Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said India’s rise is “unstoppable” now as it has emerged as the rising star in the global economy, backed by strong agriculture and agri-based industry. Stressing that the country can feed the world, Dhankar said India will be the third largest economy by the end of the decade.

Addressing the convocation of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) on Friday, the Vice- President said: “In September 2022, India became the fifth largest economy in the world. It has not come easily, it has been a cesarean.” Stressing that agriculture forms the backbone of Indian economy, Dhankar said the rise in India’s position in the global economy was mainly because of agriculture and agri-based industry.

He said due to affirmative policies in place to attract talent and investment, India is “the most hotspot destination” of opportunities and investment.

Food situation

In an apparent reference to former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, the Vice-President said: “Some people come and work here in key positions like the RBI. He came from abroad and held the position. When the term ended and renewal was not given, he went back. From there, he says India may face food crisis. Such people may not be aware that the government has been distributing free grains to 80 crore poor since 2020.”

Despite the country reaching the fifth position in global economy after great efforts, some people in the ecosystem are spreading misconceptions about India’s economic rise, he alleged. “We cannot allow anyone to taint, tarnish and diminish achievements of those sweating for this nation,” he said.

Cautioning people to be alert against forces inimical to India’s rise, Dhankar said efforts to destabilise the country can come from any quarter. “It is the job of intelligentsia and every person, particularly youngsters, to take note of it,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year had asked States to be vigilant against emerging threats, including cyberattacks, from inimical forces as the country’s economy grows exponentially and it competes with global powers. “There will be many global forces that may not want India to achieve the level of their capabilities. Competition may eventually breed enmity if India, which is a big market, starts making products itself. We need to think ahead and be prepared to sternly counter such inimical forces,” Modi had said.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, ICAR’s Director General Himanshu Pathak and IARI Director A K Singh were also present at the event in which 402 students, including 14 foreign students, received the degrees.