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New India - Assessment

New India - Tomorrow's India

New India

This section investigates some of the issues that challenge New India.

Key question

  • What are the future challenges for India?

Key concepts

  • Environmental interaction
  • Sustainable development

Wealth gap – India still has high levels of poverty, illiteracy and persistent malnutrition. Twenty five per cent of the population earns less than $0.40 a day. India has the highest rate of malnutrition in children under three years old (46% in 2007) in the world.

Over exploitation of water resources is an issue in some parts of India. Deforestation is a problem in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the north-east.

The infrastructure in India is often poor. The government is proposing to spend more on roads, metro rail networks, ports, airports, power and telecommunications.

India has sizable water resources but also a large and growing population and greater demand for water due to rising living standards and industrial development. Problems are the over-irrigation of fields, wasting water and lowering of water tables, water loss due to droughts, less than half the urban population has access to sewage disposal systems.

India has an estimated number of people living with HIV of 5.7 million by the end of 2005.





Even though the media and business is buzzing about the new wealth in India, there are still many problems.

Download the India issues and sort them into categories

How did you do?

Remember that you must justify your choices.

What do you think this statement from an Indian newspaper means?

‘Our challenges are herculean; our advantages are colossal; India
 never lacks for scale.’
Do you agree with it?



Despite its huge challenges, India has the technology and the resources to tackle them.

It is also full of surprises.

As a Hindi saying goes ‘India always wins’.

Watch the Observer’s audio slide show as a class about India’s largest slum in its biggest city, Mumbai. It shows how its 19million citizens are making £700,000 a year from recycling the city’s waste.

Then, read Waste not, want not, an article from the Observer newspaper.

Look up the meanings of any words you do not recognise, then sum the article up in bullet-points. You could do this by breaking into small groups, taking a paragraph each, and feeding back to the class.

Now, work in pairs and download one image.

Place it in the middle of a piece of paper and write questions around it using information from the article, for example What challenges does this person face? What can the UK learn from Dharavi?

Swap questions with another pair, try to answer them, and compare notes.

Do you like the way the article is written. Does it inspire you? Would you have presented it differently?



You are on the flight back to the UK.

How would you like India
to look in ten years time?

Which of your ideas are most important or realistic, and how might they be achieved?

What do you think you can do?

If there is time, present your ideas on a poster, map, in writing or as a drawing.

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