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The BIG thing on social media is the 10-year challenge. Everyone is pulling out 10-year old pictures of themselves and posting alongside their latest one. What they were in 2009 and what they are now, in 2019.

With 10-year challenge being the buzz word today, instead of doing a pictorial thingy, we decided to do a quick run-up in words; what was it in 2009 and what it is now, in 2019 for India.

1: It was Congress then as it had been for 60 –odd years before but now it is BJP and Modi; but the same mud slinging and everything else remains same.

2: Manmohan Singh was the PM then, for the second term. Will it be Modi again for a second term in 2019? That’s the most challenging question of this year!

3: Interestingly, 2009 was also an election year and 2019 is also. The kind of campaigning has changed with social media becoming the biggest vehicle with the menace of ‘fake news’ blurring the lines between what is real and what is unreal.

4: It was ‘Made in India’ then and it is “Make in India” now.

5: In 2009, there were 28 states and now we have 29, with Telangana being the brand new addition.

6: In terms of Ease of Doing Business, in 2009, India’s ranking was at 133 and now ten years later, it is at 77, which is a huge achievement.

7: 10 years ago, India ranked 114th on the Gender Gap and now in 2019, it is at 108.

8: In terms of per capita income, India has become prosperous in 10 years -  per capita GDP at current prices was Rs 48,787 in 2009 and now is Rs 141,447. 

9: The biggest problem which the Indian economy currently has is on the fiscal deficit front but look at the number – in absolute numbers, it has doubled from Rs.3.4 lakh crore to Rs.6.2 lakh crore but in terms of percentage to GDP, it has come down from 6% to estimated 3.3% in 2019.

10: Good news on the inflation front too – CPI in 2009 was at 9% and WPI at 8% and now in 2019, CPI is currently at 2.2% and WPI at 3.8%.

11: On the external debt front, the picture is not looking good as it has increased from $224.5 billion back then and now stands at a gargantuan $510.4 billion.

12: The banking sector NPAs picture is a nightmare at Rs.9.98 lakh crore in 2019 v/s Rs.0.69 lakh core in 2009.

13: In terms of infrastructure build, number of ports over 10 years remains, sadly, the same at 13.

14: In 10 years, only 10 new airports have come up – there were 128 in 2009 and now 138.

15: There has been a 72% increase in national highways road lengths – up from 66,754 kms in 2009 to 1,15, 435 kms in 2019.

Well, there are good things and things which have become worse over 10 years (air quality) but overall, we can say for sure that we are better off than what we were in 2009.

In the 10-year challenge, we look better today than what we did in 2009. You did not have a Jio then, nor did you have the omnipresence of Amazon and Whatsapp. People say there has been an increase in crimes against women –our point here is that crime against women have always been there, only now it is being reported and women too have started speaking up. So in ten years, crime against women has increased but the redeeming part is that awareness of ‘this’ being a crime and socially, the fear of being looked down upon has come in. It will take another decade or more for crimes to come down…that’s a pipedream.

One thing remains unchanged and unchallenged – the joy of its being a Friday as we look forward to a weekend. So enjoy your weekend and do you bit of looking back …..

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