Global Agenda Council on India 2012-2013
In recent years, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing democracies in the world. This has raised aspirations within India and expectations from outside. This growth has given new hope that India will be able to lift millions of its deprived citizens out of poverty over the next few years.
Yet today, India has reached a critical inflection point. Two decades since the liberalization of the Indian economy began, leading to unparalleled growth, India is faced with new challenges in the form of rising inflation, falling growth, faltering voters’ trust, policy paralysis and fading investor confidence. Additionally, last year’s “summer of discontent” exposed an unprecedented anti-corruption sentiment and led to one of the most significant civil society uprisings since India’s independence.
Still, India is expected to overtake Japan as the world’s third largest economy by 2015 and to surpass China as the most populous nation by 2030. The promise of favourable demographics, a rising middle class, improved trade relations with Pakistan and a successful business sector indicate the opportunity to address current challenges and shape India’s next wave of economic growth and transformation in international affairs.
- More than a million Indians are millionaires. Yet 35% of India’s population lives below the poverty line.
- In 2011, a census revealed that there are more mobile phones (59%) in India than toilets (47%).
- Half of the world’s outsourced IT services come from India, making for a US$ 47 billion industry.
“The India Council hopes to shine a light on ways for civil society, private sector and government to work together to reconcile the current contradictions of rapid growth with persistent and growing inequities.”
Kavita N. Ramdas, Ford Foundation Representative in New Delhi, India Ford Foundation, India
“It is very important that we set politics aside and set the reform agenda so that we can bring reforms forward rapidly and the deceleration of GDP growth can be reversed.”
Adi B. Godrej, Chairperson, Godrej Group, India
“A new generation of Indians and Pakistanis will see a relationship that will hopefully be much different from the one that has been experienced in the last two decades.”
Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
World Economic Forum on India
6-8 November 2012
National Capital Region, Gurgaon, India
Livelihoods India Conference
29-30 November 2012
New Delhi, India
2 April 2013
During the 2011-12 term, the Council discussed several important matters that affect India, relating both to economic growth and to the question of whether growth in India has been adequately inclusive to benefit people from all sections of society.
While recognizing that corruption is a very important problem, the Council decided to reframe the issue in a positive light and instead focus on transparency as a means to address it. These deliberations culminated in developing the overarching theme of “Transparency for Inclusive Growth” for the 2011-12 term.
In a bid to promote the ideas generated, the Council Members decided to write a report highlighting the three operational aspects of the theme, namely transparency, inclusiveness and growth. The Council will publish a report on these themes, entitled “Transparency for Inclusive Governance”, in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers for the World Economic Summit 2012. The aim is to highlight the new initiatives in India that promote these three elements, and the challenges they face. The report will make some critical recommendations for the consideration of policy-makers.
Another key area of interest for the Council is how to best promote bilateral engagement between India and Pakistan. Recommendations include a student exchange programme and cross-border internships for young college students. In parallel to these discussions, Young Global Leaders from India and Pakistan have created an initiative to discuss similar issues and move the conversation forward.
This term, the Council aims to advance its work on inclusive governance and India–Pakistan relations, as both remain priorities for Council Members. In addition, the Council has identified a number of issues to focus on:
- governance, transparency and corruption
- smart growth and job creation
- geopolitics and the neighbourhood
- responsible leadership
- skills and education
Research Analyst: Tiffany Misrahi, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Manager: Viraj Mehta, Director, Head of India, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Senior Director, Head of Asia, firstname.lastname@example.org