The Full Wiki

History of the Republic of India: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History of South Asia
History of India
Stone Age before 3300 BCE
- Mehrgarh Culture 7000–3300 BCE
Indus Valley Civilization 3300–1700 BCE
- Late Harappan Culture 1700–1300 BCE
Islamic Rulers 1206–1707 CE
- Delhi Sultanate 1206–1526 CE
- Deccan Sultanates 1490–1596 CE
Vijayanagara Empire 1336–1646 CE
Mughal Empire 1526–1707 CE
Maratha Empire 1674–1818 CE
Durrani Empire 1747–1823 CE
Sikh Empire 1799–1849 CE
Company rule in India 1757–1858 CE
British India 1858–1947 CE
Partition of India 1947 CE
Nation histories
MaldivesNepalPakistanSri Lanka
Specialised histories
MilitaryScience and TechnologyTimeline
Part of a series on the
History of Modern India
Emblem of India.svg
Pre-Independence British Raj Red Ensign.svg
British Raj (1858–1947)
Indian independence movement (1857–1947)
Partition of India (1947)
Post-Independence Flag of India.svg
Political integration of India (1947–49)
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
States Reorganisation Act (1956)
Non-Aligned Movement (1956– )
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Green Revolution (1970s)
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Emergency (1975–77)
Siachen conflict (1984)
1987 Sino-Indian skirmish
1990s in India
Kargil War (1999)
2000s in India
See also
History of India
History of South Asia
  This box: view  talk  edit 

The history of the Republic of India began on August 15, 1947 when the country became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth. Concurrently the Muslim-majority northwest and east of British India was separated into the Dominion of Pakistan, by the partition of India. Lord Louis Mountbatten, and later Chakravarti Rajagopalachari served in the office of the Governor General of India. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister of India and its Minister of Home Affairs.



Independent India's first years were marked with turbulent events — a massive exchange of population with Pakistan, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and the integration of over 500 princely states to form a united nation.


Aftermath of partition

Map of the British Indian Empire on the eve of independence in 1947. The Princely States are coloured yellow; the provinces of British India are shown in different (non-yellow) colours.

An estimated 3.5 million[1][2][3][4][5] Hindus and Sikhs living in West Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan, East Bengal and Sind migrated to India in fear of domination and suppression in Muslim Pakistan. Communal violence killed an estimated one million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and gravely destabilized both Dominions along their Punjab and Bengal boundaries, and the cities of Calcutta, Delhi and Lahore. The violence was stopped by early September owing to the cooperative efforts of both Indian and Pakistani leaders, and especially due the efforts of Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian freedom struggle, who undertook a fast-unto-death in Calcutta and later in Delhi to calm people and emphasize peace despite the threat to his life. Both Governments constructed large relief camps for incoming and leaving refugees, and the Indian Army was mobilized to provide humanitarian assistance on a massive scale. The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948 was carried out by Nathuram Vinayak Godse, who was affiliated with the Hindu nationalist movement, which held him responsible for partition and charged that Gandhi was appeasing Muslims. More than one million people flooded the streets of Delhi to follow the procession to cremation grounds and pay their last respects.

In 1949, India recorded close to 1 million Hindu refugees flooded into West Bengal and other states from East Pakistan, owing to communal violence, intimidation and repression from Muslim authorities. The plight of the refugees outraged Hindus and Indian nationalists, and the refugee population drained the resources of Indian states, who were unable to absorb them. While not ruling out war, Prime Minister Nehru and Sardar Patel invited Liaquat Ali Khan for talks in Delhi. Although many Indians termed this appeasement, Nehru signed a pact with Liaquat Ali Khan that pledged both nations to the protection of minorities and creation of minority commissions. Although opposed to the principle, Patel decided to back this Pact for the sake of peace, and played a critical role in garnering support from West Bengal and across India, and enforcing the provisions of the Pact. Khan and Nehru also signed a trade agreement, and committed to resolving bilateral disputes through peaceful means. Steadily, hundreds of thousands of Hindus returned to East Pakistan, but the thaw in relations did not last long, primarily owing to the Kashmir dispute.

Union's Integration

British India consisted of 17 provinces and 562 princely states. The provinces were given to India or Pakistan, in some cases in particular — Punjab and Bengal — after being partitioned. The princes of the princely states, however, won the right to either remain independent or join either nation. Thus India's leaders faced the prospect of inheriting a nation fragmented between medieval-era kingdoms and provinces organized by colonial powers. Under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the new Government of India employed political negotiations backed with the option (and, on several occasions, the use) of military action to ensure the primacy of the Central government and of the Constitution then being drafted.

There were three States that proved more difficult to integrate than others:

  1. Junagadh – a December 1947 plebiscite resulted in a 99% vote[6] to merge with India, annulling the controversial accession to Pakistan, which was made despite the people of the state being overwhelmingly Hindu.
  2. Hyderabad – Patel ordered the Indian army to depose the government of the Nizam after the failure of negotiations, which was done between September 13 – September 17, 1948. It was incorporated as a state of India the next year.
  3. The area of Kashmir in the far north of the subcontinent quickly became a source of controversy that erupted into the First Indo-Pakistani War which lasted from 1947 to 1949. Eventually a United Nations-overseen ceasefire was agreed that left India in control of two thirds of the contested region.The Controversy arose because Jawaharlal Nehru had agreed to give a plebiscite to the State. But due to Pakistan's forced attempt to integrate Kashmir, it was helped and integrated by India, the plebiscite never being held. The Indian Constitution came into force in Kashmir on January 26, 1957 with special clauses for the state.


The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India, drafted by a committee headed by B. R. Ambedkar, on November 26, 1949. India became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.

1950s and 1960s

India held its first national elections under the Constitution in 1952, where a turnout of over 60% was recorded. The National Congress Party won an overwhelming majority, and Jawaharlal Nehru began a second term as Prime Minister. President Prasad was also elected to a second term by the electoral college of the first Parliament of India.

Nehru administration (1952–1964)

Prime Minister Nehru led the Congress to major election victories in 1957 and 1962. The Parliament passed extensive reforms that increased the legal rights of women in Hindu society, and further legislated against caste discrimination and untouchability. Nehru advocated a strong initiative to enroll India's children to complete primary education, and thousands of schools, colleges and institutions of advanced learning, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology were founded across the nation. Nehru advocated a socialist model for the economy of India — no taxation for Indian farmers, minimum wage and benefits for blue-collar workers, and the nationalization of heavy industries such as steel, aviation, shipping, electricity and mining. An extensive public works and industrialization campaign resulted in the construction of major dams, irrigation canals, roads, thermal and hydroelectric power stations.

States reorganization

Potti Sreeramulu's fast-unto-death, and consequent death for the demand of an Andhra State in 1953 sparked a major re-shaping of the Indian Union. Nehru appointed the States Reorganization Commission, upon whose recommendations, the States Reorganization Act was passed in 1956. Old states were dissolved and new states created on the lines of shared linguistic and ethnic demographics. The separation of Kerala and the Telugu-speaking regions of Madras State enabled the creation of an exclusively Tamil-speaking state of Tamil Nadu. On May 1, 1960, the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat were created out of the Bombay state. The creation of Punjabi Suba on November 1, 1966, an exclusively Punjabi speaking state of Punjab (India), occurred after a long struggle.

Foreign policy and military conflicts

Nehru's foreign policy was the inspiration of the Non-Aligned Movement, of which India was a co-founder. Nehru maintained friendly relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union, and encouraged the People's Republic of China to join the global community of nations. In 1956, when the Suez Canal Company was seized by the Egyptian government, an international conference voted 18-4 to take action against Egypt. India was one of the 4 backers of Egypt, along with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the USSR. India had controversially opposed the partition of Palestine and the 1956 invasion of the Sinai by Israel, Britain and France, but did not oppose the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the suppression of a pro-democracy movement in Hungary by the Soviet Union. Although Nehru disavowed nuclear ambitions for India, Canada and France aided India in the development of nuclear power stations for electricity. India also negotiated an agreement in 1960 with Pakistan on the just use of the waters of seven rivers shared by the countries. Nehru had visited Pakistan in 1953, but owing to political turmoil in Pakistan, no headway was made on the Kashmir dispute.

  1. India has fought a total of four wars/military conflicts with its rival nation Pakistan, two in this period.In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 fought over Kashmir, Pakistan occupied one third of Kashmir (which India claims as its territory), and India occupied three fifths (which Pakistan claims as its territory). In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 India attacked Pakistan on all fronts after attempts by Pakistani troops to infiltrate into Indian controlled Kashmir.
  2. In 1960, after continual petitions for a peaceful handover, India invaded and annexed the Portuguese colony of Goa on the west coast of India.
  3. In 1962 China and India engaged in the brief Sino-Indian War over the border in the Himalayas. The war was a complete rout for the Indians and led to a refocusing on arms build-up and an improvement in relations with the United States. While China withdrew from occupied lands in the northeast, it continues to occupy Aksai Chin in Kashmir. China disputes India's sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh and until recently, Sikkim.

Post-Nehru India

Jawaharlal Nehru died on May 27, 1964. Lal Bahadur Shastri succeeded him as Prime Minister. In 1965 in the Second Kashmir War India and Pakistan again went to war, but without any definitive outcome or alteration of the Kashmir boundary. The Tashkent Agreement was signed under the mediation of the Soviet government, but Shastri died on the night after the signing ceremony. A leadership election resulted in the elevation of Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter who had been serving as Minister for Information and Broadcasting, as the third Prime Minister. She defeated right-wing leader Morarji Desai. The Congress Party won a reduced majority in the 1967 elections owing to widespread disenchantment over rising prices of commodities, unemployment, economic stagnation and a food crisis. Indira Gandhi had started on a rocky note after agreeing to a devaluation of the Indian rupee, which created much hardship for Indian businesses and consumers, and the import of wheat from the U.S. fell through due to political disputes.

Morarji Desai entered Gandhi's government as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, and with senior Congress politicians attempted to constrain Gandhi's authority. But following the counsel of her political advisor P. N. Haksar, Gandhi resuscitated her popular appeal by a major shift towards socialist policies. She successfully ended the privy purse guarantee for former Indian royalty, and waged a major offensive against party hierarchy over the nationalization of India's banks. Although resisted by Desai and India's business community, the policy was popular with the masses. When Congress politicians attempted to oust Gandhi by suspending her Congress membership, Gandhi was empowered with a large exodus of MPs to her own Congress (R). The bastion of the freedom struggle, the Indian National Congress had split in 1969. Gandhi continued to govern with a slim majority.


In 1971, Indira Gandhi and her Congress (R) were returned to power with a massively increased majority. The nationalization of banks was carried out, and many other socialist economic and industrial policies enacted. India intervened in Bangladesh Liberation War a civil war taking place in Pakistan's Bengali half, after millions of refugees had fled the persecution of the Pakistani army. The clash resulted in the independence of East Pakistan, which became known as Bangladesh, and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's elevation to immense popularity. Relations with the United States grew strained, and India signed a 20-year treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union - breaking explicitly for the first time from non-alignment. In 1974, India tested its first nuclear weapon in the desert of Rajasthan. Meanwhile, in the Indian protectorate of Sikkim, a referendum was held that resulted in a vote to formally join India and depose the Chogyal. On April 26, 1975, Sikkim formally became India's 21st state.

Green revolution and Operation Flood

India's population passed the 500 million mark in the early 1970s, but its long-standing food crisis was resolved with greatly improved agricultural productivity due to the Green revolution. India's government sponsored modern agricultural implements, new varieties of generic seeds and increased financial assistance to farmers that increased the yield of food crops such as wheat, rice and corn, as well as commercial crops like cotton, tea, tobacco and coffee. Increased agricultural productivity expanded across the states of the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Punjab. Under Operation Flood, the Government encouraged the production of milk, which increased greatly, and improved rearing of livestock across India. This enabled India to become self-sufficient in feeding its own population, ending two decades of food imports.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was the third in four wars fought between the two nations. In this war, fought over the issue of the Independence of East Pakistan from Pakistan into the nation of Bangladesh India decisively defeated Pakistan resulting in the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistani control.

Indian Emergency

Economic and social problems, as well as allegations of corruption caused increasing political unrest across India, culminating in the Bihar Movement. In 1974, the Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty of misusing government machinery for election purposes. Opposition parties conducted nationwide strikes and protests demanding her immediate resignation. Various political parties united under Jaya Prakash Narayan to resist what he termed Mrs. Gandhi's dictatorship. Leading strikes across India that paralyzed its economy and administration, Narayan even called for the Army to oust Mrs. Gandhi. In 1975, Mrs. Gandhi advised President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to declare a state of emergency under the Constitution, which allowed the Central government to assume sweeping powers to defend law and order in the nation. Explaining the breakdown of law and order and threat to national security as her primary reasons, Mrs. Gandhi suspended many civil liberties and postponed elections at national and state levels. Non-Congress governments in Indian states were dismissed, and opposition political leaders and activists imprisoned. Strikes and public protests were outlawed in all forms.

India's economy benefited from an end to paralyzing strikes and political disorder. Indira announced a 20-point programme which enhanced agricultural and industrial production, increasing national growth, productivity and job growth. But many organs of government and many Congress politicians were accused of corruption and authoritarian conduct. Police officers were accused of arresting and torturing innocent people. Indira's son and political advisor, Sanjay Gandhi was accused of committing gross excesses - Sanjay was blamed for the Health Ministry carrying out forced vasectomies of men and sterilization of women as a part of the initiative to control population growth, and for the demolition of slums in Delhi near the Turkmen Gate, which left thousands of people dead and many more displaced.

Janata interlude

Indira called for elections in 1977, only to suffer a humiliating electoral defeat at the hands of the Janata Party, an amalgamation of opposition parties. Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India. The Desai administration established tribunals to investigate Emergency-era abuses, and Indira and Sanjay Gandhi were arrested after a report from the Shah Commission. But in 1979, the coalition crumbled and Charan Singh formed an interim government. The Janata party had become intensely unpopular due to its internecine warfare, and the fact that it offered no leadership on solving India's serious economic and social problems.


Indira Gandhi and her Congress (I) party were swept back into power with a large majority in January, 1980. But the rise of an insurgency in Punjab would jeopardize India's security. In Assam, there were many incidents of communal violence between native villagers and refugees from Bangladesh, as well as settlers from other parts of India. When Indian forces, undertaking Operation Bluestar, raided the hideout of Khalistan militants in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the inadvertent deaths of civilians and damage to the temple building inflamed tensions in the Sikh community across India. The Government used intensive police operations to crush militant operations, but it resulted in many incidents of abuse of civil liberties. Northeast India was paralyzed owing to the ULFA's clash with Government forces. On October 31, 1984, the Prime Minister's own Sikh bodyguards killed her, and communal violence erupted in Delhi and parts of Punjab, causing the deaths of thousands of people along with terrible pillage, arson and rape. Government investigation has failed to date to discover the causes and punish the perpetrators, but public opinion blamed Congress leaders for directing attacks on Sikhs in Delhi.

Rajiv Gandhi administration

The Congress party chose Rajiv Gandhi, Indira's older son as the next Prime Minister. Rajiv had been elected to Parliament only in 1982, and at 40, was the youngest national political leader and Prime Minister ever. But his youth and inexperience were an asset in the eyes of citizens tired of the inefficacy and corruption of career politicians, and looking for newer policies and a fresh start to resolve the country's long-standing problems. The Parliament was dissolved, and Rajiv led the Congress party to its largest majority in history (over 415 seats out of 545 possible), reaping a sympathy vote over his mother's assassination.

Rajiv Gandhi initiated a series of reforms - the license raj was loosened, and government restrictions on foreign currency, travel, foreign investment and imports decreased considerably. This allowed private businesses to use resources and produce commercial goods without government bureaucracy interfering, and the influx of foreign investment increased India's national reserves. As Prime Minister, Rajiv broke from his mother's precedent to improve relations with the United States, which increased economic aid and scientific cooperation. Rajiv's encouragement of science and technology resulted in a major expansion of the telecommunications industry, India's space program and gave birth to the software industry and information technology sector.

India in 1987 brokered an agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE insurgency that had torn apart the island for over a decade. Rajiv sent Indian troops to enforce the agreement and disarm the Tamil rebels, but the Indian Peace Keeping Force, as it was known, became entangled in outbreaks of violence - ultimately ending up fighting the Tamil rebels itself, and becoming a target of attack from Sri Lankan nationalists. VP Singh withdrew the IPKF in 1990, but thousands of Indian soldiers had died. Rajiv's departure from socialist policies did not sit well with the masses, who did not benefit from the innovations. Unemployment was a serious problem, and India's burgeoning population added ever-increasing needs for diminishing resources. Rajiv Gandhi's image as an honest politician (he was nicknamed Mr. Clean by the press) was shattered when the Bofors scandal broke, revealing that senior government officials had taken bribes over defence contracts by a Swedish guns producer.

Janata Dal

Elections in 1989 gave Rajiv's Congress a plurality, a far cry from the majority which propelled him to power. Power came instead to his former finance and defence minister, VP Singh. Singh had been moved from the Finance ministry to the Defence ministry after he unearthed some scandals which made the Congress leadership uncomfortable. Singh then unearthed the Bofors scandal, and was sacked from the party and office. Becoming a popular crusader for reform and clean government, Singh led the Janata Dal coalition to a majority. He was supported by BJP and the leftist parties from outside. Becoming Prime Minister, Singh made an important visit to the Golden Temple shrine, to heal the wounds of the past. He started to implement the controversial Mandal commission report, to increase the quota in reservation for low caste Hindus. The BJP protested these implementations, and took its support back, following which he resigned. Chandra Shekhar split to form the Janata Dal (Socialist), supported by Rajiv's Congress. This new government also collapsed in a matter of months, when congress withdrew its support.


On May 21, 1991, while Rajiv Gandhi campaigned in Tamil Nadu on behalf of Congress (I), a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) female suicide bomber killed him and many others, setting off the bomb in her belt by leaning forward while garlanding him. In the elections, Congress (I) won 244 parliamentary seats and put together a coalition, returning to power under the leadership of P.V. Narasimha Rao. This Congress-led government, which served a full 5-year term, initiated a gradual process of economic liberalisation and reform, which has opened the Indian economy to global trade and investment. India's domestic politics also took new shape, as traditional alignments by caste, creed, and ethnicity gave way to a plethora of small, regionally-based political parties. But India was rocked by communal violence between Hindus and Muslims that killed over 10,000 people, following the Babri Mosque demolition by Hindu mobs in the course of the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in Ayodhya in 1992. The final months of the Rao-led government in the spring of 1996 suffered the effects of several major political corruption scandals, which contributed to the worst electoral performance by the Congress Party in its history.

Era of coalitions

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged from the May 1996 national elections as the single-largest party in the Lok Sabha but without enough strength to prove a majority on the floor of that Parliament. Under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP coalition lasted in power 13 days. With all political parties wishing to avoid another round of elections, a 14-party coalition led by the Janata Dal emerged to form a government known as the United Front. A United Front government under former Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Deve Gowda lasted less than a year. The leader of the Congress Party withdrew his support in March 1997. Inder Kumar Gujral replaced Deve Gowda as the consensus choice for Prime Minister of a 16-party United Front coalition.

In November 1997, the Congress Party again withdrew support for the United Front. New elections in February 1998 brought the BJP the largest number of seats in Parliament (182), but this fell far short of a majority. On March 20, 1998, the President inaugurated a BJP-led coalition government with Vajpayee again serving as Prime Minister. On May 11 and 13, 1998, this government conducted a series of underground nuclear tests, prompting President of the United States Bill Clinton and Japan to impose economic sanctions on India pursuant to the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act.

Into the 21st century

In April 1999, the coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell apart, leading to fresh elections in September. In May and June 1999, India discovered an elaborate campaign of terrorist infiltration that resulted in the Kargil War in Kashmir, derailing a promising peace process that had begun only three months earlier when Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Pakistan, inaugurating the Delhi-Lahore bus service. Indian forces killed infiltrators, who included Pakistani soldiers, and reclaimed important border posts in high-altitude warfare. In the same year, India's population exceeded 1 billion. However, terrorism has increased in India with bomb blasts in leading cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad has been very common.[7]

Manmohan Singh talks with American President Barack Obama during the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit at the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.

Soaring on popularity earned following the successful conclusion of the Kargil conflict, the National Democratic Alliance - a new coalition led by the BJP - gained a majority to form a government with Vajpayee as Prime Minister in October 1999. The NDA government's credibility was adversely affected by reports of intelligence failures that led to the Kargil incursions going undetected, as well as allegations that the Defence Minister George Fernandes took bribes over the purchase of coffins for soldiers who died in the battle. The Tehelka scandal exposed the BJP party chief taking unaccounted contributions in return for promised favours, and the CBI chargesheeted senior BJP leaders for inciting the demolition of the Babri mosque. In 2002, tensions increased over the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad threatened to defy the government, vowing to perform a religious ceremony on the disputed site. 59 Hindu activists died returning from the site when a train carriage took fire a month later, in Godhra, Gujarat. This sparked off the 2002 Gujarat violence, leading to the deaths of thousands of Hindus and Muslims. The BJP-led state government, and its chief minister Narendra Modi were accused of not doing enough to stop Hindu mobs in attacking Muslims.

Throughout 2003, India's speedy economic progress, political stability and a rejuvenated peace initiative with Pakistan increased the government's popularity. In January 2004 Vajpayee recommended early dissolution of the Lok Sabha and general elections. The Congress Party-led alliance won an upset victory in elections held in May 2004. Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister, after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the widow of Rajiv Gandhi declined to take the office, in order to defuse the controversy about whether her foreign birth should be considered a disqualification for the Prime Minister's post. The Congress formed a coalition with socialist and regional parties, and enjoys the outside support of India's Communist parties. Manmohan Singh became the first Sikh to date to hold India's most powerful office. Singh has continued economic liberalization, although the need for support from Indian socialists and communists has forestalled further privatization. The 21st century saw India, improve relations, with many countries and foreign unions including the United States, the European Union, Israel and the People's Republic of China. The economy of India, has accelerated by growing at a very rapid pace. India, is now being looked at as a potential superpower.[8][9]

In the Indian General Election in 2009, the United Progressive Alliance won a convincing 262 seats with INC alone winning 206 seats. The Congress needed the support of 10 MPs to get a simple majority in the Lok Sabha. Manmohan Singh continued to be the Prime Minister and in doing so became only the second Prime Mnister of India after Jawahar Lal Nehru to return to power after a full five year term at the office. RJD, SP, BSP, JD (U) and other smaller parties and independents provide external support to the government.

Economic transformation

Manmohan Singh widely credited for initiating economic reforms in India.

Under the policies initiated by Late Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and his Finance minister Manmohan Singh, India's economy expanded rapidly. The Rao administration initiated the privatization of large, inefficient and loss-inducing government corporations. The UF government had attempted a progressive budget that encouraged reforms, but the 1997 Asian financial crisis and political instability created economic stagnation. The Vajpayee administration continued with privatization, reduction of taxes, a sound fiscal policy aimed at reducing deficits and debts and increased initiatives for public works. The Golden Quadrilateral project aimed to link India's corners with a network of modern highways. Cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad have risen in prominence and economic importance, became centres of rising industries and destination for foreign investment and firms. Strategies like forming Special Economic Zones - tax amenities, good communications infrastructure, low regulation - to encourage industries has paid off in many parts of the country.

A rising generation of well-educated and skilled professionals in scientific sectors of industry began propelling the Indian economy, as the information technology industry took hold across India with the proliferation of computers. The new technologies increased the efficiency of activity in almost every type of industry, which also benefitted from the availability of skilled labor. Foreign investment and outsourcing of jobs to India's labor markets further enhanced India's economic growth. A large middle-class has arisen across India, which has increased the demand, and thus production of a wide array of consumer goods. Unemployment is steadily declining, and poverty has fallen to approximately 22%. Gross Domestic Product growth increased to beyond 7%. While serious challenges remain, India is enjoying a period of economic expansion that has propelled it to the forefront of the world economy, and has correspondingly increased its influence in political and diplomatic terms.

See also


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address