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Where does India stand on 75th Independence day? A review

India is celebrating its 75th Independence day on 15th August 2021. Since 1947 India has seen many ups and downs. Once branded as a 'third world country' India is now among the biggest economies in the world. Yet it has a long way to go.

The Indian government has announced the celebration as 'Amrit Mahotsav" a two-year-long programme to achieve the milestone.

"We may feel anger on looking back on our non-achievement but we also wonder at what we have now. The achievement can be understood on some points.", said a citizen when asked about her thoughts.

India is one of the youngest nations in the world. Inspire of millions of youth joining the labour workforce every year, India's industry is looking for a productive and skilled workforce. Till now, the new youth of India was getting a degree, but a skilled workforce was not being prepared. A parallel skill development ecosystem was created in parallel to existing institutes to enhance the skills of the youth and make them employable. Both the Industry and Government should focus on 'up-skilling' existing skill sets and 're-skilling' for newer job roles. By creating a productive workforce, it will improve the overall health of the manufacturing industry, IT sector and economy.

Achieving “self-sufficiency” in food grains has been Independent India's biggest achievement. From receiving food aid in the 1950s and 1960s to becoming a net exporter, India has seen a turnaround in food production. The total food production, which stood at 54.92 million tonnes in 1950, rose to 305.44 million tonnes in 2020-21.

India's GDP stood at ₹ 2.7 lakh crore at Independence. 74 years on, it has reached ₹ 135.13 lakh crore. India is now the 6th largest economy in the world and is on its way to becoming the third-largest by 2031, as projected by Bank of America.

Three decades since the reform process began in 1991, India's forex reserves now stand at ₹ 46.17 lakh crore – the world's fifth-largest, whereas it was just 1029 crore in 1950-51.

India has made a lot of infrastructure development by making airports, highways, roads, railway lines and other facilities to connect people.

In the pre-liberalized ‘license raj' India, foreign investment was limited if not non-existent. In 1948, the total foreign investment in India stood at ₹ 256 crore. However, since the 1991 liberalization, FDI has become the buzzword of India's economic story. In 2020-21, India received a record US$ 81.72 billion in Foreign Direct Investment. The stock market is touching the sky and soon in coming years, India will become a five trillion dollars economy.

Technologically, India is far ahead. A country which imported mobiles a few years ago, now manufactures mobiles and computers. India's satellite programmes are remarkable.

Even in the political field, where earlier there was a single-party state, now many parties are in this democracy, although the opposition is very weak since the last few years and the ruling party is at its peak. Some controvertial constitutional amendments were done in the last few years, especially the removal of Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir.

In the last few years, India's image has improved in foreign countries. Prime Minister Modi is known as a strong leader. Some work is expected to be done for the upliftment of the poor in India, which was not a priority in the last 70 years and the PM recently announced many programmes which aim to lift them above the poverty line.

In short, the world's second-largest populous democratic country is not lagging behind the big countries in any sense and has achieved all this in 75 years, although it still has many challenges before it.

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