15 August 2017 marks the 70th year anniversary since the British withdrew their colonial rule over India, leaving it to be one of the first countries to gain independence. Since then it has become the sixth largest economy in the world and is categorised as one of the major G20 economies. India is seen as a newly industrialised country and was the world’s fastest growing major economy in 2014. With a population of 1.2 billion and the second largest in the world, its economy has a lot to offer and has evolved over the years.
To mark the occasion we have compiled a wide array of facts around the Indian economy pre and post-independence.
1. India’s economy can be considered a paradoxical one. Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, around one-third of the population live below the poverty line.
2. Before the age of European colonization, India accounted for about 25% of the world’s manufactured goods. In the 13th century, India emerged with a great trading capacity and was able to achieve a state of economic dominance within the wider Indian Ocean world. The main manufacture was cotton textiles which were being produced in all parts of the country for both domestic and export trade.
3. The East India Company was formed in Britain to pursue trade within the East Indies and Southeast Asia. Instead, it mainly did most of its trade within the Indian subcontinent and China. Some of the most popular items of trade were tea, silk, cotton, and opium.
4. India is one of the BRIC countries as its economy experienced fast growth in the 2000s and is predicted to surpass many of the world’s largest economies by 2050. It shares this place along with Brazil, Russia, and China.
5. India is well-known as the home of spices and is the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices. It also accounts for half of the trading in spices globally.
7. The agricultural economy in India during the 1930s was greatly impacted by the Great Depression. It affected some of the most popular export staples ranging from jute, tea, and cotton.
8. In November 2016, Narendara Modi, the current Prime Minster of India announced that all 500 and, 1,00 rupee notes will be demonetised in order to tackle illicit cash handling and illegal activity.
9. India is a major exporter of IT and software services and this sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing within the economy. Its net IT exports grew from virtually nothing in 1990 to around $70 billion two decades later.
10. 58% of the rural households in India depend on agriculture as their main source of income and is one of the largest contributors to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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