India tipped to overtake China in Modi's first year



When India releases gross domestic product data on Friday that is expected to show the economy growing faster than China for a second consecutive quarter, sceptics could be forgiven for asking: Why does it feel so slow? Celebrating his first year in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has basked in the success of transforming India into the fastest growing major economy. But there are nagging doubts over whether a new way of calculating GDP, introduced by the government earlier this year, has distorted the macroeconomic view. "The economy is not as strong as the GDP numbers might suggest," said Shilan Shah, India Economist at Capital Economics.

PM Narendra Modi called for Swacch Bharat a year ago, but country remains as filthy as ever

A homeless man stands on the polluted banks of the River Yamuna in New Delhi. PM Narendra Modi launched the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in his first year in office but environmentalists worry his government is dismantling hard-won environmental laws in the name of boosting growth. (AP Photo)

Four months after becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stunned Indians by picking up a crude straw broom and, holding it like a dance partner, gently sweeping at a small pile of green leaves on a New Delhi street.

Modi, ever the darling of photo ops and grinning selfies, seemed to be calling for a cultural revolution, defying centuries-old hierarchies that make the idea of an official cleaning a street anathema in Indian society. By leading a new campaign called "Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan" or "Clean India Mission," Modi challenged those divisions while dignifying labor and elevating cleanliness as a nationwide goal.

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