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All Eyes On India, And Its New Prime Minister

Two Circles

Home to a sixth of the world’s population and the third largest economy, India is certainly not a force to be ignored. With a GDP  beyond the size of Japan’s, and a  population getting close to China’s. At this magnitude, India’s economic problems are on a huge scale as well: a per capita income of two thousand dollars a year, a stubbornly sluggish growth rate, inflation almost at ten percent, and more than three hundred million people living in poverty. On the political front, there are challenges as well: tensions with India’s 13% Muslim population in an otherwise Hindu nation, and rising concern over violence against women.  Now, all eyes are on new prime minister Narendra Modi to see which direction he’ll take the country, after his historic victory shook up India’s status quo.


  • Matt Slaughter–  economics professor and associate dean of the MBA program at Dartmouth's Tuck School of business. He's also faculty director at the Center for Global Business and Government.
  • Milan Vaishnav - associate with the South Asia program with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His primary research focus is the political economy of India, and corruption and governance, and electoral behavior.


  • Matt Slaughter's blog post on Modi's potential for economic reform: "Thus the paradox of India’s economy: in some ways so important, yet in others so far behind. This paradox accords with the famous quote of Cambridge University economist Joan Robinson, “The frustrating thing about India is that whatever you can rightly say about India, the opposite is also true.”
  • An interview with Milan Vaishnav about Modi's election: "The BJP victory is truly historic. The fact that the BJP managed to secure an outright majority in parliament is totally unprecedented. It is the first time since 1984 that a single party has succeeded in winning a clear majority in parliament. Furthermore, it is the first time since post-independence India that a non-Congress party has been able to achieve this feat on its own."

VIDEO: Milan Vaishnav speaks about the issues driving the election, and what the future might hold for India and its top two political parties, Congress and the BJP

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