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Withintwo decades or less, a rapidly rising India will very likely become the world'sthird largest economy - after China and the US. It would be appropriate to startspeculating now on what kind of a superpower India will be or could be when itbecomes one.

Complex adaptive systems cannot change their stripesonce they have evolved. How a system evolves determines its end-state. In short,how India becomes a superpower will predefine its structure, its mindset and itsbehaviour.

First, India's emergence as a superpower will show that itis possible to lift millions of people out of poverty within one generationwhile embracing pluralism, a free press and a vibrant multiparty democracy. Mostanalysts predict that, over the next two decades, India's GDP will grow at afaster pace than China's. As the world's fastest-growing large economy on asustained basis, India's rise will put to rest the idea that acommand-and-control political system is the only viable route to rapid economicgrowth and that democracy is somehow antithetical to rapid economicgrowth.

Second, India has the potential to serve as a leading exampleof how to combine rapid economic growth with fairness towards and inclusion ofthose at the bottom rungs of the ladder. In a democratic system such as India'swhere even the poorest people exercise their political rights actively, fairnessand inclusion will be even more critical for social stability than in China. Asit becomes a great power, these values will likely become an enduring part ofthe country's DNA.

Third, the prospects are high that, by 2025, Indiawill likely emerge as one of the world's least corrupt developing economies.While widespread corruption is a reality in almost all developing economies (aswell as some of the developed ones), India is one of the very few developingeconomies with a free press that continues to be vigilant and merciless inexposing the corruption. It is...