A construction site in New Delhi, November 20, 2013.
Anindito Mukherjee / Courtesy Reuters

For the first time in India’s modern history, a non–Congress Party outsider with no prior involvement in running the central government has won an absolute majority in the parliament. But as the euphoria associated with Narendra Modi’s extraordinary election gives way to the duties of the office, the new prime minister must turn to the hard work of delivering the economic promises he made during the campaign. For Modi, that will raise three key questions: Is sustained rapid growth, which is essential for his development and employment plans, even feasible? If it is, what reforms should the government undertake now and in the longer run to achieve it? And what obstacles will he face in carrying out these reforms?


Until the 2012 fiscal year, the Indian economy had grown at eight percent per year for nearly a decade. That track record busted apart the myth that democracy hinders

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  • ARVIND PANAGARIYA is the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the Department of International and Public Affairs and of Economics. He is author, with Jagdish Bhagwati, of Why Growth Matters.
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