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VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

Last updated on: January 5, 2012 11:29 IST

VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

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India has a number of problems, such as high inflation, poor infrastructure and rural poverty, which is not surprising considering the size of the country and the developing nature of the economy.

With so many issues affecting the nation, we all have some problems that make us really angry and frustrated.

So, here we are presenting some of the biggest challenges facing the country and would like to know which you think is the biggest challenge.

Note: The challenges are not ranked in any order.

Please take the poll at the end of the slide show to select the one you feel is the biggest challenge. If you think the challenge you consider the biggest is not among the ones listed here, please mention it in the message board below.

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Image: There are number of challenges hampering India's growth.

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VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

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Rising prices and inflation

Although the Reserve Bank of India has continuously raised interest rates, inflation and food prices continue to remain high.

The high inflation is not only hurting the common man but also the country's overall growth.

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Image: High inflation is hurting India's growth.


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Economic and manufacturing slowdown

The country was projected to post nine per cent growth, but now it is expected to see about six per cent growth. The drop in growth is partly due to decline in the manufacturing sector, which has been hit hard by the economic slowdown.

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Image: Manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the slowdown.

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VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

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Corruption

Corruption became the most important issue in the country in 2011, thanks largely to Anna Hazare and his crusade against it.

Although the middle class has come out on the streets against corruption, the challenge is far from over.

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Image: Corruption was the main issue in 2011.


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Lack of direction

Whether it is fight against corruption, inflation or decline in manufacturing, the government does not seem to have a handle on anything.

It has not passed a single important legislature in its whole term, infrastructure is crying for investment and foreign direct investment in multi-retail is dead even before reaching the cashier.

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Image: Government does not seem to have a handle on anything.

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High fiscal deficit and interest rates

India's fiscal deficit for the first eight months of the financial year rose to Rs 3.53 trillion, or nearly 86 per cent of the full-year target.

Separately, the government said India's total external debt rose to $326.6 billion at the end of September, from $317 billion at the end of June.

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Image: Fiscal deficit has risen to Rs 3.53 trillion.

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VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

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Rich-poor divide

India has more than 400 million people living below the poverty line out of 1.2 billion population. The country also has one of the highest numbers of multi-millionaires in the world.

Instead of an inclusive growth, the country is headed for a bigger rich and poor divide.

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Image: The country is headed for a bigger rich and poor divide.

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Unemployment

The country's unemployment rate is well above nine per cent and shows no sign of falling. It's is not just the unemployment rate that is hurting the common man but also difficulty in finding part-time work or partial employment.

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Image: Unemployment rate continues to be high.

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VOTE: Which is the biggest economic challenge facing India?

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Poverty

With nearly 40 per cent of the population living in dire poverty, the country faces a big challenge ahead. The government has launched programmes to address the issue, but abject poverty remains a problem.

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Image: Poverty remains a major issue.

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Agriculture slowdown

The country is not only witnessing a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, but also in agriculture. The decline in agriculture output will hit the economy hard as agriculture continues to play an important role in overall growth.

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Image: Agriculture sector is seeing a decline in output.

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Education sector

Although India's literacy level has increased by 9.21 per cent in the past 10 years to reach 74.04 per cent, poor school infrastructure remains a problem.

According to government data, literates constitute 74 per cent of the total population, aged seven and above, and illiterates form 26 per cent.

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Image: Poor school infrastructure remains a problem.

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Population

India has the second-largest population in the world and the rate of growth shows no sign of falling. The massive number means the government is unable to keep up with the growth, resulting in all kinds of challenges.

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Image: High population is having an impact on all sectors of economy.


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Transportation

Transportation system across the country, especially in cities, is in dire need of overhaul. It's not just the people who are facing problems due to the inadequate system, but transporting goods on time and in good shape is becoming increasingly difficult.

Government and private companies need to invest major capital in transportation.

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Image: Transportation needs major investment.


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Rural opportunities

India is seeing rapid migration of population from rural to urban areas, which is resulting in all sorts of problems both in urban and rural areas.

One of the biggest causes of this migration is the lack of opportunities and facilities in rural areas, which in turn is putting pressure on cities.

Underdevelopment of rural areas remains a big challenge.

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Image: Underdevelopment of rural areas remains a big challenge.

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Regionalism

Whether it is an issue of land, water or language, regionalism remains a big issue in India. The country witnesses riots, political logjam and even threats of secession.

Regionalism will continue to be a big challenge, both for the centre and the states.

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Image: Regionalism will continue to be a big challenge.

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Road infrastructure

One area most in need of investment is road infrastructure. Bad roads, or lack of roads, are not only an inconvenience, but also hurt productivity by eating up precious time.

Indian roads are one of the most dangerous in the world, and need urgent attention of both government and private companies.

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Image: Indian roads are one of the most dangerous in the world.

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Power shortages

Another area that directly hurts economic growth is lack of electricity. India has made enormous progress in last 60 years or so when it comes to supplying electricity, but a lot more needs to be done, especially in rural areas.

Measures are needed not only to supply electricity but also to reduce wastage.

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Image: Power shortage remains a big challenge.

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Child labour

Although the government has taken steps to end child labour, but it is a common practice across the country mainly because parents need an extra pair of hands to put food on the table.

Ending child labour and putting those children in school is a big challenge.

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Image: Child labour remains a big challenge.

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Workers' exploitation

There are various legislative acts against exploitation of workers, but poor implementation means many workers, especially in unorganised sectors, continue to be exploited.

Giving workers rights and decent life remains a challenge both for the government and the society at large.

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Image: Workers continue to be exploited.

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Lack of water

It says a lot about the government and the country as a whole when millions of people don't have access to basic things like clean drinking water.

India needs urgent steps to provide safe drinking water, clean the rivers and healthy sanitation facilities.

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Image: Everybody should have access to clean drinking water.

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Terrorism/Naxalism

The country has been fighting two wars: One internally and the other externally. If recent events are any indication, it looks highly unlikely that India has seen the last of either terrorism or Naxalite violence.

Both the issues are a challenge and need to be addressed.

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Image: Terrorism and Naxalism pose a challenge.

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