I’ll probably stick with India on this one.
We all know India was known for its wealth once and was looted by the so called East India Company’s invasion. India was weak at times by then. After Independence, India’s power and influence grew leap & bounds.
Undisputed Remote Sensing Capabilities:
A few decades ago, India was heavily dependent on satellite data from America. As a result of this slow process, 20,000 people died during the 1999 Odisha cyclone.
Fast forward to 2015, India’s remote sensing capabilities are far ahead of that of the U.S.
Today, we have satellites backing a variety of applications including groundwater prospect mapping, crop acreage and production estimation, potential fishing zone forecasting based on chlorophyll and sea surface temperature, biodiversity characterization, detailed impact assessment of watershed development projects, generation of natural resources data/information, etc.
Most Intelligent Nuclear Program Using ‘Thorium’:
While countries around the world struggled to find the replacement for Uranium as a nuclear fuel, India’s nuclear program was already thriving on Thorium. Since India was naturally rich in Thorium deposits, our brilliant scientists made use of it instead of Uranium (Uranium 238) as fuel and surprised the whole world.
First Asian Nation And Fourth Country In The World To Reach Mars’ Orbit:
The entire world knows about India’s Mars Mission; it needs no introduction. Not only did India become the 1st Asian nation and the 4th country in the world to reach Mars’ orbit but we did it most cost effectively too.
At USD $73 million, it’s the least expensive Mars orbital mission ever commissioned where as NASA’s Maven craft costed about USD $671 million. Gravity movie’s budget is USD $100 million.
So far, India has launched 40 satellites for 19 countries, many of them advanced nations.
Second Largest Number Of Internet Users In The World:
Our future rests in the hands of ‘The Internet’ and nobody drives the force of the web other than its users. After China, India has the most number of internet users on the planet.
At only 29% penetration, India has 354,000,000 people using the net. This puts us way ahead of countries like US, Japan and Russia where the penetration rate is much higher.
Nuclear Assets (Weapons And Reactors):
In a short span of 66 years, India’s nuclear capabilities have tremendously grown. We rank number one in the development of thorium-based fast breeder reactors; we also have 21 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, having an installed capacity of 5780 MW.
Six more reactors are under construction. According to Federation of American Scientists, India has an estimated backlog of 75-110 nuclear weapons.
Second Largest IT Industry In The World:
The growth of the Indian IT scene has been monstrous. Thanks to this growth, our IT sector is the 2nd largest in the world. What’s even better is that in about another five years, we will take over China and sit tight on the number one spot.
The Indian Armed Forces, India’s main defence organisation, consists of two main branches: the core Military of India and the Indian Paramilitary Forces.
The Military of India maintains the second largest active duty force in the world after China, while the Indian Paramilitary Forces, over a million strong, is the second largest paramilitary force in the world. Combined, the total armed forces of India are 2,414,700 strong, the world’s third largest defence force.
The Army of India, as the Indian army was called under British rule before 1947, played a crucial role in checking the advance of Imperial Japan into South Asia during World War II. It also played a leading role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Today, the Indian Army is the world’s third largest army after United States Army and Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world. India recently inducted its second indigenously manufactured combat aircraft. India is also developing the fifth generation stealth aircraft.
The Indian Navy is the world’s fifth largest navy. It is considered to have blue-water capabilities with sophisticated missile-capable warships, aircraft carrier, minesweepers, advanced submarines and the latest aircraft in its inventory, along with a significant use of state of the art technology that is indigenously manufactured. It operates one aircraft carrier and also plans to induct the INS Vikrant by 2018 followed by a larger INS Vishal.
Global diaspora that is more than 35 million Indians live across the globe. Under fair opportunities, they have become socio-economically successful.
Foreign Language Skills:
The importance of the English language in the 21st century is a topic of debate, nonetheless the growing pool of non-native English speakers makes it the best contender for “Global language” status.
Incidentally, India has the world’s largest English speaking/understanding population. It claims one of the largest workforce of engineers, doctors and other key professionals, all comfortable with English.
It has the 2nd largest population of “fluent English” speakers, second only to the United States, with estimates ranging from 150 to 250 million speakers, and is expected to have the largest in coming decades. Indians are also learning Dutch, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
The economy of India is currently the world’s third largest in terms of real GDP (PPP) after the USA and the People’s Republic of China.
According to the World Bank India overtook China to become the fastest-growing major economy in the world as of 2015. Its record growth was in the third quarter of 2003, when it grew higher than any other emerging economy at 10.4%.
Interestingly, estimates by the IMF show that in 2011, India became the third largest economy in the world, overtaking the Japanese economy and the Seventh largest economy by GDP (Nominal). India has grown at 7.5% in 2015.
“First World medical services at Third World prices” – Indian Metros have emerged as the leading destination of medical tourism. Last year, an estimated 150,000 foreigners visited India for medical procedures, and the number is increasing at the rate of about 15 percent a year.