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What in your opinion is preventing India from becoming  a developed nation?

What in your opinion is preventing India from becoming a developed nation?

By Arena Ali

“Total commitment is the common denominator among all successful men and women.”

-       Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Indeed, appositely quoted by Sir Kalam. The very fact of commitment by every individual in every walk of life contributes to the development of a nation. When Shakespeare too was steadfast in the poem- As You Like it, with the point of “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances: and one man in his time plays many parts…” consequently, the citizens of India can either brace India to be a developed country or can dampen the situation to the worse.

India and its civilization has been a prime ingredient to the human development, world’s history and relations with various countries.  Being the largest country with democracy and second largest with a population of 1.2 billion people, it has recently had rapid growth in economy and globalization which has led to higher living standards and greater integration with the world’s economy. The Human Development Index has risen to 62% and the life expectancy has increased from 42.4% to 63.7% from 1960 to 2008.

The colonization in India gave a major back log to India’s development. India’s lucrative foreign trade opportunities attracted companies from Portugal, the Netherlands, England, France and Denmark.  The most famous of these commercial interests, the British East India Company, was chartered by Queen Elizabeth on December 31, 1600.  By 1665, the enclave of Bombay became property of the crown and was leased to the British East India Company by 1668. The resources of India were brutally exploited by Britishers. As per the facts, the GDP decreased from 23 % to 4 % after the Independence. The world trade was also reduced from 27% to less than 2%. Hence, very evidently it can be said that on the very onset, the development of India was affected by outsiders and had they not ruled India for such a long period then India would have been at some other level of development today.

If India is not able to get its act together, it will ever be able to go into the developed group of nations, the report by the research wing of country's largest lender SBI warned "India has perhaps now only a limited window of a decade to get into the developed country tag, or stay perpetually in emerging group of economies. Policymakers, wake up and smell the coffee!" the report said the government and policymakers will have to focus on the young people to ensure they become good citizens and invest in education in order to achieve the objective and realize the demographic dividend.[1]

To my way of thinking, there have been many improvements done to make India a developed country, since all of them  have not been fulfilled, the country still lies to the mundane hands which sways the very future of India from developing county to developed country and vis-à-vis.

To answer what prevents India from becoming a developed nation, is the thin line between the development of rural areas with that of urban areas. The inequitable distribution and inadequate access to energy and quality water to all is a reason which prevents India to become a developed country. When the agriculture, industry and the service sector will work together in symphony then India will become a developed nation. The massive reason due to which India is still developing is the barrier of education, clutches of which isn’t broken yet. The social and economic discrimination which a student faces from the weaker section provides a hand which equally contributes to the stagnant growth of India. Pretext to the above question raised, when the governance system, wholeheartedly becomes more responsible, responsive, transparent and corruption free then the country will become developed. At the same time, a nation is developed when poverty is erradicated, where illiteracy is totally removed and crimes against women and children are absent along with not letting anyone feel alienated. In addition to all this, prosperity, safety and security accords fairly to the development of nation.

Apart from all the technical reasons stated above, there are various physiological reasons which give reasoning as to what still makes India a developing country when it should be developed country. Yes, you have heard it right “The Physiological Reasons”. Apart from what all is the responsibility of government, we as citizen also bestow all efforts, because of only which our country can be labeled as a ‘developed country’. It is citizens, efforts of whose count to make a country progress. Laws made are always formulated for the well-being of society. Formulations of law alone can’t keep the society maintained. Citizen should equally abide to the same. When rules and regulations are followed, the whole system works systematically and efficiently. Here lies the core part of the physiological reasons of our society. We Indians always wants laws to be formulated and implemented as soon as possible, what we don’t understand is a formulated law can only be successful if it is followed. We Indians tend to always park our vehicle in No Parking Area, we Indians always want whether in terms of bribe or in terms of procrastination of work. But, mind it the same is not followed when we outside India. Here is the list of things which Indians can very well follow when they are in a foreign country but the same becomes hectic when they are in their own mother land. Indians do not throw cigarette butts outside when in a foreign land. In Dubai, Indians don’t dare to eat in public during Ramadan. In Jeddah, we don’t go out without wearing our head. We don’t dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop “Jaanta hai main kon hoon” (Do you know who I am?). we don’t chunk out empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and new Zealand. We don’t spit paan on the streets of Australia. We respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but can’t in our own. We are those who will throw paper and cigarettes on the road the moment we touch our mother land. There are the physiological reasons which I was talking about. Rules formulated alone can’t change the society the same when followed makes a difference. When the attitude of each and every citizen is changed that is the exact moment when India can be called as developed nation.

Once in an interview, the famous Ex- Municipal Commisssioner of Bombay, Mr. Tinaikar, had a point to make. “Rich people’s dog are walked on the streets to leave their affluent dropping all over the place” he said “and then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficient and dirty pavements. What do they expect, the officers should clean the mess or officers should go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done his job. Same in Japan. The same is not done here in India. Therefore the efforts of citizens can only make India a developed Country and the same can only be achieved by working together for it.

The Law of Development[2] by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam says, a developed country have to market its products in a competitive way to different countries to remain a developed Country. The developing country, to get transformed into a developed country, they too have to market their products to other countries in a competitive way.

Competitiveness has three dimensions:

·      Quality of the product;

·      Cost-effectiveness; and

·      Supply in time

Indeed this dynamics of competitiveness in marketing of products by developing and developed countries is called the law of development. Therefore, as for as trade of products are concerned the law of development by Sir Kalam must be followed strictly.

When the point as to what steps should be taken with the help of which the country can developed comes in to the picture there are various areas where emphasis should be laid upon to achieve the same. The agriculture and the food processing should be targeted so that the production is not only increased but should also be organic. The Agro food processing industry will lead to prosperity of rural people, food security and speed up the economic growth. The power sources should be improved, and it should be made sure that power is made accessible to each and every household. Initiatives should be made by government to first work for the citizen to provide then household for those who can’t afford it. There should be amenities provided to the rural areas and should be same as that of urban areas along with inter-linking of rivers. Education and healthcare is another area which should be taken in the purview of improvement so as to provide social security and eradication of illiteracy and health for all. Information and communication is one of our core competencies and wealth generator. ICT can be used for tele-education, tele-medicine and e-governance to promote education in remote areas, healthcare and also transparency in the administration in the governance system which should be responsible and corruption free. To succeed in the mission of developed country Tourism should not be forgotten. A common endeavor by all concerned government as well as private sector agencies should be taken up to start a “Welcome Tourist” movement. The Indian-ness has to be packed from the time the tourist enters into the country and till the time he departs in all aspects of his life during the stay. Transforming India into a developed nation needs wealth generation. Tourism and small-and-medium scale industries should provide the required momentum for the mission. The military and the defence system should not be neglected and should be upgraded from time to time. The arms and ammunitions should be transported from the world’s best country as it promises good quality material.

To conclude this article, various factors contribute to the stagnating growth of India which includes the governance system, education, poverty, illiteracy, economy, tourism, military, industries, agriculture and the distinction between the rural and the urban areas. These are the wider areas which are improving however more efforts should be put into them to make them more efficient. It is these factors which have made India a developing country and if worked on a right path, soon these areas will only uplift the title of India from a developing county to a developed county. Apart from this, the physiological reasons stated above should be kept in mind by every individual as to understand and process, that the governance system and policies alone cannot make the country run but also the vibrant efforts of the citizen can only embrace this country to step on to a next level. Once the government and the citizen becomes equally responsible for each other’s acts, the nation is not far away from being called as a ‘Developed India’ and that day doesn’t seem far away.





[1] State Bank of India, Empty primary government schools in India: are we losing our demographic dividend, 2018.

[2] Kalam’s Vision of Developed India, available at, ( Last Modified November 14, 2003)

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