A new book captures the many aspects of a future that will culminate in India becoming the world's third-largest economy and a regional power before the decade gets over.

"India 2030: The Rise of a Rajasic Nation" is a collection of essays by the likes of Bibek Debroy, Vikram Sood, Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, Ram Madhav and David Frawley, among others.

These are 20 forecasts by 20 thought leaders on 20 themes ranging from education to healthcare, science, energy, politics and foreign policy, that will impact and influence India through the 2020s, says Observer Research Foundation vice president Gautam Chikermane, who has edited the collection published by Penguin Random House.

He describes the book, which carries an advanced praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as not prescriptive but predictive.

"From two aggressive neighbours - authoritarian China and Islamist Pakistan - that refuse to embrace peace, to new formations and alignments such as the Quad of the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter Beijing, the 2020s will shape a new regional order," Chikermane writes.

Jobs and prosperity cannot come without the accompanying reforms; the recent labour and farm reforms are a positive-disruptive start, he says.

"The new education policy, again, will disrupt the sector, make it more flexible, student-focused and in tune with India's 21st century knowledge aspirations. The disruption in defence procurement and production will make weaponry more effective," he argues.

He is also of the view that it is not merely the Union governments that will drive reforms, state governments will add their bits.

"Not all disruptions of the 2020s will be government-led, however. Several sectors will be driven by private actors, for-profits as well as not-for-profits, and will contribute to the flowering of India," he writes.

According to Chikermane, technology, for instance, is changing and will continue to inform the way underlying conversations of India will happen, from identity and financial technologies to vaccines and ventilators.

"The size and scale of firms will increase: there will be more companies employing 500-plus workers than the 3 per cent that do today. The scale and size of individual transactions will rise exponentially: India's per capita digital transactions that increased from 2.4 per annum in 2014 to 22 in 2019, are expected to grow to 220 by 2021, a ten-fold increase in just three years," he says.
"The positive disruption from urbanisation will ensure that the share of labour engaged in agriculture falls from 48 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030 and the overall country productivity rises through new market alignments and greater flexibility given to farmers recently," he adds. - PTI