8th August is a significant date for India as it marks the anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The movement was initiated by Mahatma Gandhi on this day in 1942 demanding an end to British rule of India. It was a revolutionary march that drew an incredible number of participants and put the British under such immense pressure that they ultimately vacated the subcontinent, leaving India as an independent state.
Mahatma Gandhi in his Quit India Movement speech used the iconic phrase ‘Do or Die’, and on the 75th anniversary of the movement we take a look at 5 crucial sectors in which India has ‘done’ substantial progress since independence.
Newly independent India’s agriculture produce was detrimental with some 50 million tonnes per annum and ironically almost 80% of the rural population was dependent on agriculture.
Green Revolution flourished the agriculture produce in India. The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation led to the increase in production that made India self-sufficient in food grains.
Today, India’s agriculture sector contributes 13.7% to the GDP and product exports worth USD39 billion make it the 7th largest agricultural exporter in the world.
In 1947, the Indian population stood at 350 million and the literacy rate was truly bizarre. Close to 10% eligible youngsters were enrolled in secondary schools and the literacy rate in 1951 was a farcical 16%.
Top notch educational institutions like IITs, IIMs were established and there are now 47 central universities spread across the country.
The country has come a long way since then as it now boasts of 74% literate individuals with almost 70% youth employed.
India’s prowess in space research was negligible within the international community but it has grown leaps and bounds since the 1940s.
The country’s first space agency Indian Space Research Organisation was formed in 1969 which built and launched India’s first ever satellite Aryabhatta into space in 1975.
Ever since then, Indian space research is making strides and plans to develop reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, controlled soft lunar landing, interplanetary probes and a solar spacecraft mission.
The average life expectancy in 1951 was 37 years which has almost doubled now. Malnutrition ran rampant, affecting more than 70% but that has decreased to 44% now.
Diseases such as polio and small pox epidemic have been completely eradicated from the country.
In the recent budget announced by the government, funding of health sector stood at 1.2% with an allocation of Rs 48,880 crores.
Hockey is India’s national sport and legendary Major Dhyan Chand lead the charge of Indian hockey during it’s golden years but then came cricket in it’s 50-over format and 1983’s World Cup win established it as the game of the masses.
Many other neglected sports have come to the fore in the past two decades and several leagues have been dedicated to sports like cricket, football, kabaddi, wrestling, etc.
India participates in many major tournaments like Olympics, Commonwealth Games, various World Cups and has produced some of the finest athletes and sportsmen over the years who have won a number of accolades in their respective fields.