cities and along the highway in Northeast India. This deal hopes to help people in rural areas of India have the same access to ICT services at affordable prices as people in the bigger cities have. Phase one of this deal was completed in December 2017 which laid a great amount optical fiber cable covering 109,926 GPs (Gram Panchayats) and over 100,00 of them are ready for service. This means that more people throughout rural areas of India have access to high-speed internet at an affordable price which is only helping the country become an upper-middle income country even faster.  

The Space Program

Just over a year ago the Indian Space Research Organization launched multiple record-breaking satellites into space showing the world that India has a strong space program. It launched 104 nano-satellites and a larger satellite for Earth observation. Then even before that, in 2014, it launched the Mars Orbiter Mission. India was the only country to do that on the first attempt and with a budget of only $73 million. The Space Foundation estimates that these smaller inexpensive satellites that India has been building will be of great demand in the next few years. These innovative and cheap satellites and a boost in the Indian Space Research Organization has brought and will continue to bring money into the economy of India. It will create jobs and stimulate the economy.  

Each of these sectors has greatly improved in India in the past several years and will continue to help India to become a less impoverished country and move forward to become an upper-middle-class income country in the next few years.

– Ronni Winter

Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation in India

According to recent studies, India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by as early as 2024. In a country where 25 percent of the population is already living on less than $2 a day, many fear the growing population will only make the poverty situation worse.

Although rapid population growth does not necessarily cause poverty, there is a clear connection between high fertility rates and poverty. In developing countries with high fertility rates, life expectancy and per capita income (two important indicators of well being) typically remain low.

The good news is that fertility rates in India have dropped significantly as of late, down to 2.2 births per woman. Yet the population is still growing at the world’s fastest rate at nearly 15 million people per year. Whatever measures are taken to combat overpopulation in India, it remains clear that overpopulation is a pressing issue with far-reaching implications on the environment, poverty and health. The following are 10 facts regarding overpopulation in India.

10 Facts About Overpopulation in India

  1. According to U.N. estimates, India’s current population of 1.32 billion is projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2050.
  2. Indians account for nearly one-sixth of the global population and one in three people living in global poverty, according to statistics from Yale University.
  3. The fertility rate of Indian women has more than halved over the last 40 years, down to 2.2 births per woman. Falling fertility rates are important in that they typically correspond with rising life expectancy and quality of life.
  4. Around 31 percent of Indians currently live in urban areas, but that number is projected to climb to near 50 percent (830 million people) by 2050.
  5. Currently, India is home to five megacities; this number is slated to increase to seven by 2030. A megacity is a city of more than 10 million people.
  6. Delhi is projected to remain the second most populous city in the world in 2030, adding 9.6 million inhabitants in that time.
  7. While only 300,000 men agreed to vasectomies in 2008-09, more than 5.5 million women agreed to use an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCDs) to avoid pregnancy. These procedures are sponsored by the government to promote population control.
  8. The number of married women who regularly use contraceptives has gone up from 13 percent in 1970 to 48 percent in 2009.
  9. Indians have added almost a decade to their life expectancy in the past 25 years, with average life expectancy up to 69 years.
  10. India registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

Although the statistics can appear staggering, there is still reason to be optimistic. In India, trends in women’s education, fertility rates and quality of life have all shown improvements in recent history. This is important since improvements in these areas all correspond to decreasing poverty and population levels.

Furthermore, since countries with higher levels of income, education and access to health care typically have lower birth rates, experts are beginning to urge the government to focus on the development of these areas. Others are advocating for a government enforced family planning strategy, much like China’s one-child policy.

There is certainly overpopulation in India, but with awareness of the issue and sustained efforts to combat it, both poverty and population can be brought under control.

– Taylor Pace
Photo: Flickr