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Articles: Development
India -Sixty years
- Prof. venkata ramanamurty mallajosyula
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India completes her 60th year as a free ation on Aug. 15, 2007. However, 60 years is a short span in the life of a nation, and barely marks the first baby steps of a toddler. Hence, any assessment of India has to be generous and optimistic. We have made decent progress in several areas during the last 60 years. Wehave produced world-class scientists, engineers, journalists, soldiers,bureaucrats, politicians and doctors. We have built complex bridges anddams. We have sent satellites and rockets into space.We have increased the number of doctors tenfold. We have increased life expectancy from 32 years to 65 years. We have builtabout 1.25 million miles of new roads; we have multiplied our steelproduction by over 50 times and cement production by almost 20 times.We have increased our exports from a few million dollars at the time of independence to more than $125 billion now, with about $150 billion of imports. There is an equally convincing set of data to show that we have a long way to go in certain other areas. A whopping 350 million are illiterate; 260 million people are still below the poverty line; 150 million people lack access to drinking water; 750 million people lack decent sanitation;0% of children are below acceptable nutrition levels; and basic medicines are unavailable in 75% of villages. Be that as it may, today I want to focus on a few major achievements thathave transformed the lives of our people in a way we never imagined would happen. Green Revolution Perhaps, no other Indian initiative has enhanced the national confidence as the Green Revolution initiated by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. This revolution,which started in 1965, not only transformed India into a food-surplus economy from a food-deficit economy but also triggered the expansion of the rural, non-farm economy. The lives of at least 400 million to 500 million Indians have been uplifted due to this initiative. From being a perennial importer of grains, India became a net exporter of food grains 10 years ago.

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