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Lecturrete topic 312 - India’s Rise after the Pandemics



The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in late 2019, has had profound and far-reaching impacts on global health, economies, and societies. India, with its vast population and diverse socioeconomic landscape, faced significant challenges during the pandemic. However, in the aftermath of this global crisis, India has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability, emerging stronger in several key sectors. This article explores India’s rise post-pandemic, highlighting the country's economic recovery, technological advancements, healthcare improvements, social initiatives, and strategic global positioning.

Economic Recovery

GDP Growth and Economic Indicators

The pandemic severely impacted India’s economy, causing a historic contraction of 7.3% in GDP for the fiscal year 2020-2021. However, India has shown robust signs of recovery since then. The GDP growth rebounded to 8.9% in the fiscal year 2021-2022 and continued on a positive trajectory, with projections indicating sustained growth rates of around 7% for the next few years.

Several factors have contributed to this recovery. The government’s economic stimulus packages, amounting to over ₹20 lakh crore (approximately $266 billion), played a crucial role in reviving key sectors. The focus on infrastructure development, manufacturing, and digital transformation has also been pivotal in boosting economic activities and employment.

Revitalization of Key Sectors

Manufacturing and Exports

The "Make in India" initiative received renewed impetus post-pandemic, with efforts to enhance domestic manufacturing capabilities and reduce dependence on imports. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, aimed at boosting manufacturing in sectors like electronics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles, have attracted significant investments. As a result, India’s merchandise exports reached a record high of $419 billion in the fiscal year 2021-2022, showcasing a strong recovery in global trade participation.


Agriculture, which remained a critical sector during the pandemic, continued to be a backbone of the economy. The sector witnessed a growth of 3.6% in 2020-2021, driven by favorable monsoons and government support schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). Post-pandemic, the focus on sustainable agricultural practices, digital agritech solutions, and market reforms have further strengthened this sector.

Digital Economy and Technological Advancements

Digital Transformation

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation across various sectors. The adoption of digital technologies in healthcare, education, and financial services saw a significant uptick. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), for instance, witnessed exponential growth, with transactions crossing 5 billion in March 2022 alone. Digital payments became the norm, contributing to financial inclusion and a shift towards a cashless economy.

Start-up Ecosystem

India’s start-up ecosystem thrived post-pandemic, with a record number of unicorns (start-ups valued at over $1 billion) emerging. In 2021, India added 44 unicorns, taking the total count to 83 by the end of the year. The sectors driving this growth included fintech, edtech, healthtech, and e-commerce, reflecting the diverse and innovative nature of India’s entrepreneurial landscape.

Healthcare Improvements

Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure

The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in India’s healthcare infrastructure, prompting significant reforms and investments. The government’s focus on building a robust healthcare system included the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore (approximately $8.5 billion). This mission aims to develop critical healthcare facilities, establish integrated public health labs, and enhance disease surveillance capabilities.

Vaccination Drive and Public Health Initiatives

India’s vaccination drive, one of the largest in the world, has been a cornerstone of its pandemic response. As of mid-2022, India had administered over 1.75 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, achieving significant coverage of the adult population. The success of the vaccination campaign was bolstered by domestic vaccine production, primarily through Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.

Public health initiatives also saw considerable enhancement. Programs focusing on nutrition, maternal and child health, and disease prevention were strengthened, addressing both pandemic-related and pre-existing health challenges. The use of digital health solutions, such as telemedicine and mobile health apps, further improved healthcare access and delivery.

Social Initiatives and Welfare Programs

Social Welfare Schemes

To mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, the Indian government implemented several welfare schemes. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) provided direct cash transfers, free food grains, and other essential support to millions of vulnerable households. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme also played a vital role in providing rural employment and income security.

Education and Skill Development

The education sector underwent significant changes due to the pandemic-induced shift to online learning. The government’s push towards digital education, through initiatives like DIKSHA and PM eVidya, aimed to bridge the digital divide and ensure continuity in learning. Additionally, skill development programs were prioritized to equip the workforce with the necessary skills for a post-pandemic economy, focusing on areas such as digital literacy, vocational training, and entrepreneurship.

Strategic Global Positioning

Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

India’s foreign policy post-pandemic emphasized multilateralism, regional cooperation, and strategic partnerships. The country played an active role in global forums such as the United Nations, G20, and BRICS, advocating for equitable access to vaccines and economic recovery measures. India's "Vaccine Maitri" initiative, which involved supplying COVID-19 vaccines to over 90 countries, showcased its commitment to global health solidarity and diplomacy.

Indo-Pacific Strategy

The Indo-Pacific region gained strategic importance in India’s foreign policy calculus post-pandemic. Strengthening ties with key partners like the United States, Japan, Australia, and ASEAN countries became a priority. The Quad alliance (comprising the US, India, Japan, and Australia) saw enhanced cooperation in areas such as maritime security, supply chain resilience, and emerging technologies, reflecting a shared vision for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Environmental and Sustainable Development

Green Energy and Climate Action

Post-pandemic, India reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable development and climate action. The country set ambitious targets for renewable energy capacity, aiming to achieve 500 GW by 2030. Initiatives like the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) underscored India’s leadership in global climate initiatives.

Urban Development and Smart Cities

Urban development received a significant push, with a focus on creating resilient and sustainable cities. The Smart Cities Mission, which aims to develop 100 smart cities across India, integrated aspects of digital infrastructure, green energy, and efficient urban planning. These efforts are crucial for accommodating urban population growth and enhancing the quality of life in cities.

Challenges and the Way Forward

Addressing Inequality and Poverty

Despite the progress, challenges such as inequality and poverty remain significant. The pandemic exacerbated existing disparities, highlighting the need for inclusive growth strategies. Policies aimed at enhancing social protection, improving healthcare access, and fostering economic opportunities for marginalized communities are essential for ensuring equitable development.

Strengthening Institutional Resilience

Building institutional resilience is critical for future crisis management. Strengthening public health systems, enhancing disaster preparedness, and promoting good governance are vital for addressing potential challenges. Collaborative efforts between the government, private sector, and civil society will be crucial in creating a resilient and responsive framework.


India’s rise after the pandemics is a testament to its resilience, adaptability, and strategic vision. The country’s robust economic recovery, technological advancements, healthcare improvements, and strategic global positioning highlight its capacity to navigate and overcome crises. While challenges remain, the strides made in various sectors provide a strong foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth. As India continues to build on these gains, its journey towards becoming a global economic and strategic powerhouse appears both promising and inspiring. The lessons learned and the initiatives undertaken post-pandemic will undoubtedly shape India’s trajectory in the years to come, positioning it as a key player on the global stage.