According to the United Nations, India is on target to overtake China as the most populous country in the world by 2026. Since the introduction of economic liberalisation policies in early 1990s, India has emerged as the world’s sixth largest economy in terms of nominal GDP and the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. As the world’s largest democracy and a growing middle-income developing market economy with over one-half of the population under age 30, India is yet to fully realise its demographic dividend. The economic returns of investment include remittances from a large diaspora (18 million) spread across the world including an estimated 1.5 million Indians living in the UK as the dominant ethnic community. India is the second largest investor in the UK after the United States, which presents considerable potential for UK-India bilateral trade and investment opportunities post-Brexit.
Since independence in 1947, India has remained resilient to global security threats, economic shocks and uncertainties, political changes, pestilence and natural disasters. From the Vedic period to external invasions by the Mughals and the Europeans, the present day India was historically part of the larger Indian sub-continent underpinned by a rich history of ancient civilisations, business and trade destination, and colonial settlements. The legacy of India is the cultural diversity intensified in terms of race, religion, identities and languages across a vast geography extending over 2000 miles from north to south and 1700 miles from east to west.
The module on ‘Emerging and Resilient India’ will address three questions. First, what is the political, socioeconomic, cultural and demographic landscape of India before and after independence? How did India’s economy and business ecosystems evolve since the introduction of liberalisation policies in the early 1990s? What are the opportunities and challenges for India in terms of growth and investment in human capital and economic resources?
With appropriate evidence-based policies and interventions, India has considerable potential to be a leading global economic superpower in the near future. As the demographic window of opportunity extends over to next 40 years, there are also global uncertainties that India face, among other challenges, widening health and wealth inequalities, population growth, environmental and climate threats. The module will examine these challenges in an interdisciplinary perspective, using a range of learning resources such as interactive lectures, case study seminars, debates and multimedia.