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A call for more infrastructure

If India is to catch up with China by 2050, it needs to close the widening infrastructure gap between the two nations.

Published Tue, Oct 28, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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INDIA is expected to have around 1.7 billion people by 2050. During the next four decades urbanisation in the country will increase, dietary patterns will change, requirements for all types of resources will accelerate, agricultural productivity will struggle to keep up with the food requirements of an increasingly affluent population, and people's expectations for continually better standards and quality of life will increase steadily with time.

All these have to be met with the uncertainties imposed by many other complex and uncertain issues like fluctuations in economic growth, the magnitude and extent of climate change, social and political upheavals within and outside the country, extent of globalisation, free trade and their implications for the country, and steady advances in science and technology. The challenges ahead for the country are truly formidable, but so are the opportunities.

There is no question that to meet all these challenges successfully, India will not only need significantly more infrastructure but also better planning and management than available at present. If the infrastructural requirements cannot be met in a timely manner, the country will steadily fall behind other Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand which have developed, and are likely to continue to develop, their infrastructure at a faster rate than India.

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