A superpower is a state with a leading position in the international system and the ability to influence events and project power on a worldwide scale; it is considered a higher level of power than a great power. Alice Lyman Miller (Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School), defines a superpower as "a country that has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemon." It was a term first applied in 1944 to the United States, the Soviet Union, and the British Empire. Following World War II, the British Empire ceased to exist as its territories became independent, and the Soviet Union and the United States were regarded as the only two superpowers, then engaged in the Cold War.
After the Cold War, the most common belief held that only the United States fulfilled the criteria to be considered a superpower. The Peoples Republic of China, India, the European Union, and other candidates, however, appear to have the potential of achieving superpower status within the 21st century.
"India has moved onto a much faster growth trajectory than the bank had previously expected, fueled by strong and steady productivity gains in its legions of new factories, which are producing everything from brassieres to cars." "India has moved onto a much faster growth trajectory than the bank had previously expected, fueled by strong and steady productivity gains in its legions of new factories, which are producing everything from brassieres to cars."
China and India rising to superpower status is not inevitable, according to scholars such as Professor Pranab Bardhan, Chief Editor of the Journal of Development Economics, who suggest that millions mired in poverty and ineffective government prevent China or India from rivaling the U.S. or the E.U. any time soon. Founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute and former counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr. has embraced the notion being put forth that "It is going to be Indias century. India is going to be the biggest economy in the world. It is going to be the biggest superpower of the 21st century".
Location - India, the 7th largest nation by area, lies at the north-central region of Indian Ocean - a zone with unprecedented potential for growth in the scale of transoceanic commerce, with many Eurasian and increasingly Afro-Asian sea-trade routes passing through or close to Indian territorial waters. The subcontinents land and water resources, though strained, is yet sustaining its massive population. According to Lord Curzon of the British Empire: The central position of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of men, its great trading harbors, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army always in a high state of efficiency and capable of being hurled at a moments notice upon any point either of Asia or Africa--all these are assets of precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan; on the north, it can veto any rival in Tibet; on the north-east . . . it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Siam. Possession of India gave the British Empire its global reach.
Big - India has the worlds second largest population.The government has attempted to control the population so as to avoid overpopulation. Some South Indian states have slowed down their population growth to below 1%. The PGR for the country is 1.38. Youthful - Due to its high birth rate India has a young population compared to most aging nations. It has approximately 60% of its population below the age of 30. In addition, declining fertility is beginning to reduce the youth dependency rate which may produce a demographic dividend.In the coming decades, while some of the powerful nations witness a decrease in workforce, India is expected to have an increase. For example while Europe is well past its demographic window, the U.S. entered its in 1970 (lasting until 2015), China entered its in 1990 (will last until 2025), India wont enter its window until 2010 (lasting until 2050). Regionally South Asia is supposed to maintain the youngest demographic proand Middle East, with the window file after Africa extending up to 2070s. [
Democratic Republicanism - India is the worlds largest democratic republic, more than three times bigger than the next largest (U.S.). It has so far been successful, at least politically, especially considering its functionality in difficult ethnic composition.The fact that India is a democracy has improved its relations with other democratic nations and significantly improved its ties with the majority of the nations in the developed world.
Energy - To reduce the energy crisis, India is presently constructing ~ 9 civilian nuclear power reactors and several hydro-power stations. Recently on 25/01/2007, Russian president, Vladimir Putin on a visit to India offered to build 4 more reactors and India is expected to clinch this deal of strategical importance.Recently it also made a civilian nuclear energy deal with the US and EU.In recent years, India joined China to launch a vigorous campaign to acquire oil fields around the world and now has stake in several oil fields (in the Middle East and Russia).
Total Strength - The Indian Armed Forces, Indias main defence organisation, consists of two main branches: the core Military of India and the Indian Paramilitary Forces. The Military of India maintains the third largest active duty force in the world after the Peoples Republic of China and the United States, while the Indian Paramilitary Forces, over a million strong, is the second largest paramilitary force in the world. Combined, the total armed forces of India are 2,414,700 strong, the worlds third largest defence force Army - The Army of India, as the Indian army was called under British rule before 1947, played a crucial role in checking the advance of Imperial Japan into South Asia during World War II. It also played a leading role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Today, the Indian Army is the worlds second largest army after Chinas Peoples Liberation Army