Indian history is one of the most dynamic histories in the world. Today, in its 72nd year of independence, India has come a long way from a newly independent democracy to an emerging global power. Let’s take a look at the trends of the 21st century that will go down in Indian history and also shape its future.
Indian History: From 25 to 29 States
The end of the 20th century saw the reorganization of state borders and the carving out of new Indian states from existing ones. In November 2000, 3 new states were added to the existing list of 25 Indian states. Carved out of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh was the first addition to this list as the 26th state.
This was followed by Uttarakhand that was separated from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand that was part of Bihar. The latest addition to this list is Telangana, a part of Andhra Pradesh that was recognized as an independent state in June 2014. Today, India is a federal union comprising of 36 entities that include 29 states and 7 union territories.
An Emerging Global Power
Today, India is recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This reflects in its current status as the world’s sixth largest economy based on Gross Domestic Product.
The growth prospect of the Indian economy looks positive because it has a large percentage of the young population. Further, India also has the 2nd largest population of fluent speakers of English – the global language.
Famous Indian entrepreneurs have also played a key role in the economic development of India. Visionaries like Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy, Dhirubhai Ambani have not only created jobs for the Indian youth but also put India in a position to compete in the World Market. This growth has fueled many foreign companies to invest in the Indian market.
In recent times, India has also built foreign relations with world powers such as the United States, Europian Union, Japan, and Russia. Another important factor that enhances India’s position as an emerging global entity is the strength of its armed forces. The Indian military is the world’s third largest defense force, today.
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ISRO and Its Achievements
The achievements of the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) in the 21st century will go down in Indian history as the golden era of Indian science and technology. Among ISRO’s biggest achievements in the 21st century is the launch of its first unmanned lunar probe ‘Chandrayaan 1’ in 2008.
With this, India became one of six space organizations to have achieved this feat. 2013 saw the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan. Mangalyaan’s entry into the Martian orbit in 2014 made India the first country to complete a maiden Mars mission.
In 2015, India joined countries like the US, Europian Union, and Japan when ISRO launched its satellite-based air navigation system GAGAN. Two years later, India set a world record by successfully launching 104 satellites in a single mission. Out of the 104 satellites, 101 were foreign satellites. In the coming years, Indian history will boast of these accomplishments of ISRO.
India and Its Internet Boom
Among the 3 billion internet users globally, India accounts for 277 million. This makes India the world’s second biggest mass audience driven by new technology. These numbers are predicted to double by the end of 2020. Reports suggest that the Indian Internet Market, valued at $11 billion in 2013, could rise to $137 billion by 2020.
A further push to India’s internet boom comes from the ‘Digital India’ initiative launched by PM Narendra Modi in 2015. This initiative aims to connect rural parts of India with high-speed internet and improve digital literacy. With the increase in online infrastructure and strong entrepreneurial talent, India will be a force to reckon with in the e-commerce market.
Indian Smart Cities
The Government of India’s latest initiative – ‘Smart City Mission’ aims to develop 100 smart cities in India that are citizen-friendly and sustainable. This mission intends to harness technology to drive economic growth and improve peoples’ quality of life. The economic and social growth in Indian cities attracts a lot of people from all parts of the country.
This has lead to overcrowding and strained infrastructure. This mission tries to leverage the existing technological tools to develop new smart cities that can become the cities of tomorrow. These cities can also become centers of opportunity for people, further driving growth and economy in the country.
If the development of these smart cities is a success, it will be a new chapter in Indian history for the future generations.
Solved Example for You
Question: Match the columns of missions/states with their launch/foundation year.
|(1) Digital India||(a) 2008|
|(2) Chandrayaan||(b) 2015|
|(3) Telangana||(c) 2013|
|(4) MOM||(d) 2014|
Solution: 1 – b, 2 – a, 3 – d, 4 – c.