Will India lead the new normal?

As economies emerge from the effects of the pandemic, India is taking all the steps in the right direction

The year 2021 started with a bang. On January 16, India rolled out the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drive. Also, in Q3FY2021, India Inc exceeded the financial forecasts, signalling a slow-yet-steady revival of the economy.

What remains to be seen is how will India, as a nation and an emerging global power, survive, sustain, grow, and excel in the post-COVID era?


PM Modi’s dream

Ever since the Prime Minister envisaged Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the primary focus has been on developing adequate infrastructure in the country. A `20 lakh crore stimulus package was announced by the FM. A large part of the stimulus package has been allocated to create a strong infrastructure for startups, MSMEs, corporations, and financial institutions.

In Budget 2021, the FM opened the government spending tap to develop a strong physical, health, and financial infrastructure. Overall, the COVID-19 stimulus package combined with the main budget 2021, strengthen the vision of making India a $5 trillion economy.

Raising the fiscal deficit for the upcoming FY is a risky-yet-courageous step. However, it will achieve the desired results only if investments, divestments, and policy implementation take place as planned.

Healthcare sector

India’s healthcare sector didn’t fare as badly as had been expected at the beginning of the pandemic. The Government has made its intentions clear by allocating `2,23,846 crores towards healthcare. The FM also launched the PM Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, with an outlay of `64,180 crores over six years.

Artificial intelligence is the need of the hour. To reduce healthcare costs and encourage telemedicine, the Government and private companies should partner and create a robust technology as online consultations will ease the burden on hospitals and make healthcare accessible.

Education sector

As per Inc 42, the edtech market in India will grow 3.7x in the next five years, and may cross the $10bn mark by 2025. Paid edtech users are expected to reach 37 million by 2025.

In 2020, edtech startups have attracted over $2.2 billion in investments. In 2021 and years to come, virtual classrooms will continue to thrive, making education accessible and less expensive. Edtech has provided a level playing field since students living in rural areas and Tier II, III and IV cities can now choose to study under the best educators.

A green environment

In the last few years, India has remained one of the most polluted countries in the world. However, the nationwide lockdown witnessed a significant reduction in air pollution. Four major cities — Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Mumbai — achieved almost 95% of the NCAP target.

This was primarily due to zero vehicular movement and the temporary shutdown of industrial and construction activities. It is imperative that policymakers, regulatory authorities, and the public now collectively endeavour to reduce pollution levels.

Other areas that require attention are power generation, brick kilns, and construction activities that heavily contribute to the degradation of the environment.

Personal finance

Until last year people would rarely discuss personal finance, insurance policies, or investments. The pandemic has changed perceptions and people are now keen to invest early in their careers.

They have realised the importance of building an emergency fund, creating a passive income stream, and investing in various options such as mutual funds and stocks. It’s high time that personal finance be introduced as a subject in the school curriculum.

With endless opportunities in sight, the post-COVID era will prove to be the new ‘Golden Age’ for India. The year 2021 looks up to India to lead the world in the ‘New Normal.’

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The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the author are his/her own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints, or official policies of Unacademy or The Hindu.

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