Reflecting the growing might of emerging markets, a UN report today said that the combined output of BRIC countries including India will surpass the aggregate GDP of US, Canada and other European nation by 2020.
"By 2020, the combined economic output of three leading developing countries alone -- Brazil, China and India -- will surpass the aggregate production of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States," said the 2013 Human Development Report, prepared by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). BRIC includes Russia as well.
Meanwhile, India's position in Human Development Index was 136 out of 187 countries in 2012. It ranked 134 in 2011.
The report said it is misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed.
Highlighting the policies of Indian government, it said that investing in world-class tertiary education, building human capabilities and opening up to trade and investment allowed India to capitalise on its stock of skilled workers in technology.
By 2011-2012, these industries were generating $70 billion in export earnings.
Similar tales can be told for India's pharmaceuticals, automobile, chemical and service industries, now vigorously competing in world markets, it said.
The result has been a remarkable change in the economy. In 2010, India's trade to output ratio was 46.3%, up from only 15.7% in 1990, it said.
However, it said, India has averaged nearly 5% income growth a year over 1990-2012 and per capita income is still low, around $3,400 in 2012.
To improve living standards, it will need further growth. And India's performance in accelerating human development is less impressive than its growth performance, it said.
The report noted the rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast, it said.
The term 'the South' is used to denote developing countries and 'the North' to denote developed countries.
By 2030, more than 80% of the world's middle class will live in the South and account for 70% of total consumption expenditure.
The Asia-Pacific region alone will host about two-thirds of that middle class. The South as a whole is driving global economic growth and societal change for the first time in centuries," the report said.
The economic take-offs in China and India began when their respective populations reached about one billion and per capita output doubled in less than 20 years, resulting in an economic growth that affected a much larger population than the Industrial Revolution, it said.