Union Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar on Thursday said India will double its wealth in 10 years and the process to achieve that has begun.

“It took 80 years from the rise of the first industrial revolution for Britain to double its wealth. When China started its own reform… it doubled its wealth in just 10 years, that is the change that has emerged and you are in the first year of a process in which our nation is finally going to double its wealth in 10 years. That is the true opportunity,” Akbar told students in his address here at 5th annual convocation of International Management Institute (IMI) Kolkata.

Noting the importance of women in contributing to India’s future, Akbar remarked: “If you add women to your intellectual workplace, if you add women to your economy, you will triple the economy — forget doubling it. That is the process that we are seeing is happening.”

Akbar also exhorted the graduating management students to eliminate poverty in the foreseeable future.

“We have to eliminate the curse in the foreseeable future. The liberation of 30 per cent of India from harsh poverty, means the creation or adding 400 million people into the consuming class.

“Essentially you will have doubled the consumer market… in 10 years if you double the consumer market, you double the wealth of the nation, you double manufacturing, you quadruple manufacturing … your manufacturing finds the scale which enables it to compete across the world… so you are living at a moment of such potential excitement,” he said, adding hunger and poverty have no religion.

The convocation also saw launch of AICTE approved fellowship and Dr. R P Goenka Scholarship Program by the by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group-governed institute.