While India’s growth story continues its march in last five years, a narrative of ‘institutions under attack’ is being spread simultaneously.
So, are Indian institutions not credible? Or are those, who are discrediting these institutions, themselves not credible? If we examine the reports of international institutions on India, they clearly attest to and corroborate the same story of growth and development, as put out by Indian institutions.
There are various international institutions and reports which provide an insight into India’s development journey. We will analyse them from two dimensions.
- Indexes showing improvements in India’s rank
- International appreciation of government policies
Here we list all of those international indexes and reports.
1. Indexes showing improvements in India’s rank
World Economic Outlook – IMF
One of the most acknowledged reports of International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides forecast for an economy, among other things. If this report from IMF released towards the end of both NDA and UPA governments is considered, a contrast can be noted.
In April 2014 when UPA government was going into elections, WEO report of IMF had forecasted India’s GDP to grow at 5.4% in 2014. On the other hand, the same report released in 2019 when NDA government is going into elections, forecasted India’s GDP to grow at 7.3 percent. So, the difference between two forecasts shows that India’s economy will grow faster if NDA is voted back.
Ease of Doing Business Index (EoDB) – World Bank
World Bank’s EODB index ranked India at 142nd spot in 2014. After the government change in India, this rank improved phenomenally to 77th spot in 2018. This significant improvement of 65 places was backed by a series of reforms under Modi government, especially by way of fostering a spirit of competitive federalism across states to perform better on India’s own EoDB index, created under the Modi government.
Global Competitiveness Index – World Economic Forum (WEF)
On this index by WEF, India was ranked 71st in 2014. But, after a change in government policies and PM Modi’s push for structural economic reforms, India reached its highest ever rank at 40th on Global Competiveness Index in 2017. This index measures the competitiveness and productivity of an economy. After a change in methodology, India has been ranked at 58th place by the 2018 index. But, WEF says that if we back cast our new index to old methodology, India goes five places up.
Global Corruption Index – Transparency International
Pre-2014, India had seen many scams. India’s rank in the Global Corruption Perception Index in 2013 was 94. After Indian government’s sustained efforts towards elimination of corruption, India improved its rankings to 78 in 2018 index. Notably, even China ranks worse than India on corruption perception index. It ranks at 87th place in the latest report.
World Tourism Barometer – World Tourism Organisation (WTO)
India in recent times has emerged as an attractive tourist hub. The country has improved its rank on World Tourism Barometer released by World Tourism Organisation from 41st place in 2013 to 24th place in 2017. This also shows how the strength of Brand India has risen thanks to a strong and decisive leadership. The slogan ‘Incredible India’ of Indian government to boost tourism in the country is now being cherished. India’s rank even on WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index has improved from 65th place in 2013 to 40th place in 2017.
Logistics Performance Index – World Bank
Any country for its infrastructure development and its growth needs streamlining of logistics sector, as it is this sector which has backward and forward linkages with many other sectors. This was also the reason as to why PM Vajpayee had focused on the development of national highways across the length and breadth of the country. In 2014, India was ranked at 54th place which improved to 44th place in 2018.
Global Innovation Index – WIPO & INSEAD
India has embarked on a journey towards not only an efficient but also innovative country. The country which was earlier ranked at 76th place in 2014, has now improved significantly to 57th place on the index published in 2018. This is also reflected in an increasing number of patents granted by India office and a thriving start-up culture.
E-Government Index – United Nations
India for the first time broke into Top 100 countries for its performance in leveraging the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for governance. This e- government index is published by United Nations and India has been ranked at 96th place in 2018, up from 118th place in 2014. This is a significant leap by the government especially due to Aadhaar card with its digital linkages.
World Investment Report – UNCTAD
Irrespective of allegations of mismanagement of economy by the current government, most of the international reports tell a different story. Even in the beginning of this article, we have explained as to how IMF has more confidence in Indian economy and gives a better economic outlook for India in 2019 than what it gave in 2014. Similarly, the story of foreign direct investment (FDI) has been quite interesting in recent times. India in 2016-2017 saw the highest ever FDI inflow into the economy when it touched $60 bn figure for the first time ever. It is almost double when seen in comparison with the FDI inflows in the country in 2013 at $ 28 bn. As per the world Investment report, India improved its ranking from 14th place in 2013 to 8th place in 2017, entering the top ten inbound FDI destinations.
2. International appreciation for government policies
Jan Dhan Yojana
BHIM and UPI App
GST and IBC Reforms
Therefore, international indexes showing improvements in India’s rank across parameters with appreciation of various government policy interventions by PM Modi, thoroughly prove the point that India has embarked on a transformative development journey in the last 5 years. A nation needs to sustain the momentum for another 5 years to reach its ‘optimum capability’ threshold from where it can continue to grow without falling back on the growth trajectory. So, the sceptics who cast aspersions on Indian institutions should take a peek into the reports of international institutions.