THE GLOBALISATION OF INDIAN ECONOMY

The early 1990s was a wake-up time for Indian economy. Having followed the Soviet Union in a socialist-style economy since independence, things were changing rapidly indeed. The Soviet Union had broken down, or rather was going to break down and it looked as if its allies too would go the same way. With the policies of glasnost and perestroika coming into being, the power of the Soviet Union was stuttering. Perestroika was a program instituted in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s to restructure Soviet political and economic policy. Gorbachev proposed reducing the direct involvement of the Communist Party leadership in the country's governance and increasing the local governments' authority. Seeking to bring the Soviet Union up to economic par with capitalist countries such as Germany, Japan, and the U.S., he decentralized economic controls and encouraged enterprises to become self-financing. The economic bureaucracy, fearing loss of its power and privileges, obstructed much of his program. With all this happening in the Soviet Union, it was only going to be a matter of time before India did the same thing. During that time, our present Prime Minster, Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Finance Minister and he decided that steps will have to be taken to avert this. With Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, he brought about changes in the Indian economy that resound even today. These changes all-in-all amounted to opening up the Indian economy. Globalization has brought about several changes for the good as any one can see. Technology, business, development of infrastructure and an umpteen number of other things have been introduced to us by the West. Undeniable. Apart from these, changes

have also been made on the social front. Globalization has improved the lives of many a people in our country. Globalization has brought about invaluable changes in the field of science and technology-changes that have changed our world. On the other hand, Globalization also has had a multitude of bad impacts on India. Development has led to pollution and it has also led to the loss of several cultural values. The values associated with one culture i.e. the west has spread all over the world and the culture of several other countries has been lost. An undesirable effect as one can see. An old rule of nature is that variety must be present for any person or group of people to develop, to evolve to become stronger and stronger. Without variety, as I said earlier, the contents on the plate become bland. A variety of genes allows organisms to adapt-that is the key word. What holds for a single individual must hold for a group of individuals. A singular lifestyle every where I must say will be detrimental to the world at large. But the biggest problem that I think globalization has been responsible for is pollution, a phenomenon that threatens to destroy our world. The Indian economy has certainly developed over the last few years. It has been often said that our entrepreneurs are extremely good and our population is extremely young and so India will probably be able to advance forward, with great strides. A heartening thought indeed! It is expected that the Indian workforce will increase heavily over the next few years and by 2020, it is expected that one in four workers in the world will be Indian. China however has an aging population and will probably not have so many workers in the young range. This is mainly due to the birth control measures taken by Chinese leaders earlier which are finally taking effect. Our burgeoning population is thus seen to be no impediment at all. Another fortunate coincidence is the fact that many of these workers are English educated. With the prevalence of English in trade and political circles, it looks as if it will work to India’s advantage in the end. So we find that India’s occupation by England had its advantages too, big though its disadvantages were. Every cloud has a silver lining, you see.

India has survived the onslaught of the economic recession that hit the world quite hard. While the developed countries reeled rather badly, India and China were able to weather the economic crisis and go on. Even now, some countries have not recovered from the effects of the crisis, but India and China are doing quite well, as we can see. This shows that India’s economy will probably grow rather fitfully for many years yet to come. However, we have to make haste, as infrastructure in India is in a very bad state. The education system in India is usually considered to be quite bad and this can be a big handicap in future. According to most sources, India will loose the ‘young workforce’ advantage by around 2050. In that short interval of time, India will have to somehow take advantage of its educated workforce and convert it to tangible advantages. Now, this time, this era is the time for globalization. Countries are improving relations with each other and forming organizations in order to make their respective economies stronger and provide security to their citizens. The time of waging war on each other is over, exiled to the farthest realms of our misty past. Now, more than ever is the time in which we will have to confine ourselves to peace and try to attain prosperity. With the advent of time, we have become so good in killing each other that a mistake by a country can wipe out the whole world if we are not careful. The shadow of nuclear weapons hangs low and dark on all of us. On the other hand, indulging in currency wars as some countries are doing is also not good, as economic wars may spill over and become political wars and so on. Globalization is happening everywhere. It is best not to fight it. Rather we must join it and grow stronger with it. This is what India began to do just before the beginning of the new millennium and it has provided rich dividends to its people. There is already talk of India becoming an economic superpower in future and it looks as if it is not just talk. India certainly has got potential. That has been seen by the way it was able to handle the economic recession that laid low many other economically strong countries. Another thing is that India has been able to achieve so much in so less time. We should remember that it has been less than two decades since India’s economy truly opened up. In economic and political parlance this is but a pittance. India has got quite some amount of

time, but not too much in which it can regain its place in the firmament, rising up from ground. Quite a dramatic statement, I must admit, but true in its way. India has got a golden chance right now. With the weakening of the United States and the rise of organizations such as the EU and others, it looks as if a multi-polar world will still come into being and it looks as if India will be well-placed to play an important role in it.

PRATHEEK PRAVEEN KUMAR

prytheek@yahoo.com

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