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Opinion
Mihir Sharma

India Can’t Be a Superpower If It Can’t Create Jobs

The country’s military can serve as a tool to project power or a scheme to generate employment, but it’s going to be very difficult to do both. 

Protests over the new recruitment system turned violent. 

Protests over the new recruitment system turned violent. 

Photographer: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

India’s attempt to reform military recruitment — which has set off political convulsions that show no signs of abating — once again shows that its aspirations to superpower status are no match for a below-par economy.

India’s military — particularly its army — is antiquated in organization and manpower-heavy. After some ill-advised, populist and expensive tinkering with pensions early in its tenure, the government found it was spending all its military budget on personnel, leaving very little for modernization or for hardware.