The Global Organization for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) on Jan. 23, 2021 celebrated India’s 72nd Republic Day via online video conferencing.
The highlight of the meeting was the two high-profile globally economist Arvind Panagariya, first Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Government of India. Panagariya is currently a Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University. Another speaker at the event was author Neerja Arun Gupta.
The event was moderated by GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham.
Panagariya spoke about India’s economy drawing on his book, New India: Reclaiming the Lost Glory.
According to him, India accounted for 38% of the total world economy in the first millennium and it continued to grow in the second millennium. With the arrival of British rule, India began to lose its place in world with the Western nations growing at a faster pace while India’s economy stayed stagnant. In 1947, when India got Independence from Britain, India’s economy was mere 3% of the total world GDP.
“With a GDP that just reached $2.6 trillion, India is poised to become the world’s third largest economy in less than a decade. Now, India is well poised to regain the lost glory,” Panagariya was quoted saying at the meeting.
Acknowledging the “gloom economy due to COVID,” Pangariya said however, that the “Fundamentals of the Indian economy have been robust, though unemployment has taken a huge toll on the growth with India’s growth in the first quarter of 2021 is expected to be negative 3 percent.”
“We need a work force transformation,” he added.
India needs to emerge from the larger agrarian economy to an industrial economy that relies more on technology and infrastructure, according to Panagariya.
President of GOPIO International Sunny Kulathakal welcomed the guests from around the world to the celebration. He was quoted saying in the press release, “We may be far away from India, but we cannot take the Indianness from us. The Diaspora community has become a symbol of growth and human achievement as we continue to play a crucial role in India’s development in all possible areas.”
Several other speakers gave discourses on the significance of republic day and the youth of modern India followed by singing performances by the members.