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India Ranks 39th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17
Oct 04, 2016

India Ranks 39th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 as its competitiveness improved on several fronts including efficiency in goods market, business sophistication, and innovation.

Key Points

  • Switzerland, Singapore and the US continued to occupy the top three slots, China occupied the 28th position.
  • Among the BRICS nations, India comes only after China as Russia, South Africa and Brazil occupied 43rd, 47th and 81st places, respectively.
  • Among India’s neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka is ranked at the 71st position, Bhutan at the 97th, Nepal at the 98th, Bangladesh at the 106th, and Pakistan at the 122nd position.

India in the Report

  • Improved monetary and fiscal policies, as well as lower oil prices are the reasons for stabilization of Indian economy, which now boasts the highest growth among G20 countries.
  • Recent reform efforts have concentrated on improving public institutions, opening the economy to foreign investors and international trade, and increasing transparency in the financial system.
  • Over the last two years, India has climbed 32 spots in these rankings.
  • It stood at 71th position out of the 144 nations ranked in 2014-15.
  • In 2015-16 its ranking climbed to 55th spot.
  • In 2016-17, it has again climbed 16 places to move to the 39th spot.
  • The report, however, shows that there are still several important areas that India needs to focus on and that includes infrastructure development, the use of technology and efficiencies in the labour market
  • The labour market is segmented between workers protected by rigid regulations and centralised wage determination, especially in the manufacturing sector and there are a large number of unprotected and informal workers.
  • The efficiency of the domestic market is hindered by fiscal regulations that allow federal states to levy different levels of value-added taxes; large publicly owned enterprises further reduce the overall efficiency of the economy.
  • Lack of infrastructure and ICT use remain bottlenecks.
  • Over the last few years, improvement has been slow and investment will be needed to connect rural areas and ensure they can benefit from and contribute to the country’s development.
  • The report also highlighted that India happens to be the second-most competitive economy among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries after China.
  • The report finds that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity.
  • Monetary stimulus measures, such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms.
  • For emerging economies, updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.

The WEF defines competitiveness as “set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country” and the scores are calculated by measuring competitiveness on 12 parameters that include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment and health and primary education among others.


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