#Flasback2022: New India Surges Ahead With Kartavya Path, Fifth Largest Economy Feat, G20Presidency

The year 2022 ends with many firsts. After almost three years of being hit by the pandemic, times are changing for good globally. For India, the year has certainly been full of achievements and making it’s mark even more strongly on the global map. The biggest news came from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when India was declared the fifth largest economy leaving the UK behind! The eyes were set rolling on India as a potential world leader.

On September 2, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that India had surged past the United Kingdom to become the fifth largest economy in the world. The latest change in rankings was based on quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) numbers in current dollars for the period ending December 2021. India increased its lead over the UK in the quarter ending March, IMF data showed. India is now behind only the US, China, Japan and Germany, according to IMF projections. A decade back, India was ranked 11th among the large economies while the U.K. was at the fifth position. India’s growth is accompanied by a period of rapid inflation in the UK, creating a cost of living crisis and the risk of a recession which the Bank of England predicts could last into 2024. This situation, coupled with a turbulent political period led to Indian output overtaking that of the UK in the final quarter of 2021, with the first of 2022 offering no change in the ranking. Looking ahead, the IMF forecasts this to become the new status quo, with India expected to leap further ahead of the UK up to 2027 – making India the fourth largest economy by that time, too, and leaving the UK behind in sixth.

Another milestone was achieved while doing away with the colonial was the facelift of Rajpath, henceforth be known as ‘Kartavya Path’. The new-look stretch covers lawns on either side of ‘Kartavya Path’ from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, covering around 101 acres of land in the heart of the national capital. A project of national importance, it aims at creating modern office spaces for ministries, departments, a new Parliament building, houses for the Vice President and Prime Minister. The focus of this very ambitious project is to redevelop the Avenue and upgrade the infrastructure, thereby changing the face of Lutyens’ Delhi, that shows off India’s iconic buildings like South and North blocks of Central Secretariat, Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan and a few others.

Called Kingsway during British rule, the three-km stretch was built as a ceremonial boulevard by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, more than a hundred years ago. The capital of the Raj moved to New Delhi from Calcutta in 1911, and construction continued for several years thereafter. Lutyens conceptualised the modern imperial city centred around a “ceremonial axis”, which was named Kingsway in honour of the then Emperor of India, George V, who visited Delhi during the Durbar of 1911, where he formally proclaimed the decision to move the capital. The nomenclature followed that of the Kingsway in London, an arterial road built in 1905, which was named in honour of King Edward VII, the father of George V.

However, after the Independence, the road was renamed, Rajpath, where the Republic Day parades is being held for decades. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing on the abolition of symbols of colonialism. The new name and look of Rajpath, as well as the installation of the 28-foot statue of Netaji under the Grand Canopy under which a statue of George V once stood, are meant to represent that spirit of the proud new India.

With the year ending, the icing on the cake came with the G20 Presidency. On December 1, 2022 India assumed the G20 Presidency from Indonesia and will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country in 2023. A nation deeply committed to democracy and multilateralism, India’s G20 Presidency would be a watershed moment in her history as it seeks to play an important role by finding pragmatic global solutions for the wellbeing of all, and in doing so, manifest the true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the ‘World is One Family’.

The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
India holds the Presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. The 43 Heads of Delegations- the largest ever in G20-will be participating in the final New Delhi Summit in September next year. G20 meetings will not be limited only to New Delhi or other metropolises. Drawing inspiration from its G20 Presidency theme of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’-“One Earth One Family One Future, as well as the Prime Minister’s vision of an ‘all of government” approach, India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different workstreams, and would have the opportunity to offer G20 delegates and guests a glimpse of India’s rich cultural heritage and provide them with a unique Indian experience. The Presidency is also a chance for the G20 Secretariat to provide the country’s citizens with the unique opportunity be a part of India’s G20 story. The Indian G20 presidency has also planned a year-long India Experience’ for G20 member countries, special invitees, and others.

India not only outshined on national and international diaspora, the Indian Contingent had a fantastic run in the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, with running fourth in the medal tally. At CWG 2022, Indian athletes won 61 medals (including 22 golds, 16 silver and 23 bronze). India had one of the best games in terms of athletics, with superbly talented Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker winning gold and silver for the country in the Men’s Triple Jump event. While athletes Sandeep Kumar and Annu Rani also clinched Bronze for India in race walk and Javelin Throw. India during the Games also clinched its first ever high jump medal. India’s ace athlete Tejaswin Shankar bagged bronze for the country.

The Indian Weightlifting contingent also made a fantastic performance in the Games. With ace Weightlifter Sanket Sargar opening India’s medal haul. While, Mirabai Chanu grabbed first ever gold for the country in the Commonwealth Games 2022. India, in total, clinched 10 medals in weightlifting. Similarly, Table tennis, Boxing, Judo and Badminton added a total of 21 medals to India’s medal haul. The Indian Wrestling contingent, with their spectacular performance, ruled the wrestling mat, getting 12 medals for the nation. India registered its first gold or a medal in the Lawn Bowls. It was also the first for India to win a medal in para power-lifting. In cricket, the first edition of the sport at CWG, India emerged as the silver medallist.

Indeed a year of achievements with a sense of fresh air after the tough times the world went through due to the pandemic. India is definitely moving ahead making it’s presence felt on the global map.

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