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Indian Century

Republic of India

The Indian Century or India as an emerging superpower[1] is a neologism referring to the possibility that the 21st century will be dominated by India, similarly to how the 20th century is often called the American Century,[2] and the 19th century the British Century.[3] It is used particularly in the assertion that the Indian economy shall grow and overtake the economy of the United States as the largest economy in the world.[4]


  • Background 1
  • Factors 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates.[5] Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output.

According to scholars,[6][7][8] media sources[9][10][11] and economic historian Angus Maddison in his book The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, the polities of India constituted the largest economy in the world from ca. 1 CE to 1000 CE.[12][13] Also, during the period when China was the dominant economy in the world, India held the second position of the largest economy.[12] India's share of the world income (economic output) went from 27% in 1700 (compared to Europe's share of 23%) to 3% in 1950.[14]

In the 17th century, India and China accounted for 60-70 percent of world GDP.[15][16]

A number of modern economic historians have blamed the colonial rule for the reduced status of India's economy, investment in Indian industries was limited.[17][18]


Projected economies of India and China compared to US between 2009-2050.

India is generally considered an emerging power due to its large and stable population, and its rapidly growing economic and military sectors.[19]

Many industries are established in the country due to investments in technology and in the professionalisation of manpower, in addition to its tradition of Exact Sciences.[20] However, several problems such as economic, political, and social problems need to be overcome to be considered a superpower.[21]

See also


  1. ^ O Status da Rússia na Política Internacional: de Superpotência a Emergente? - Universidade Estadual de São Paulo Júlio Mesquita
  2. ^ "21st century is going to be Indian century: Alagappan." December 1, 2007. OneIndia News/(UNI).
  3. ^ Halliwell, Martin; Catherine Morley (2008). American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 9–10.  
  4. ^ "'India will be the biggest superpower'". 
  5. ^ Data table in Maddison A (2007), Contours of the World Economy I-2030AD, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199227204
  6. ^ "Cover Story: India, the Silicon Jewel of the East".  
  7. ^ "All the riches of the east restored".  
  8. ^ "India and China Will Catch Up with the United States".  
  9. ^ "Ruin of India by British Rule". Marxist Writers’ Archive. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Gems of Pre-British India". Infinity Foundation. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "When – not if – China overtakes the US, normality will have returned".  
  12. ^ a b "The World Economy (GDP) : Historical Statistics by Professor Angus Maddison". World Economy. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Maddison, Angus (2006). The World Economy - Volume 1: A Millennial Perspective and Volume 2: Historical Statistics. OECD Publishing by  
  14. ^ Madison, Angus (2006). The world economy, Volumes 1–2. OECD Publishing. p. 638.  
  15. ^ "Will China really dominate?". World Finance - The Voice of the Market. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Asia: A Profile of Economy and Finance". Future Of Financial Markets (FOFM). Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  17. ^ Booker, M. Keith (1997). Colonial Power, Colonial Texts: India in the Modern British Novel. University of Michigan. pp. 153–154.  
  18. ^ T.R. Jain; V.K. Ohri. Statistics for Economics and indian economic development. VK publications. p. 15.  
  19. ^ A Índia como economia emergente: a importância das energias renováveis na estratégia de sustentabilidade energética - Universidade Tecnológica de Lisboa
  20. ^ O outro Vale do Silício - Veja Online
  21. ^ A Índia e a nova ordem mundial Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Further reading

  • Dirks, Nicholas (2008) The Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain. Belknap Press ISBN 9780674027244.
  • Durant, Will (1930) The Case for India. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • India: The Rise of an Asian Giant ISBN 9780300113099
  • Kennedy, Paul (1989) The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Vintage; 1 edition ISBN 9780679720195.
  • Lak, Daniel (2009) India Express: The Future of the New Superpower. Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 023061759X4.
  • Luce, Edward (2008) In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India. Anchor ISBN 9781400079773.
  • Marks, Robert (2007) The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ISBN 9780742554191.
  • McKinsey & Company Inc. (2013) Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia's Next Superpower. Simon & Schuster ISBN 9781476735306.
  • Meredith, Robyn (2008) The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us. W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 9780393331936.
  • Parthasarathi, Prasannan (2011) Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not : Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850. Cambridge University Press ISBN 9780521168243.
  • Sieff, Martin (2010) Shifting Superpowers: The New and Emerging Relationships between the United States, China and India. Cato Institute ISBN 9781935308218.
  • Smith, Jeff (2013) Cold Peace: China-India Rivalry in the Twenty-First Century. Lexington Books ISBN 9780739182789.
  • Tharoor, Shashi (2012) Pax Indica: India and the World of the Twenty-First Century. Penguin Global ISBN 9780670085743.

External links

  • Infographic: Share of world GDP throughout history | Infogram
  • How the British Ruined India
  • How China and India will be more powerful than the U.S. by 2030 Daily Mail
  • China and India: The Power of Two Harvard Business Review
  • Lesson From Old India
  • "‘India’s decade could pave way for an Indian century’." Hindustan Times.
  • "Real India: A Historian's Cautions on "The Indian Century" (AUDIO)." Huffington Post.
  • "Is this the Indian century?" The Guardian.
  • India, China to become superpowers in two decades The Economic Times.
  • India, the Next Great Basketball Superpower? The Atlantic.
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