Discussion of challenges

Part of your assignment asks you to discuss important challenges India is facing today, using the texts in your source material. In what follows, we will outline the main challenges mentioned in the source material and present each text's perspective on these challenges.

Uneven economic growth

The problem of uneven economic growth is mentioned by most of the texts in your exam material.

Text I, the Financial Times video “India and Pakistan at 70” and the included graphs, shows that while India’s GDP grew substantially in the last 70 years, the economic output per head in India and Pakistan is still only 10% of that of the US, suggesting that most individuals in India are still not well-off.

The same source material shows that India is still behind many countries when it comes to mobile phone users (Graph 5), life expectancy (Graph 4), or urbanisation (Graph 2).

The challenge of uneven economic growth is also mentioned in text IV, “Youth unemployment bucks India’s rapid growth”. The author of the article argues that unemployment (particularly among young people) is a large problem in India: “Experts are beginning to worry that India’s rapid growth — its GDP is increasing by around 7 per cent per year — is coming without any significant addition of jobs.” (ll. 35-36)

Text III, the article “Child labor: The inconvenient truth behind India’s growth story”, additionally points out that: “…the nation’s development has been segmented...” (l. 21). The same source notes that “ ‘India’s GDP and growth is largely oriented around a highly educated and highly skilled workforce,’….” (ll. 22-23) but “most people have a low level of education.” (l. 25). This suggests that opportunities are not evenly distributed and that many people are not able to benefit from the country’s growing economy.

In other words, the texts in your source material show that India has an uneven economic growth which currently only benefits a minority of the population, while it has a negative impact on young people and low-skilled workers.

Demographic challenges

The texts in your source material also present a few demographic challenges India is facing today.

For example, Graph 2 from text I shows that despite India’s economic growth, the majority of the Indian population still lives in rural areas and will continue to do so until 2050.

At the same time, India also has some of the biggest urban agglomerations in the world which will continue to grow in the next 20 years (Graph 3). Urban agglomerations attract all kinds of challenges related to housing, em...

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