India should nourish a “burning ambition” to overtake China and emerge as the world’s largest economy as the country was poised to become the most populous by 2030, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Saturday.
“China wants to become the world’s largest economy. If India’s population exceeds China’s in or about the year 2030, why do we not have the burning ambition to become the world’s largest economy?” he said in his convocation address at the Alagappa University here in his native Sivaganga District.
Recent history was replete with examples of countries at cross roads making the correct choices and forging ahead on the path of development, he said adding India grabbed the chance in 2004 with both hands.
India clocked an unprecedented GDP growth of 8.5 per cent between 2004 to 2009 and achieved several feats including landing a spacecraft on moon, the Home Minister pointed out.
“We have another chance today. What we do with that chance depends on you and thousands of other young men and women who will graduate every year from college and universities. Will you be content with average ambition, average integrity...?” he added.
“Or will you be determined to take India to great heights just as every Chinese youth seems to be? China has accumulated the largest foreign reserves by any country. Why do we not have the ambition to produce more, to export more, to acquire more reserves and convert these reserves into precious assets and resources all over the world?” he said.
Chidambaram told the students to look for answers to these questions by looking inward. If more and more people ask these questions and find right answers, “you would be able to make India a great country,” he said.