When the history of our times is written, the dip in growth last year or the spike in food prices this year will barely find a mention. The story that will dominate the history of the 21st century is undoubtedly the rise of China and India, and the gradual swing of the pendulum of economic power from the West back to the East. From this perspective, what are the highs and lows that dominate the landscape as we look back at India's economic performance during the first decade of the 21st century?
On the positive side, it has been a decade of great transformation. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing countries in the world. During the first half of this decade, from 1999-2000 to 2003-04, India grew at an average rate of less than 6 per cent. During the second half, growth accelerated to an average of close to 9 per cent about 50 per cent faster than during the first half. Much has been made of the dip in growth to 6.7 per cent last year, but this was still higher than the rate averaged during the first half of the decade.