by Manpreet Singh Anand
Private capital is soaring in, but roughly 800 million people live on less than $2 a day. Hundreds of millions of people have moved into the middle class in recent years, yet hundreds of millions more have little to no access to power, sanitation, or internet connectivity. It is one of the fastest growing large economies in the world while the spread of disease persists throughout the subcontinent. This is, of course, the paradox of India.
It is important to remember that while commercial opportunity seems to be growing exponentially in India, major development challenges remain. Even more important is that the solutions to such challenges will require a multi-stakeholder approach that includes market-based solutions for these vulnerable populations. We will need to build their resilience while lifting their economic power. As the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has rightly revealed in a recent report on Middle India, the middle 60% of India’s households will be the key demographic in determining sustained growth.
India has no shortage of donors and non-government organizations focused on various dimensions of poverty. I’m proud to say that it has been the U.S. government, largely through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has been on the vanguard of ushering in a new model of development in India. It is one that looks to leverage science and technology, scale up innovative models, and engage in partnership with private actors.
This post is part of the “SDG Solutions” series hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Global Daily, and +SocialGood to raise awareness of ways the international community can advance, and is advancing, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. As the international community prepares to gather at the UN for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from July 10-19, this series will share ideas and examples of action. Previous posts in the series can be found here.