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The Economy of India is the seventh-largest economy in the world measured by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[32] The country is classified as a newly industrialised country, one of the G-20 major economies, a member of BRICS and a developing economy with an average growth rate of approximately 7% over the last two decades. Maharashtra is the wealthiest Indian state and has an annual GDP of US$220 billion, nearly equal to that of Pakistan or Portugal, and accounts for 12% of the Indian GDP followed by the states of Tamil Nadu (US$140 billion) and Uttar Pradesh (US$130 billion). India's economy became the world's fastest growing major economy from the last quarter of 2014, replacing the People's Republic of China.[33]

The long-term growth prospective of the Indian economy is positive due to its young population, corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy.[34] The Indian economy has the potential to become the world's 3rd-largest economy by the next decade, and one of the largest economies by mid-century.[35][36][37] And the outlook for short-term growth is also good as according to the IMF, the Indian economy is the"bright spot" in the global landscape.[38] India also topped the World Bank’s growth outlook for 2015-16 for the first time with the economy having grown 7.6% in 2015-16 and expected to grow 8.0%+ in 2016-17.[39]

India has the one of fastest growing service sectors in the world with annual growth rate of above 9% since 2001, which contributed to 57% of GDP in 2012-13.[40] India has become a major exporter of IT services, BPO services, and software services with $167.0 billion worth of service exports in 2013-14. It is also the fastest-growing part of the economy.[41] The IT industry continues to be the largest private sector employer in India.[42][43] India is also the fourth largest start-up hub in the world with over 3,100 technology start-ups in 2014-15[44] The agricultural sector is the largest employer in India's economy but contributes to a declining share of its GDP (17% in 2013-14). India ranks second worldwide in farm output.[45] The Industry sector has held a constant share of its economic contribution (26% of GDP in 2013-14).[46] The Indian auto mobile industry is one of the largest in the world with an annual production of 21.48 million vehicles (mostly two and three wheelers) in FY 2013-14.[47] India has $600 billion worth of retail market in 2015 and one of world's fastest growing E-Commerce markets.[48][49]

India's two major stock exchanges, Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India, had a market capitalisation of US$1.71 trillion and US$1.68 trillion respectively as of Feb 2015, which ranks 11th & 12 largest in the world respectively according to the World Federation of Exchanges.[50] India also home to world's third largest Billionaires pool with 111 billionaires in 2016 and fourth largest number of ultra-high-net-worth households that have more than 100 million dollars.[51] The Economy of India is the seventh-largest economy in the world measured by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[32] The country is classified as a newly industrialised country, one of the G-20 major economies, a member of BRICS and a developing economy with an average growth rate of approximately 7% over the last two decades. Maharashtra is the wealthiest Indian state and has an annual GDP of US$220 billion, nearly equal to that of Pakistan or Portugal, and accounts for 12% of the Indian GDP followed by the states of Tamil Nadu (US$140 billion) and Uttar Pradesh (US$130 billion). India's economy became the world's fastest growing major economy from the last quarter of 2014, replacing the People's Republic of China.[33]

The long-term growth prospective of the Indian economy is positive due to its young population, corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy.[34] The Indian economy has the potential to become the world's 3rd-largest economy by the next decade, and one of the largest economies by mid-century.[35][36][37] And the outlook for short-term growth is also good as according to the IMF, the Indian economy is the"bright spot" in the global landscape.[38] India also topped the World Bank’s growth outlook for 2015-16 for the first time with the economy having grown 7.6% in 2015-16 and expected to grow 8.0%+ in 2016-17.[39]

India has the one of fastest growing service sectors in the world with annual growth rate of above 9% since 2001, which contributed to 57% of GDP in 2012-13.[40] India has become a major exporter of IT services, BPO services, and software services with $167.0 billion worth of service exports in 2013-14. It is also the fastest-growing part of the economy.[41] The IT industry continues to be the largest private sector employer in India.[42][43] India is also the fourth largest start-up hub in the world with over 3,100 technology start-ups in 2014-15[44] The agricultural sector is the largest employer in India's economy but contributes to a declining share of its GDP (17% in 2013-14). India ranks second worldwide in farm output.[45] The Industry sector has held a constant share of its economic contribution (26% of GDP in 2013-14).[46] The Indian auto mobile industry is one of the largest in the world with an annual production of 21.48 million vehicles (mostly two and three wheelers) in FY 2013-14.[47] India has $600 billion worth of retail market in 2015 and one of world's fastest growing E-Commerce markets.[48][49]

India's two major stock exchanges, Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India, had a market capitalisation of US$1.71 trillion and US$1.68 trillion respectively as of Feb 2015, which ranks 11th & 12 largest in the world respectively according to the World Federation of Exchanges.[50] India also home to world's third largest Billionaires pool with 111 billionaires in 2016 and fourth largest number of ultra-high-net-worth households that have more than 100 million dollars.[51]The Economy of India is the seventh-largest economy in the world measured by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[32] The country is classified as a newly industrialised country, one of the G-20 major economies, a member of BRICS and a developing economy with an average growth rate of approximately 7% over the last two decades. Maharashtra is the wealthiest Indian state and has an annual GDP of US$220 billion, nearly equal to that of Pakistan or Portugal, and accounts for 12% of the Indian GDP followed by the states of Tamil Nadu (US$140 billion) and Uttar Pradesh (US$130 billion). India's economy became the world's fastest growing major economy from the last quarter of 2014, replacing the People's Republic of China.[33]

The long-term growth prospective of the Indian economy is positive due to its young population, corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy.[34] The Indian economy has the potential to become the world's 3rd-largest economy by the next decade, and one of the largest economies by mid-century.[35][36][37] And the outlook for short-term growth is also good as according to the IMF, the Indian economy is the"bright spot" in the global landscape.[38] India also topped the World Bank’s growth outlook for 2015-16 for the first time with the economy having grown 7.6% in 2015-16 and expected to grow 8.0%+ in 2016-17.[39]

India has the one of fastest growing service sectors in the world with annual growth rate of above 9% since 2001, which contributed to 57% of GDP in 2012-13.[40] India has become a major exporter of IT services, BPO services, and software services with $167.0 billion worth of service exports in 2013-14. It is also the fastest-growing part of the economy.[41] The IT industry continues to be the largest private sector employer in India.[42][43] India is also the fourth largest start-up hub in the world with over 3,100 technology start-ups in 2014-15[44] The agricultural sector is the largest employer in India's economy but contributes to a declining share of its GDP (17% in 2013-14). India ranks second worldwide in farm output.[45] The Industry sector has held a constant share of its economic contribution (26% of GDP in 2013-14).[46] The Indian auto mobile industry is one of the largest in the world with an annual production of 21.48 million vehicles (mostly two and three wheelers) in FY 2013-14.[47] India has $600 billion worth of retail market in 2015 and one of world's fastest growing E-Commerce markets.[48][49]

India's two major stock exchanges, Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India, had a market capitalisation of US$1.71 trillion and US$1.68 trillion respectively as of Feb 2015, which ranks 11th & 12 largest in the world respectively according to the World Federation of Exchanges.[50] India also home to world's third largest Billionaires pool with 111 billionaires in 2016 and fourth largest number of ultra-high-net-worth households that have more than 100 million dollars.[51] The combination of protectionist, import-substitution, Fabian socialism, social democratic-inspired policies governed India for sometime after the end of British occupation. The economy was then characterised by extensive regulation, protectionism, public ownership of large monopolies, pervasive corruption and slow growth.[53][54][55] Since 1991, continuing economic liberalisation has moved the country towards a market-based economy.[53][54] By 2008, India had established itself as one of the world's faster-growing economies. Growth significantly slowed to 6.8% in 2008–09, but subsequently recovered to 7.4% in 2009–10, while the fiscal deficit rose from 5.9% to a high 6.5% during the same period.[56] India's current account deficit surged to 4.1% of GDP during Q2 FY11 against 3.2% the previous quarter. The unemployment rate for 2012–13, according to Government of India's Labour Bureau, was 4.7% nationwide, by UPS method;[57] and 3% by NSSO method.[12] India's consumer price inflation ranged between 8.9 and 12% over the 2009-2013 period.[58] The citizens of the Indus Valley Civilisation, a permanent settlement that flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, practiced agriculture, domesticated animals, used uniform weights and measures, made tools and weapons, and traded with other cities. Evidence of well-planned streets, a drainage system and water supply reveals their knowledge of urban planning, which included the world's first urban sanitation systems and the existence of a form of municipal government.[59]


The spice trade between India and Europe was the main catalyst for the Age of Discovery.[60]
Maritime trade was carried out extensively between South India and southeast and West Asia from early times until around the fourteenth century AD. Both the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts were the sites of important trading centres from as early as the first century BC, used for import and export as well as transit points between the Mediterranean region and southeast Asia.[61] Over time, traders organised themselves into associations which received state patronage. Raychaudhuri and Habib claim this state patronage for overseas trade came to an end by the thirteenth century AD, when it was largely taken over by the local Parsi, Jewish and Muslim communities, initially on the Malabar and subsequently on the Coromandel coast.[62].Other scholars suggest trading from India to West Asia and Eastern Europe was active between 14th and 18th century.[63][64][65] During this period, Indian traders had settled in Surakhani, a suburb of greater Baku, Azerbaijan. These traders had built a Hindu temple, now preserved by the government of Azerbaijan. French Jesuit Villotte, who lived in Azerbaijan in late 1600s, wrote this Indian temple was revered by Hindus;[66] the temple has numerous carvings in Sanskrit, dated to be between 1500 and 1745 AD. The Atashgah temple built by the Baku-resident traders from India suggests commerce was active and prosperous for Indians by the 17th century.[67][68][69][70]

Further north, the Saurashtra and Bengal coasts played an important role in maritime trade, and the Gangetic plains and the Indus valley housed several centres of river-borne commerce. Most overland trade was carried out via the Khyber Pass connecting the Punjab region with Afghanistan and onward to the Middle East and Central Asia.[71] Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while their craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.[72]


Silver coin of the Maurya Empire, 3rd century BC.

Silver coin of the Gupta dynasty, 5th century AD.
Sean Harkin estimates China and India may have accounted for 60 to 70 percent of world GDP in the 17th century.[73]Other scholars suggest trading from India to West Asia and Eastern Europe was active between 14th and 18th century.[63][64][65] During this period, Indian traders had settled in Surakhani, a suburb of greater Baku, Azerbaijan. These traders had built a Hindu temple, now preserved by the government of Azerbaijan. French Jesuit Villotte, who lived in Azerbaijan in late 1600s, wrote this Indian temple was revered by Hindus;[66] the temple has numerous carvings in Sanskrit, dated to be between 1500 and 1745 AD. The Atashgah temple built by the Baku-resident traders from India suggests commerce was active and prosperous for Indians by the 17th century.[67][68][69][70]

Further north, the Saurashtra and Bengal coasts played an important role in maritime trade, and the Gangetic plains and the Indus valley housed several centres of river-borne commerce. Most overland trade was carried out via the Khyber Pass connecting the Punjab region with Afghanistan and onward to the Middle East and Central Asia.[71] Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while their craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.[72]


Silver coin of the Maurya Empire, 3rd century BC.

Silver coin of the Gupta dynasty, 5th century AD.
Sean Harkin estimates China and India may have accounted for 60 to 70 percent of world GDP in the 17th century.[73]From the beginning of 19th century British East India Company's gradual expansion and consolidation of power brought a major change in the taxation and agricultural policies, which tended to promote commercialisation of agriculture with a focus on trade, resulting in decreased production of food crops, mass impoverishment and destitution of farmers, and in the short term, led to numerous famines.[79] The economic policies of the British Raj caused a severe decline in the handicrafts and handloom sectors, due to reduced demand and dipping employment.[80] After the removal of international restrictions by the Charter of 1813, Indian trade expanded substantially and over the long term showed an upward trend.[81] The result was a significant transfer of capital from India to England, which, due to the colonial policies of the British, led to a massive drain of revenue rather than any systematic effort at modernisation of the domestic economy.[82]


Estimated per capita GDP of India and United Kingdom from 1700 to 1950, inflation adjusted to 1990 US$.[83] Other estimates[84] suggest a similar stagnation in India's per capita GDP and income during the colonial era.
British territorial expansion in India throughout the 19th century created an institutional environment that, on paper, guaranteed property rights among the colonisers, encouraged free trade, and created a single currency with fixed exchange rates, standardised weights and measures and capital markets within the company held territories. It also established a system of railways and telegraphs, a civil service that aimed to be free from political interference, a common-law and an adversarial legal system.[85] This coincided with major changes in the world economy – industrialisation, and significant growth in production and trade. However, at the end of colonial rule, India inherited an economy that was one of the poorest in the developing world,[86] with industrial development stalled, agriculture unable to feed a rapidly growing population, a largely illiterate and unskilled labor force, and extremely inadequate infrastructure.[87]

The 1872 census revealed that 91.3% of the population of the region constituting present-day India resided in villages,[88] and urbanisation generally remained sluggish until the 1920s, due to the lack of industrialisation and absence of adequate transportation. Subsequently, the policy of discriminating protection (where certain important industries were given financial protection by the state), coupled with the Second World War, saw the development and dispersal of industries, encouraging rural-urban migration, and in particular the large port cities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras grew rapidly. Despite this, only one-sixth of India's population lived in cities by 1951.[89]

The impact of British occupation on India's economy is a controversial topic. Leaders of the Indian independence movement and economic historians have blamed colonial rule for the dismal state of India's economy in its aftermath and argued that financial strength required for industrial development in Britain was derived from the wealth taken from India. At the same time, right-wing historians have countered that India's low economic performance was due to various sectors being in a state of growth and decline due to changes brought in by colonialism and a world that was moving t
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