75 years of India’s socio-economic development before Independence Day celebrations: 10 points

India prepares to celebrate its 75th Independence Day on Monday

India is set to celebrate its 75th Independence Day on Monday. Ahead of India’s Independence Day, we take a look at the country’s progress in some socio-economic indicators over the years.

Here is the socio-economic trajectory of India through 10 indicators:

Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product, the monetary measure of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, has risen from Rs 2.79 lakh crore (at constant prices) in 1950-51 to around 147.36 lakh crore in 2021- 22. The size of India’s GDP is more pronounced in US dollars.

India’s economy, which currently stands at $3.17 trillion, is expected to become the fifth largest in the world in 2022, according to reports.

Net national income per capita

The net national product is the depreciation deducted from the gross national product (GDP + income from foreign sources). India’s net national income per capita has increased from Rs 12,493 in 1950-51 to Rs 91,481 in 2021-22 (provisional estimates).

Total income

The Centre’s total revenue – these do not create any liabilities or result in any reduction in government assets – has increased from Rs 171.15 crore in 1947-48 to Rs 20,78,936 crore in 2021-22 , according to this year’s revised budget estimates.

Foreign exchange reserves

India’s foreign exchange reserves increased from Rs 911 crore in 1950-51 to Rs 45,42,615 crore on August 5, 2022. The latest figure includes India’s special drawing rights and IMF reserve position.

Currently, India has the fifth largest foreign exchange reserve in the world.


In 1950-51, India’s nascent foreign trade amounted to Rs 1,214 crore, with imports slightly exceeding exports. After India’s economic liberalization, the trade deficit widened considerably.

In July 2022, foreign trade (goods and services) amounted to more than 143 billion dollars. However, the overall trade deficit stood at $21 billion, with imports far exceeding exports.

Production of food grains

Foodgrain production in India is a success story, thanks to the green revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1950-51, foodgrain production was 50.8 million tons, which increased to around 316.06 million tonnes in 2021-22.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), India is a leading producer of milk, pulses and jute, rice, wheat, sugar cane, d peanuts, vegetables, fruits and cotton.

Literacy rate

India’s literacy rate has risen from just 18.3% in 1951 to 77.7% in 2017-2018.

It is worth noting the substantial increase in the female literacy rate – from just 8.9% in 1951 to 70.3% in 2017-2018.

The increase in the literacy rate is also linked to the growth of educational institutions across India. From just over 2,000 primary and higher primary institutions in 1951, India had over 14,000 registered schools in 2015-2016.

In higher education, India had 578 colleges and 27 universities in 1951. This increased to 760 universities and 38,498 colleges in 2015-2016.

sex ratio

India’s sex ratio – the total female population per 1,000 males – stood at 946 in the 1951 census. In 2021, the sex ratio was 1,020 females per 1,000 males, which places l India on par with several developed countries.

Significantly, the Fifth National Family Health Survey found that the sex ratio was better in rural areas than in urban areas.

Defense budget

As an emerging power, India’s defense budget has grown exponentially since 1947.

India’s defense budget was Rs 92.74 crore in 1947, which is 46% of the total budget expenditure.

This figure rose to Rs 5,25,166 crore in the 2022 budget, constituting 13.3% of government expenditure in 2022-23.

Telephone connectivity

At the time of independence, India had over 80,000 telephone connections.

Seventy-five years later, the total number of telephone subscribers in India stood at 117 crores in May 2022.

However, India’s greatest achievement has been its vast and rapidly growing Internet connectivity. As of January 2022, India’s internet penetration rate was 47%, covering over 65.8 million people.

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