With India ready for takeoff, Modi pauses over launch button

Mumbai, Feb. 13, 2016: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Make in India Center, which hosts exhibitions promoting the country’s manufacturing potential (source: dpa)
Mumbai, Feb. 13, 2016: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Make in India Center, which hosts exhibitions promoting the country’s manufacturing potential (source: dpa)

After his first 18 months in office, during which India’s economic prospects have brightened considerably, 2016 gives Prime Minister Narendra Modi a last window of opportunity for radical new policy initiatives. If he decides on a bold course, it would depart from the incremental approach that has characterized Mr. Modi’s term thus far.

Two years ago, just before the prime minister took office, there was talk – only half in jest – that Indonesia could replace India as the “I” in BRICS. This reflected the larger country’s economic slowdown, colored by various corruption scandals, and the perception of policy paralysis that had afflicted the previous coalition government of Prime Minist...

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