It will take a long time for India to become a developed country, in spite of the fact that it is now the fourth largest economy (in PPP terms) in the world behind USA, China and Japan. Of late India has become an industrialized country – though in terms of per capita income, it is among the low income countries. Out of 181 countries for which IMF compiled data, India is placed at #130, much below several developing countries to whom India extends technical and economic assistance.
In terms of infrastructure, industrial & agricultural development, scientific research and development, particularly in hi-tech areas of atomic energy, space science, pharmaceutical industry, ocean science, information technology, India is far ahead of most of the developing countries. In many cases, India’s interests are different from those of several of developing countries. Some of the areas where India’s interests coincide with those of developed countries are:
- Indian banks like those of developed countries’ banks have established their branches in foreign countries. Sooner or later, there will be large scale expansion of Indian bank branches abroad.
- Indian companies have set up factories in many countries and these may increase in the coming years
- India is exploring natural resources in several countries as do the developed countries (of course there are foreign companies in India also) and in the days to come, these activities will expand.
- Indian companies have invested in several foreign countries and these investments will keep increasing.
- Indian medical treatment is well developed and patients from many developing countries(as also developed countries) take treatment in Indian hospitals.
- An increasing number of foreign students come to India for studies (though many Indian students also go to other countries for higher studies).
- India provides economic and technical assistance to over 125 countries.
In any case, India should aspire to become a developed country as early as possible. It would be in its interest, if India could look after its interests in international forums rather than being a spokesperson of the developing countries.