• 05 February, 2023
Geopolitics & National Security

The Promise of India

Commander Sandeep Dhawan, Veteran
Thu, 20 May 2021   |  Reading Time: 9 minutes

The Promise of India

For over a decade India and China have been touted as the next superpowers. The notion of India as a “rising global power” received broader acknowledgment when then-President Barack Obama, on a visit to India in 2010, said that “India is not just a rising power; India has already risen.” Was this just a rhetorical component of a U.S. strategy to counter a rising China? Obama’s statement for sure attested to the existing acknowledgment of India as a capable and responsible power.

The world is showing this confidence in us, which means they see promise in India. Indian leadership should grab this opportunity and plan the coming decade diligently, aiming for a prominent power status for India. To find a rightful place among the comity of nations, India has to make some tough decisions, quickly.

Technology: A Very Promising Future

There are many expected attributes of great power. However, the Economy, Military, and Technology are the core requirements of any great power. Among these, technology has been dominating and shaping the other two more often than people think. Great technological advancements in the west have come through great educational institutes. Why did India slow down despite a great start soon after the independence?

Ancient India was one of the greatest centers of higher learning in the world. Students from far away countries used to come to study mathematics, logic, literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine in universities like Takshashila (Taxila), Nalanda, and many more, until they were destroyed by raiders and marauders from Central and Western Asia. India has to attend to this core issue and get ready to provide quality education to its next generation.

Let us analyze where the Indian universities stand today and how can we resolve this Gordian knot. In the QS World University Rankings no Indian universities figures among the top 150 universities. The First Indian university is IIT Mumbai ranked 172. There are only eight Indian universities among the top 500 universities. The United States dominates the list with 12 universities among the top 25.

The university rankings also reflect in the ‘Global Innovation Index’. India is raked 48th and ‘Silicon Valley of India’, Bangalore is at 66th spot. However, India stands tall at the number three position in the ‘Artificial Intelligence Skill Penetration Index’.


Today 12 Indian-origin CEOs are heading some of the world’s largest companies.That indicates that Indian citizens and the private sector are ready to shine, they are just looking for a helping hand from the nation.

Economy: History is with India

Till about the 19th century, other than a short dip in the 15th century, India was the largest economy in the world. This was based on estimates developed by the late legendary economist Angus Maddison of the Organization for Economic Cooperation. India remained among the top five largest economies in the world till about 1930. This showcases the prowess of Indian businessmen and their skills. However, GDP is just one part of a larger puzzle, and we will see that shortly.




As per a survey conducted by ADP Research Institute, Indian workers are the most engaged at work, 22 percent, which is one of the best in the world. India is the sixth-largest manufacturing hub in the world, however, Indian workers’ & companies’ productivity is one-seventh of American businesses and workers‘ productivity. The core reason behind this is that India has one of the lowest counts of robots in the world. The figure is 3 robots per 10,000 compared to the world average of 74. This impacts the Indian workers’ output.

India became the fifth-largest economy in 2019 but lost that spot to the UK in 2020 due to COVID. As per IMF India would be the third-largest economy in the world by 2030. However, neither GDP nor per capita income is the right way to assess the power of a country. As per Tufts University professor Michael Beckley, logical accounting for power should be in net rather than gross terms. He identifies three types of costs that drain any country’s economic resources, namely security, production, and welfare costs. This means a big country with a huge population could be having large GDP, but after reducing the cost of welfare, poor worker output, pollution, security, etc the net GDP remains is very limited, thus reducing the actual power of the nation. As per historian Paul Bairoch, another way of assessing a county’s actual power is by multiplying the GDP with per capita income.

Indian Armed Forces

As per Global Firepower, India is the overall fourth-most powerful armed force in the world after the US, Russia, and China. India has modest nuclear capabilities and has recently acquired Anti-satellite (ASAT) missile technology. India also has a robust indigenous missile and space industry.

India has an array of defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs), 41 Ordnance Factories, HAL, and Naval Dockyards but hardly any private defence industry. Due to these constraints, India has become the second-largest arms importer in the world, after Saudi Arabia. This trend has to stop. The lack of a defence industry makes India vulnerable to pressures and sanctions from other nations.

Cochin Shipyard was tasked to build the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant. The warship was launched in Aug 2013, it’s been 8 years since, and the commissioning of the ship has not been confirmed as yet. In the same period, Chinese Shipyards built 83 warships. ‘Shandong’ China’s indigenous aircraft carrier was Launched in Nov 2013, underwent trials in April 2017, and got commissioned in December 2019.

Indian Ordnance Factories have workers’ strength of 1.53 lakh. Their annual turnover is Rs 4000 crores. They use outdated technology, operate well below their capacity, and even then provide defective equipment. In 2017, then Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) Lt. Gen. Sarath Chand’s comment on ordnance factories sums it up well, “ they are an unsuccessful method of supporting our defence requirements. There is little or no research and development. They do not even have the capability of absorbing the transfer of technology.”

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has many feathers in its cap but it has to get rid of being tagged a laggard of the Indian defence industry. It took 37 years to produce Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), 16 years for Astra Air-to-Air Missile, 20 years for Arjun Mark I Tank, 14 years for Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, and 30 years for Nag Anti Tank Missile.

Strategize : The Next Decade

As per November 2019, ‘What Worries the World’ survey by market research firm ipsos.com, at least 72 percent of urban Indians believed that India is headed in the right direction compared to 39 percent of global citizens. The post-Covid October 2020 figures for India dipped to 55 percent, but India remained the fourth most optimistic country in the world. Optimism is a wonder drug that can do miracles. If leadership follows it up with solid planning and impeccable execution it can turn India into a power to reckon with. So let us analyze what are India’s options:


The lower the index value, the more powerful the country is

  • MILITARY: If India wants to be a truly great power then the Indian Armed Forces must prioritize goals and get going after them with a vengeance. Some food for thought:
    • Innovative Technologies: Introduce innovative technologies in the forces at war footing. Recruit and retaining the tech talent in the emerging technologies areas. Identify key private players who would help in innovation. The United States is working on Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have Digital Army Program (DAP), and the UK has Defence Technology Framework and Defence Innovation Priorities program. Indian armed forces also have individual digital networks. Some of them are a decade old. India needs to double down the road of joint digital infrastructure dedicated to future theater commands.
    • Public-Private Partnership:
      • Identify at least 10 big business houses who can put their might behind ramping up India’s defence production.
      • Valley of death’, has to be bridged with research work at various institutions and public-private defence industries. Reduction of the period between the conceptualization to commissioning in the service should be another thrust area.
    • New Joint Concepts: Commanders should be conceptualizing jointmanship in operational & emerging concepts and capabilities along with wargaming, prototyping, field experimentation, and multi-domain operations. Armed forces commanders have to think about how India will fight differently in the future, in a much more lethal and unknown environment, in all likelihood without GPS.
    • Research & Development: Indian firms need to spend at least three times more on R&D than what they are doing today.
    • Automation: Automation should be another thrust area to make Indian industries and workers more productive.
    • India needs to triple the number of large firms. They are 2.3 times more productive than midsize firms. India has 600 large firms, but none among the top 100 in the world.
    • Farm sector reforms should be another thrust area. No country has grown its way from poverty to prosperity without growth and productivity in the agricultural sector. Currently, it takes about 400 Indian farmers to produce the equivalent of what one American farmer does. Such deficiency has to be addressed immediately.
    • Like China, India needs to do a rural-to-urban shift on a massive scale. More than 700 million Indians are farmers or family members dependent on one farmer’s meager income. At least 145 million must shift to urban centers by 2030.
    • India has to take the path of creative destruction, a process in which new technologies, new kinds of products, new methods of production, and new means of distribution make old ones obsolete, forcing existing companies to quickly adapt to a new environment or fail.
  • Technology and Education
    • Education is one of the fundamental building blocks of any country’s technical prowess. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science & Technology are often ignored ministries. Trying to address what ails the industries or finance of a nation directly without addressing the issues with the education system of a country is like treating the symptoms rather than the disease.
    • India has one of the youngest populations in the world with more than 50 percent below the age of 25. As per World Bank, only 28.1 percent of them get tertiary education. To break out of the middle-income trap they have to go beyond secondary education.
    • India is the back office of the world. That mold has to be broken. The impetus to research, development, and innovation in industries should be the new mantra.
    • Last but not the least, a large number of highly respected global experts in various fields are of Indian origin. The government should tap into this huge pool of global professionals to address some of the challenges India is confronting.

In the End

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” ― Bertrand Russell

Why is this decade so important? Why do we need to put all our strength towards planning and implementing smart decisions? The answer lies in the ‘Offset Strategy’ concept.

The United States implemented the First Offset with nuclear weapons superiority to counter the Soviet Union’s sizeable advantages, in the early 1950s. Once Soviet Union surpassed U.S. nuclear capabilities, to offset that, they implemented the Second Offset in the 1970s, which developed superior technology in standoff weapons, precision targeting weaponry, and stealth capabilities to overcome and deter Communist nuclear superiority. Once Russia and China matched this parity, the United States published the Third Offset Strategy in 2014. The Third Offset is a set of strategies that aims to bolster US conventional military power by mobilizing innovation, new technologies, and institutional reforms.

Technological innovation is changing every walks of life at a very fast pace. Sooner than later the ‘Third Offset’ would run out of steam and innovative countries would be gunning for ‘Fourth Offset’. China is aging faster than they can imagine but India is young. The huge pool of young and talented people presents India with a very unique opportunity. The world is looking up to young India. India has to break the shackles of a ‘status quo nation’ and rise to the occasion.



  • ipsos.com/en/what-worries-world-october-2020
  • ft.com/content/bb2cdbe8-f1ef-4fdc-9333-864543b93862
  • nytimes.com/2000/06/10/your-money/IHT-half-a-century-later-economists-creative-destruction-theory-is.html
  • thelede.in/write-in/2020/03/11/the-inherent-strengths-of-india
  • bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-china-superpower/
  • economictimes.com/news/economy/policy/china-perceives-rising-india-as-rival-wants-to-constraint-its-partnership-with-us-allies-report/articleshow/79297342.cms
  • ‘Unrivaled’ by Michael Beckley
  • insightful.co.in/2020/07/25/superpower-india-the-stumbling-blocks
  • insead.edu/sites/default/files/assets/dept/globalindices/docs/GTCI-2020-report.pdf?ct=12648
  • hbr.org/2019/05/ranking-countries-and-industries-by-tech-data-and-business-skills
  • wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_gii_2020.pdf
  • newgeography.com/content/005050-500-years-gdp-a-tale-two-countries
  • topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2021
  • adpri.org/assets/the-global-study-of-engagement/
  • mckinsey.com/featured-insights/india/indias-turning-point-an-economic-agenda-to-spur-growth-and-jobs#



A veteran of Indian Navy, Commander Sandeep Dhawan served in the Navy from 1988 to 2009. He was a Maritime  Reconnaissance Pilot and a Flying Instructor. He is a geopolitical analyst and writes for the various online websites and organizations.


The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Chanakya Forum. All information provided in this article including timeliness, completeness, accuracy, suitability or validity of information referenced therein, is the sole responsibility of the author. www.chanakyaforum.com does not assume any responsibility for the same.

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Dec 19, 2021
Hats-off Sandeep.It is indeed a thoroughly,researched article.Most of time Health&Education least focussed on our Country.You will observe un-known persons will be heading them with meagre budgets,allmost all the states. Unless Voters mind-set is changed it is difficult for effective governance and creating flexible visioneries for our country.As our prime minister said yesterday,we should drop our typical ' chalta-hai ' attitude.JRD Tata also said same thing in one of his interviews with then Doordarshan about Thirty years back,itself.

Raman Gupta

Sep 11, 2021
Simply brilliant. When dedicated research, analytic thinking and a clear head come together, this is the result

R S Shekhawat

Jun 06, 2021
It's a comprehensive article or rather a paper. By and large I agree with the broader view expressed and points highlighted. I do have my reservations about the way these surveys and researches are conducted and thus the credibility of their ranking system and outcomes. Another point that I also make often (and also brought out here) is absolute numbers have no relevance as in GDP. It has to be viewed in the light of total population, cost of living, national expenditure etc. Our education system, national character, dedication to task undertaken by individuals, accountability and more stress on individual citizen responsibility rather than rights has to improve. I feel rest would follow suit and automatically find its proper groove. Its nice to feel proud that Indian origin people are heading global giants but that, in my view, is of no solace and help towards our growth path. They are citizens of other countries, their allegiance lies in their country of choice and we have to retain our talent to fuel our own growth.


May 27, 2021
Very well articulated Sandy! It is evident that lot of research has gone into this paper as you have covered all the areas required for a country to become a global super power! Education - extremely important aspect neglected for decades. However, with NEP 2020 there is hope for the new generation to maximize benefits from our education system and contribute significantly in nation building. Post pandemic work culture has completely changed across the globe and towards this my personal opinion is that education, healthcare and infrastructure should be stepped up in Tier 3 & 4 cities/ towns and slowly further to rural areas. The need of the hour is to take the load off big cities and create some semblance of uniform development across the nation. My compliments once again to you dear Sandeep for a very well written article on a very pertinent topic. Keep them coming! Regards!

Ajay Maini

May 26, 2021
Thank you for mentioning so many often-overlooked but impressive facts about our country along with their sources. INDIA, that is, BHARAT, has always been the "The Land of Promises" since ancient times. This land, for a variety of reasons, is an abundantly blessed portion of our planet; blessed with all types of material resources to make a Great Nation. This has been the reason the nation had the highest GDP for major part of the last 2000 years. Very few nations have such a history. However, the one thing that has been clearly missing in the last 100 years has been GOVERNANCE.......in all the constitutional pillars - legislative, executive and judiciary. The defense forces, by their inherent structure, have been able to largely govern themselves well. While governance was expected to improve tremendously after the British left, regrettably, it hasn't. So, in my opinion, until we as a Nation can not institute Good Governance, we can never become a super power, despite having all other favorable factors. This is a foundational aspect that every powerful nation builds first into all its systems, and then builds its powerhouses on it. I hope our great nation, BHARAT, can do the same within the next one or two decades. Everything else will follow.

Brian S Thomas

May 25, 2021
A well researched article, no doubt. However,over my 5 decades of adulthood, I have heard about and read many such articles about similar views. Essentially, India has great Potential but not enough Kinetic energy to make it a true superpower in the region. In other words, been there heard that ,got the brochure. While having 12 CEOs of international companies is a matter of pride,it is also a matter of shame. Why did these 12 individuals have to leave India to succeed spectacularly? Why not the same success in India? If we can honestly answer that,then maybe,just maybe, we may have found the clue as to why a country with such Potential has so much Inertia and cannot exit the Third World club.

Vinod Bhasin

May 24, 2021
Well researched and articulated article. It's indeed sad that despite having been an advanced, prosperous country in the past, despite having enormous talent and resources, we languish somewhere at the bottom on most feel good counts. There are many reasons. One very important solution that comes to mind is introduction of immediate lateral entry into our governance. Look forward to more articles from you Sandeep

Shaunak Muzumdar.

May 24, 2021
My gratitude and congratulations on such a well researched and logical article. It’s different and more on how to move quickly forward to gain visible leadership for the nation as a whole. Once again congrats to you dear Commander Sandeep Dhawan and wishing that this article is read by people in power who can make a difference. 🙏🏻

V Mohindra

May 24, 2021
A great analysis and the path ahead explained in simple terms I feel we are two Indias. An India Shining, and another India, which sadly came to forefront during this second wave. We have facilities and capabilities but not utilised due to mismanagement and selfish motives. Enough beds and oxygen available but people still died. Black marketing unchecked and artificial scarcity created. Would urban shift solve the issue? Are our urban areas capable of taking the load? More tier III IV cities required? I feel the rural areas require much more attention. Agriculture, health care, productivity, education..... Have to alleviate this second India. The economic power gets diluted due to poor health and basic infrastructure, education. A big drawback is implementation of rules and laws. Hardly any rules are followed. How many pay taxes and for what? A person who pays maximum tax also died due to non availability of bed and Basic healthcare A true " The Way Ahead" article

Judithann Campbell

May 24, 2021
China is old, India is young. I had never thought of it that way-definitely reason for hope! Another great article, thank you!

Atulya Dayal

May 23, 2021
Very well researched article and well recognized. Keep it up.👍👏👏

Vinod Nikkam

May 23, 2021
Well researched and written.

Comdt Suresh Karve

May 23, 2021
Very well researched and analysed article with good achievable suggestions and solutions. A good read.

P k sharan

May 23, 2021
Again, so well analysed and expressed, Sandeep. Your suggestions for this nation’s rise is appropriate and essential. But I think our shortcomings, very enormous as they are, will keep us at the same place as we are today

Jose Vallavancottu

May 23, 2021
Sandeep, you have done the in-depth analysis of what is ailing our motherland and the way forward! Unless we give quality education to our young generation and imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship with innovative minds, we will only be "catching up with technology". We are far behind in most of the fields except space- there too the Chinese have caught up with the US (Mars exploration). Keep writing and way to go Cdr MCV Jose (Retd)

sanjeev nayyar

May 23, 2021
Very comprehensive article with good analysis. India must throw the word Superpower into the Arabian Sea. If we want to realize potential we must talk less, brag lesser put our heads down and work hard for atleast the next 10 years. Our education system needs to make question, ask why instead of being yes men. We need to look within and reform, innovate instead of being happy with status quo. Hope covid19 gives indians a reality check of their achievements so far. Change or the world will leave u behind.

Atul Dewan

May 23, 2021
Very clear pointers for India’s future trajectory. Hope the planners are reading this

Wg Cdr Arvind Pande

May 23, 2021
Very well written article Sandeep. Problem with Indian Public sector is one IAS lobby controlling who has no expertise in the field. And secondly deserving leave country where as reserve get jobs. Very few dedicated work for organization like Kalam Sir... Just an example. Pawan Hans has 24 people per helicopter where as any private helicopter company has not more than 8 per helicopter.... Employees suck all the funds n leaves nothing for development .....

Vikas Choudhary

May 23, 2021
An excellent analysis of our capabilities and pitfalls giving an insight into the way ahead by the author. While there is no dearth of human talent in almost every field but it needs to be cannalised towards the nation building instead of allowing our engineers, doctors, scientists and other professionals getting annihilated by larger economies. This nicely articulated and thought provoking paper shall definitely act as a catalyst for the policy makers to streamline there act inorder to enable India scale greater heights of glory in this evolving global order in next decade or so.

K Sreenivas

May 23, 2021
Very well researched Sandeep. Looks like we will be witness to India achieving its rightful place in the World. On a separate note, what beats me is that how the World has been Silenced by one nation despite enough awareness about the Wuhan Lab which has crippled the World and was the singular cause of so many deaths and ailments. I wish Trump had won for this one reason! There seems to be a more sinister and devious mind at work than all the minds put together!

Aruna Sharma

May 23, 2021
We should try for planing and implenting both in present situations with smart desisions.I think -It will be better.as you say-our mostly young generation are doing most important role in different contries and biggest countries.yeah.our India is hope of all the world and symbol of Indian power more may be covid19.wonderful atrical is written by you,dear commander!! Weldon.JAIHIND.

D singh

May 23, 2021
Good analysis as always by Sandeep.

Jas Dhali

May 23, 2021
Sandeep, Very well written article with in-depth study and analysis. Wonderful positive suggestions. Such thought provoking articles are surely going to help the policy makers to go in the right direction and take India to (achievable) new heights. As usual, Par Excellento 👍👍. God Bless and God Speed

Rammohan Oka

May 22, 2021
Very well researched and thought provoking positive article.


May 22, 2021
Calling a spade is the need of the hour, and Sandeep you did call it a spade. The Ordinance factories, the DRDO, the HAL need a overhaul to come up to the standard, currently it's like a rattled machinery which has only to draw the salaries and retire in peace'. The Armed forces need to be augmented by these support systems, time is essence 30 years to develop for whatever reasons a LCA or almost decade with no time lines to guide for a aircraft carrier under construction, these need a thorough overhaul. Well a very well researched article. Someone will definitely take note of these. Kudos to you as always.

Christopher Dsouza

May 22, 2021
A very well written article. Clearly brings out the glorious past and the promise for the future with a road map to find a place in the comity of nations

Veteran Col (Dr) Atul Kumar

May 22, 2021
Sandeep, a very insightful article. Would love to discuss the utility of Indian Soft Power as lever for large no of short and long term gains both nationally and internationally. National Power needs building for India to obtain its rightful position in the comety of nations. For reference placing a link to my blog on related subject written couple of years back. Cheers mate.

Ajay Sreedhar

May 22, 2021
A very relevant insight into a rosy future we can aspire for and achieve . Timing is bang on given the beating that our country is being subjected to in the Western media. Sandeep has the unique knack of annotating his narrative with hard hitting data points and little known interesting nuggets of information. My two pence, would be to highlight the dismal state of politicians and bureaucrats in the country. A handicap which severely impedes our efforts to reach the heights that we rightfully deserve. Overall a good read and looking forward to the next one

sukhjit Singh

May 22, 2021
As usual very well written article My views Indian students are among the most talented in the world, but when it is time to enter the job market they become victims of reservation system and west benefits Indian universities administrator are gen political appointees with hardly any background to upskill the university which affects the quality of education and students Political class and Babu's have become brown sahib's and are the root cause of present situation You rightly brought out we must now get our act together to take our rightful place in world , but who will bell the cat?? We r still being busy; n fighting on mandir masjid

Vijay Nair

May 22, 2021
Hi Sandeep A brilliantly researched missive. You have touched on all pertinent aspects. It has to be a whole of Govt blended approach - of hard and soft power. Ray Cline's 'equation for Perceived National Power to my mind is a comprehensive thought. As you correctly analyse, the economic muscle in CNP cant be based on average real GDP growth rate and/or at PPP. We have made a lot of progress but it seems to be plateauing and not just due to the pandemic Reliance on the service sector must shift to manufacturing. Our industrial capacity must double to generate employment as well as save on imports. Every policy decision in a democracy has its political hiccups- but let actions speak for themselves. Simultaneously social sectors like health and education with present minuscule budget allocation need to be built up.   When it comes to hard power, present process of piecemeal additives initiated on ‘notings’ which themselves take years to fructify won’t work. China’s overt focus on intelligentised war - with AI, and war-winning domains exploiting the cyber, EM spectrum and unmanned systems. The attempt to remain ahead of data-to-decision loop, would have added challenges of new disruptive technologies. While the industry- military interface in China coupled with deep pockets & more importantly the CPC’s will to allocate large finances to get the desired assurance level is a takeaway for an aspiring India. We have taken baby steps towards a networked joint warfighting force - but a top down push is reqd towards this. Hard power needs to be backed by AI, quantum technologies, 5G mil communication, hypersonic missile systems and shipbuilding to tilt the asymmetry of power with China (and Pakistan in a two and a half front scenario). This should form the basis of our National Security Strategy (which should soon be articulated to enable a whole of govt streamlined approach) - maybe this could be your next write up🤔

Deovrat Pagay

May 22, 2021
The catatonic and laid back mindset of the Indian leadership needs a proactive change. In our country there is talent aplenty but there is lack of will, drive and experience in the field of Defence & Military Technology, Education and others. Time we gave ourselves a mid course correction… otherwise we miss the bus!! A very relevant and a thought provoking article!

Saini GS

May 22, 2021
Very well written article, informative indeed...

Amar Singh Rathore

May 22, 2021
A very well written article. It clearly brings out the advantages which India enjoys. There is a now a need to effectively exploit these advantages to make India a world power in this decade. The young population needs to be harnessed and for that the focus needs to be on education and healthcare. The rest will follow

Capt Narendra Kulkarni

May 22, 2021
A well framed & substance oriented writeup..keep it up

Shailesh Railkar

May 22, 2021
Sandomina...once again a thoroughly professional, well researched and original effort. I really liked the very well presented data on a number of key factors which would shape the future of the world and you mentioned Education as one of the pillars. Inspite of not having an Indian University in the Top 150, we are consistently churning out so many CEOs amongst the Fortune 500 companies. One other advantage which Indians have and needs to be exploited is the knowledge of the English Language . Compared to other countries even the less literate Indians understand this language well enough. Keep up the good work and keep showing the way with your outstanding Thought Leadership !!! Stay safe.

Rakesh P

May 22, 2021
Very informative and progressive article, thank you.

Nancy Dunham

May 21, 2021
As ever, Commander, an insightful, incisive survey of the current situation and an offering of solutions. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep things moving forward.

Sameer tiwari

May 21, 2021
Sandeep sir once again very nicely written and researched article 👍👍

Sqn Ldr Sushmita Sahay

May 21, 2021
Very comprehensive write-up sir, with reference and research pointing to the positives.... Waiting for that presence of India amongst the comity of nations which does not require a Barrack Obama or Biden to advance it...

HP Singh

May 21, 2021
Very well documented paper. All relevant issues have been well covered. Strategy of 'rural to urban shift' needs to be worked out based on our administrative capabilities/civil infrastructure to support mega cities.


May 21, 2021
A very well researched and informative article, well done Commander ! All the best for your next one .

Madhu TP

May 21, 2021
A very comprehensive and we'll written article, a logical follow up to your China series. Every major factor affecting India 's growth has been discussed. A few thoughts on the article: The growth trajectory can only be meaningfully measured in the 30 years post liberalisation. The years before that can be considered as stagnant build up of basic capabilities within the umbrella of the economic systems being followed then. A large majority of the population is at subsistence level, dependant on agriculture. The country may have taken the right decisions at the time, to take everyone asking rather than allowing growth only in urban pockets of industry. Land fragmentation is a major brake to modernisation of agriculture and our needs pretty tough convincing the Indian farmer to change his mode of working. The trickle down effect of prosperity has not lived upto expectations. Political will to grow without taking the huge population out of poverty is lacking. All governments need to think alike on ways to reach the developed status. Along with economic, military and technology power, the area of soft power cannot be ignored. The US has dominated the mind space of the world s population through soft power and western culture and thinking. A change cannot happen in one generation, but its pace can be accelerated. Doing so without too much social upheaval is what is desired today..

Wendell Bruges

May 21, 2021
A very hard-hitting article. Well done, Commander. I sometimes feel India doesn't realize its own importance in the present world order. I understand that the west is trying to push and prop up India for its own purpose against China, but India can very well take advantage of this push. Just think about it. Indians constitute only 18% of foreign students in the US, whereas, despite all the turmoil, the number of Chinese students stands at 30%. 80% of these Chinese students return to their country, how many Indian students return. There are so many fronts India has to work on. I just wonder why Indian bureaucracy is stuck in the colonial era?

Col Shailendra singh Rawat (Retd)

May 21, 2021
... very well researched article and thoughts put across in a flowing manner ... Keep walking ...


May 20, 2021
The article has brought out what we require to do to have some sort of standing in the world. But there's a lot that plagues our system. Defence PSU's are a big drain on our resources. Who heads such organisations is no mystery. We need professionals with core competence to head such organisations and there is an urgent need to have them get into collaboration with private players for some meaningful outcome. Instead of Governments wasting crores on appeasements, there is a need to outlay budgets for focussed R&D. Laydown national goals in fields of technology, manufacturing, agriculture etc. and encourage private sectors to invest in achieving these goals. A definite and realistic timeline needs to be followed.

Rajesh Dhawan

May 20, 2021
Whatever people say, India is on the right path. Just to show India (a developing country) in wrong perspective people say where India now compared to the developed countries. They should understand all these Big pillors cannot be erected or improved in 6-7 years but continuous agressive progress was not done in earlier years. I was and even now that India is now the place whole world looking for to rescue them. It has been demonstrated by India even during recent few years that they are able to achieve at rocket Speed anything compared to the developed countries.

Cdr Anil Charan

May 20, 2021
Sandeep, Bravo Zulu for your well researched analysis. The quote of Bertrand Russel that stupid are cocksure and intelligent are doubtful is very apt. Keep it up! 👏👏

Raman Gupta

May 20, 2021
A well researched and incisive write up. It needs to reach the right desk.

M Thakur

May 20, 2021
Well written and shows your deep insight on India China relationship

Gp Capt TR Ravi

May 20, 2021
Sir, it's a fantastic read and I can only wish that the Military Attachés gets to read this and finds its way into top decision making Leadership. I totally agree that the Stupids being cocksure, whilst the intelligent is drooled with doubts.....only way we can ensure that we become THIRD largest by 2030 is to have right men at right spots making right decisions. Fantabulous writing....once again.

Shaurya Shandilya

May 20, 2021
What an excellent article. The research done is extensive. Compliments to Capt Sandeep for his accurate insight and the his wonderful write up.


May 20, 2021
great article. sir, at the same time Government is failing to readress the issue which is leading to failure. this government is repeating the same mistake that we did in 1970-90. hope for best for our Nation 🇮🇳

Mahesh Ramchandran

May 20, 2021
Very well written and researched. Thanks for your insights Sandeep.

Aadi achint

May 20, 2021
India indeed has a long way to go before “rising” above and beyond what we need to to. I think it’s high time we as a pipeline must do our bit. It is that bit that indeed will take us through. The first thing I d say is social responsibility and discipline. We would have averted the disaster that we are going through only if we were disciplined. Leave alone politics governments we have to rise

Harpal Singh

May 20, 2021
Interesting & well researched article. COVID 19 has set the clock behind. We need to get our act together to really make a difference & live up to the Author’s expectations 😊

Subrata Bose

May 20, 2021
Great write-up. Really well brought out. However to change an entire system we need to change the way of our thinking. Two important issues we need to concentrate upon, is innovation and research. History of mankind is replete with examples of great armies, nations and civilizations that rose to its pinnacle or fell because of this. The basis of both remain the way we think and therefore education. Like Ravindranath Tagore mentioned the type of learning that is the served to us is neither plentiful nor diverse, not with a spirit of scientific enquiry. It is strictly limited more to language and literature. We continue with the same even today. What we need seriously to implement is healthy students with a a jest for innovation be it in the Armed forces or bureaucracy or scientists, industrialist or the worker.

Capt Pratap Mehta

May 20, 2021
Sandeep.. it is well researched n well articulated blog about China n comparison with India. I was heading the indigenous aircraft carrier project in Delhi, before coming over to Port Blair. I always wonder why such delays? From operators side, we frequently change QRs..... Don't want to comment on the role played by MoD n Finance n DRDO... If you throw peanuts, monkeys will to eat. No. It is also not true. But it only happens in India? Why? Put on your thinking cap..!

Sukhjit singh

May 20, 2021
To take our rightful place in world the reservation system has to go and Babu's need to be held responsible


May 20, 2021
Well written. However I would include Patriotism built and nutured as the most important requirement like the Israelis. India is torn apart by numerous sharp divides based on religion, caste, language, ideology etc.

alok dobhal

May 20, 2021
excellent prospective ..need of hour .excellent introspection.

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