ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Can India Be Considered an Emerging Great Power?

As India strives to make its way to the top of the global power structure, this article investigates what kind of a “great power” India ought to be. A range of debates on the parameters that define great power status to understand India’s current position in the international order are examined.

Just as the 1900s was considered the “American Century,” the 21st century will be recognised as the “Asian Century,” when the “perceptive” rise of India and China will steer inclusive growth and development in the region (Acharya 2008). India’s rising stature in the global sphere has led it to compete with emerging great powers, primarily China, which is often recognised as a significant global player by the United States (US). India readily enters the top ranks of emerging great powers when its power is measured in terms of material capabilities, such as economic and military strength.

In 2007, Goldman Sachs predicted a pace of growth that would enable India to overtake Japan in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 and the US by the following decade (Narlikar 2011). In January 2016, the World Bank declared India to be the fastest growing economy with a GDP of 7.7%, growing 4% faster than China. Notwithstanding India’s growing global stature, policy analysts and scholars are divided on India’s claim to great power status. Does India show a sense of responsibility similar to that of the great powers? Can material capabilities alone make India a great power? What are the potential constraints in this process? Can India be labelled as an emerging great power? This essay is an effort to answer some of these baffling yet significant questions.

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Updated On : 24th Aug, 2017
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