India

March 2, 2006

The fragrant Mrs G and the Gandalfette are touring India from next week, and the president has paved the way with a deal to help develop its nuke industry. Democratic, anglosphere India looks set to outrun China and join the US as a superpower in two decades, and we wish it well.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush today announced an agreement on a landmark nuclear deal, a coup for Mr. Bush’s first visit to India.

Under the accord…the United States would share American nuclear know-how and fuel with India to help power its fast-growing economy, even though India won’t sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It would represent a major shift in policy for the United States, which imposed temporary sanctions on India in 1998 after it conducted nuclear tests.

Here’s the background data:

Freedom rating: Free – not as free as the US and UK, but as free as Peru and vastly freer than China.

Corruption rank: 88th - that’s quite corrupt, the same as Iran.

GDP (adjusted for PPP): 4th biggest (after US, China, Japan).

Population: 2nd most populous – 1 billion to China’s 1.3, and catching up fast, since birth rate is almost double China’s.

GDP growth rate: 7.10%, compared with China’s 9.2% and the US 3.5%.

Military expenditure: 9th biggest – about $18 billion compared with China’s $67 billion & US $370 billion.

Language:

Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages; English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication.

We wish this splendid and most populous democracy well.


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