Wednesday, April 13, 2011

India 5th most powerful nation, says govt index

NEW DELHI: India is the fifth most powerful country in the world, says the latest national security index (NSI) designed by the country's foremost security and economic experts. A part of India's National Security Annual Review 2010, which will be officially released by foreign ministerSM Krishna on April 19, the NSI 2010 placed India fifth in the hierarchy of top 50 nations identified on the basis of their GDP. 

According to Foundation for National Security Research director Satish Kumar, who edited the national security review, the NSI is based on an assessment of defence capability, economic strength, effective population, technological capability and energy security of the top 50 countries. The US is at the top of the list on the basis of these criteria followed by China, Japan and Russia. 

South Korea emerged as the sixth most powerful nation followed by Norway, Germany, France and UK. 

While India ranked third in the case of population and fourth in terms of defence capabilities, it was at the 34th position in technology and 33rd in energy security. Only US, China and Russia are ranked higher than India in defence capability. In economic strength, India ranked seventh. 

Out of the five criteria, maximum weightage was given to defence capabilities at 30%. Economic strength, technology and effective population had weightage of 20% each. Energy security had the remaining 10%. The national security annual review governing body, which comprises a host of experts, is headed by former foreign secretary M K Rasgotra

On the likelihood of people raising eyebrows over India's extremely high rank, the NSI report said the strategic community in India will still take time to get used to India being such a powerful country. "Of course, the variable that helps India most is the size of its skilled working population. But that variable helps China to a great deal,'' it said. 

China ranked first in the assessment of effective population which was calculated on the basis of three variables -- size of population between 15 and 64, size of population educated up to secondary level and above and human development index based on UNDP reports. The US is at the second position in effective population category. 

Norway's high position was attributed to its number one position in the field of energy security. The NSI said some of the most powerful countries in the world were not necessarily energy self-reliant. The weight given to various indicators in arriving at the above conclusions was based on judgment. According to the annual security review, a group of experts went over the indicators and their opinions were collated to arrive at the relative weightage given to indicators.

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