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Vienna | 14.4.2007 | 12:08 
God, what's happening in the world! A reality check on the web.

Chris, DaddyD, Zita

India - the next Superpower?
  There is one open question posed by economists when it comes to India. How quickly will the country achieve superpower status?
Some are convinced that India is fast on its way to becoming the next powerhouse well in advance of China.
The maths
  Let's get the statistics out of the way (but they are impressive). For example, since the early 1990s, India has had the the second fastest-growing economy globally - it's averaging around 7.5 percent growth over the last couple of years and many believe that record will just keep in increasing. By 2050, it's been suggested that the economy of India will by 5 times as large as Japan's.
  So how does all of that translate across to the population. Observers will point to the cities and the skyscrapers and shopping malls that are popping up across Delhi. The entrepreneurs in new industries like bio-tech, the call-centre workers who are earning 100 times the amounts they were, before big business came to town; all of whom are spending ready cash on sleek cars and flat-screen TVs.
India Chic
  India is also becoming self-aware of its potential. Bollywood is mainstream, London publishers rapidly step forward to sign up the latest prize-winning author and Indian designers are eagerly sought-after by the fashion houses of Paris. India is moving ahead, well kind of... aside from all the glitz and glamour, there is another, all too familiar side to India.

Where can I plug it in?
  Let's start with the infrastructure outside of the major urban areas. As one of our correspondents in India told me recently, "What's the point in ordering the latest dish-washer to be delivered to your aunt and her family in the country region when they don't have access to electricity".
The 300 million
  There have always been the haves in India and the millions of have-nots. But as India steers its way through phenomenal economic growth, how can it ensure that the masses aren't left behind.
Alongside all of those new silicon valley industrial parks, it's a sobering thought that more than 300 million people in India live on less than a dollar a day.

How far has India come and how can it manage to spread the wealth and lose the shadow of poverty? On Saturday's Reality Check we explore many of these ideas and also look at what you need to know if you're thinking about heading to India in months ahead.
fm4 links
Reality Check Special - available as Podcast after the show.
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