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The world spent a whopping USD 2.1 trillion on the military in 2021, the highest on record. The results were recently published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which perched the United States, China and India as the three largest spenders on the military in 2021.
India's military spending of USD 76.6 billion in 2021 ranked third highest in the world. The spend was 5 percent higher than 2020 and 62 percent higher from 2013. Given the push towards being Atmanirbhar (self-reliant), 64 percent of the budgeted capital expenditure in 2021 was for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.
The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia, together accounting for 62 percent of the world’s military expenditure.
"Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels," said Dr. Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. "There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 percent."
India’s spend of USD 76.6 billion in 2021 equaled 2.7% of its GDP, in comparison to that of China whose spend was just 1.7% of its GDP.
India imported arms and ammunitions worth USD 2.8 billion in 2020, a 10% decrease over its spend in 2019. Since the start of the millennium, India's arms imports peaked in 2013 at a record USD 5.4 billion and has averaged between 2.8-3.3 billion since. India has consistently been one of the biggest arms importers since the start of the millennium. India’s arms imports in 2020 comprised 12.5 percent of the global arms imports. India's import share was one of the highest in 2013 where it imported 1/5th of the entire world's arms.
As per the recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP) in 1968 and re-iterated subsequently over the years, India needs to spend atleast 6% of its GDP on education. India's total public expenditure on education has remained between 2.8% to 3.1% of its GDP since atleast 2013.
India’s health expenditure in 2021 was only 2.1% of its GDP, in comparison to that of China whose expenditure on health is over 5% while that of the USA is over 15% of its GDP.
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