ndia is one
of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has in fact reached a
growth of 7.5% during the period January-March of 2015 as compared to
China’s 7%. This has been quite impressive considering the economic
slowdown globally over the last couple of years and the lack of adequate
financial reforms by the Central Government.
by international institutions (CID, Harvard University) show that India
will continue to sustain its economic growth over the next couple of
decades. This is contrary to the continued slowdown of China pegged at
4.3%. It has been projected (PWC 2016) that by 2050 India will be the
second largest economy in the world after China, overtaking even the US.
This sustenance of growth will be mainly due to the emerging youth
population of India. It will not be possible for all of them to be
employed, but they can be engaged in self-employment creating small and
micro enterprises. Their employment will ensure greater share of
revenues to the government in the form of taxes and other social
exchanges which are the building blocks for the countries growth.
Most of the
economic growth in India will be in the services and the manufacturing
sector. The other sectors of importance will be mining and quarrying,
electricity, gas and water supply, construction and transport. This will
be sustained due to the recent policies of the government launching the
‘Make in India’ campaign to promote India as the most important and
emerging hub for manufacturing.
economic growth signs are positively riding on the manufacturing sector,
questions arise on the issue of raw material availability for driving
the growth. The major and critical raw materials to cater to the
manufacture and infrastructure growth are steel, coal, cement, sand and
aggregates to name a few.
To fuel the
growth of the country one of the major raw material is coal. This is
used as a basic raw material for power generation and also for producing
steel, cement and other processed goods. Reports have predicted that
India has enough coal to last for centuries. However, reports by TERI
suggests that with current rates of consumption, we have enough coal and
lignite to last for 140 years. If the country has to sustain the
projected economic growth rate, then the total extractable coal reserves
will last only 45 more years.
sixth in the world on the reserves of iron ore next to Australia,
Russia, China, United States and Brazil having a projected reserve of
8,100 million metric tonnes. However, the future looks quite bleak with
estimated life of the total reserves at 20-25 years (considering the
increased rate of economic growth).
sustain the growth of the country in a sustainable manner two issues
• Availability of natural resources for the future generation.
• Development without degrading the environment.
requires a paradigm shift from the usual nature of doing business or
production by standard processes and techniques. Whereas the business
profits and goals need to be kept in mind, the issues of environmental
degradation and resource availability are of prime concern.
Alternatives has been working for the last three decades on developing
technologies which minimise the use of virgin natural resources and
reduce pollution and the use of energy. This has been made possible
through the use of industrial waste materials to realise improved
profits through reuse and recycling. ■