What does it mean when we want India to become a developed country? We want the living standards of all Indians to be equivalent (at least) to that of other developed nations. Let us consider USA as a standard to improvise the living standards of Indians. When I say considering USA as a standard, I mean elevating the living standards of Indians to that of american standard.
The measure of living standard of a society is its energy consumption. The more energy available to consume the higher will be the living standards. For instance, if there is not enough electricity available even to light a bulb every night, then what is the use of having ceiling fans or televisions in the house? But if adequate energy is available then we can even go for luxuries like air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.
Hence to elevate the living standards of Indians we need adequate supply of energy. Now since we have taken America as our standard for living, let us see what the equation turns out to be.
United States of America consumes half of the world’s energy resources. Population of this country is 1/16 of world population.
Population of India is 1/6 of world population. By simple mathematics we can see that if all Indians have to live the standards of Americans then India alone needs nearly one and a half times the energy consumed by the whole world today!!!
Looking at the practicality of the problem, how do you think we can generate so much of energy at affordable rates and without causing any pollution. (We better forget any polluting energy sources rather than become a developed country as otherwise it simply means accelerating the deterioration of the environment finally making life uninhabitable on this planet).
Also note the practical time schedule required to develop technology that can develop this amount of energy along side considering the population increase in India during that period.
Note that in this blog I have concentrated only on production of adequate energy. But what is also required to improve the living standards of our people is to make the energy affordable. If you make practically infinite petrol resources available but increase the price of petrol to 500 Rupees, I don’t think there will be any buyers.