Republic Day Special: India is celebrating its 74th Republic Day on Thursday (January 26). The country lived a life to reach where it stands today. When the British left India, the country was facing a severe shortage of resources amid a turbulent social and political atmosphere, which led to the partition of the nation. India’s GDP stood at Rs 2.7 lakh crore only in 1947. However, with the step-by-step visionary moves of our forefathers, India become today one of the emerging superpowers in the world. The journey was not easy at all. India pulled through several challenging situations, including wars with Pakistan, and China and International pressure during the cold war.
As we are celebrating the national festival, let’s rewind the spool of India’s incredible voyage.
- 5th economic country: In September 2022, India overtook Britain to become the world’s fifth-largest economy. According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States, China, Japan, and Germany are now the only countries which are ahead of India in terms of the volume of the national economy. Indian economy roughly stood at USD 3.2 trillion in 2021.
- G20 Summit: December 1, 2022 was a red-letter day as India assumed the G20 Presidency from Indonesia. India will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country. India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different work streams in 2023.
- Covid-19 Vaccine: When the unprecedented pandemic was raging across the world, India was one of the first nations that made a breakthrough by manufacturing vaccines. India, which believes in humanity, supplied 23.9 crore doses of coronavirus vaccine to 101 countries and UN entities in the form of grants, commercial export, or through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) as of July 15, 2022.
- Abrogation of Article 370: On August 5, 2019, Articles 370 and 35(A) that gave the erstwhile state- of Jammu and Kashmir its special status and the mandate to define its domicile rules were revoked by the Parliament. Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the bill that nullified the constitutional special status. It was a historical move as the government claimed the law was a barrier in the path of development.
- Economic liberalisation: India’s Economic liberal policy 1991, brought by then Finance Minister Manmohan under PV Narasimha Rao led government was a milestone which opened the door for the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). He played down a roadmap for the government to come. On 24 July 1991, Singh presented the budget alongside his outline for broader reform. Later, the policy proved to be the catalyst of the Indian economy catapulting the GDP growth rate.
- Nuclear test: The Pokhran-II tests were a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted in Pokhran in May 1998. It was a landmark event in India’s journey as after this, India become a member of the elite nuclear power club. However, it was not an easy task for the world’s largest democracy to establish a nuclear arsenal amid US hegemony. It did not want India to become a nuclear state but the determined leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government carried it out despite huge pressure from the West.
- 1971 war: India fought a war against Pakistan in 1971 in order to liberate ‘East Pakistan’, now Bangladesh. Notably, the Indo-Pakistani War was triggered due to the Bangladesh Liberation movement being carried out in East Pakistan against military oppression. It started on December 3, 1971, and lasted until the Pakistani capitulation in Dhaka on December 16, 1971. This was a historical war which changed the world map. India showed the world its might and determined leadership power.
- Green revolution: Before the green revolution, India was struggling to feed a large population and was largely dependent on imports. To end the dependency on other countries, the Indira Gandhi government in the 1980s made several reforms in the agriculture sector which resulted in a historic ‘Green Revolution’. In the 80s, farmers were encouraged to adopt technology and modern methods of farming. During this period, technology transfer initiatives saw greatly increased crop yields and agricultural production.
- Nationalisation: During the Indira Gandhi government, India was facing a severe economic crisis. In the late 60s, she took several formal steps to decentralise economic activities. One of them was the nationalisation of 14 banks which was announced on July 19, 1969. Indira Gandhi’s government also ended a privy purse which was a payment made to the ruling families of erstwhile princely.
- IITs and IIMs: Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru – India’s first PM- was a visionary leader. He laid the foundation of the premium institutions- Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in 1956 and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in 1961 envisioning the requirement of India in future.