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Article, Paragraph, Essay on “Economic Development and Political Change in India since Independence” article for Class 10, Class 12, Graduation Classes and descriptive examination

Economic Development and Political Change in India since Independence



India is replete with turbulence as well as accomplishments in politics of post independence. In 67 years since the country formed its own government, much has been done and undone for us to reflect upon. From the rise of leaders and demagogues to the growth of political parties and national consciousness, Indian politics has seen it all. It has been a journey through change and crisis, all focused on creating a unified nation and a vibrant economy.


Politics of India till 1960s

India had too many troubles on its plate immediately, after getting freedom from foreign rule. The communal violence post partition, assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation in 1948, and the challenge of unifying princely states were little too much for those who had recently come to power. Adopting a constitution and becoming a “sovereign, democratic, republic” was the first crucial stride towards stability. The Nehru administration rightfully got the credit of introducing a “planned economy and initiating the process of industrialization.” He not only established Congress as the most viable political entity, but also advocated the values of ‘welfare-ism.’

Although nation-building was the priority during the initial stint, the political phase was marred by some dark patches, including the building up of infamous Sino-Indian War. Indira Gandhi’s elevation to the position of Prime Minister, following Nehru’s death saw a strong emphasis on socialist policies. She took over the office at a time when the nation was seething under the burden of inflation, unemployment, and food crisis.

Politics of India in 1970s and 80s

Indian politics in the 1970s was dominated by the overwhelming presence of Indira Gandhi. Every slogan she used and every strategy she adopted became a success. The decade saw a victory against Pakistan, multiplier impact of the Green Revolution and the nation’s first foray into nuclear weapons testing. The period was particularly important for another reason Congress’ fight to stay relevant. People’s discontentment over rampant corruption in all spheres of governance started becoming prominent. India got its primary non Congress Prime Minister in 1977, in the form of Morarji Desai. However, his rule was short-lived. Gandhi’s resurgence and Congress’ coming back to power in 1980 was perhaps the beginning of a troubled decade in Indian politics. If we leave aside the dark days of the Anti-Sikh riots and focus on Rajiv Gandhi’s administration, it would appear that Indian politics headed in the direction of policy reforms and improving foreign relations. Government restrictions on foreign investment was decreased and bureaucratic interference over private businesses was reduced. Gandhi took a proactive approach to remove the dent in India-US ties. Still finding of the Bofors Scandal undid Gandhi’s image as a truthful politician and soon he was put out of power.

Politics of India – From 1990s till now

P V Narasimha Rao’s five-year stint as the Prime Minister was the heyday for Indian economy. Relegating Rajiv Gandhi’s socialist policies, the new Congress government opened the floodgates of economic reforms under the aegis of the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. From 1996 – 99 Indian politics enter into the era of coalition with common removal of support preventing a stable government. Both the 11th and 12th Prime Ministers couldn’t continue in their office for even one whole year.

NDA government came to authority with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the 13th Prime Minister. While the 2001 assault on the Parliament and Gujarat Riots in 2002 brought severe challenges to the nation’s administrators, a major threat that the government faced was from the right wing group – Vishwa Hindu Parishad. As the group threatened to build a temple at the Babri masjid site, communal violence and a complete breakdown of law and order was on cards. It was averted due to deft handling of the situation.

With the return of Congress rule in 2004, confidence building measures between Indian and Pakistan were initiated, which didn’t yield much result. Two years later, the much talked about nuclear co-operation agreement was signed with the US. Following the 2008 Mumbai Terror attacks, the focus shifted to India’s defense mechanism. Several loopholes were discovered, amidst a strong criticism of the Manmohan Singh government.

Although the party retained its power for the second term, its journey was fraught with allegations and uprisings. From the 2G scam to corruption allegations during the Commonwealth Games, the UPA government was burdened with ugly cases of graft. Leveraging the common man’s anger over inflation and corruption, the activist Anna Hazare set the stage for a nationwide movement against corruption. Later on, Arvind Kejriwal took it upon himself to work towards a corruption-free India. However, he presently seems lost in the maze of ambition. With Narendra Modi’s unprecedented victory and the return of BJP into power, we Indians are pinning hopes on a coalition-free government to bring positive change in the country.



Till the 1960’s, the term economic development and economic growth were used synonymously. The term economic development is no longer measured as economic growth. The economic development in India followed socialist-inspired politicians for most of its independent history, including state-ownership of many sectors. India’s per capita income enlarged at only around 1% annualized rate in the three decades after its independence. Since the mid-1980s, India has gradually opened up its markets through economic liberalization. After more fundamental reforms since 1991 and their regeneration in the 2000s, India has progress towards a free market economy.

In the late 2000s, India’s growth reached 7.5%, which will double the average income in a decade. States have large responsibilities over their economies. The standard annual growth rates  of 2007to 2012 is  for Uttarakhand 14.57 %, Bihar 11.6%  or Jharkhand 10.4% were higher than for West Bengal 5.24%, Maharashtra 7.84%, Odisha 7.05%, Punjab 6.85% or Assam 4.96%.India is the sixth leading economy in the world and the third largest by purchasing power parity adjusted exchange rates. On per capita basis, the India’s position is in 140th in the world.

The economic growth has been determined by the growth of services that have been growing again and again faster than other sectors. The most serious fear has been raise about the jobless nature of the economic growth.

Favorable macroeconomic presentation has been a needed but not ample condition for the significant reduction of poverty amongst the Indian population. The poverty cut down in post reform period. The improvements in some other non-economic dimensions of social development have been even less favorable. The most pronounced example is an exceptionally high and persistent level of child malnutrition.

The progress of economic reforms in India is followed closely. The most important concern regarding on public sector reform, infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, reforms in lagging states, and HIV/AIDS. For 2017, India ranked 100th in Ease of Doing Business Index. According to the Index of Economic Freedom World Ranking an annual survey on economic freedom of the nations is India ranks 123rd as compared with China and Russia which ranks 138th and 144th respectively in 2014.

India’s GDP rate was at around US$480 billion. As economic reforms picked up pace, India’s GDP grew five-fold to reach US$2.2 trillion in 2015 .India’s GDP growth during January–March period of 2015 was at 7.5% compared to China’s 7%, making it the fastest growing economy. During 2014–15 India’s GDP growth improved slightly to 7.3% from 6.9%. During 2014–15, India’s services sector grows by 10.1%, manufacturing sector by 7.1% & agriculture by 0.2%. The Indian government has forecast a growth of 8.1–8.5% during 2015–16.


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