RBI governor Raghuram Rajan
RBI governor Raghuram RajanReuters File

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan clarified his remarks about India being a "one-eyed king in the land of the blind" while responding to a question on what it felt like to be the bright spot in the world economy. 

Rajan said it was indicative of how news is consumed in a "news-hungry country."

"My intent was to signal that our outperformance was accentuated because world growth was weak, but we in India were still hungry for more growth. I then explained that we were not yet at our potential, though we were at a cusp of a substantial pick-up in growth given all the reforms that were underway," he said in an address at the convocation of National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) on Wednesday.

Moreover, the RBI governor said he won't get euphoric over the country's current growth rate as India has a long way to go to ensure reasonable standards of living for all Indians. 

"Our current growth certainly reflects the hard work of the government and the people of the country, but we have to repeat this performance for the next 20 years before we can give every Indian a decent livelihood," he said.

He said that India's per capita statistics are far from satisfactory when compared with emerging economies.

"We are still one of the poorest large countries in the world on a per capita basis, and have a long way to go before we reasonably address the concerns of each one of our citizens."

On frequent comparison with China, Rajan reminded the audience of the exponential growth the country had posted in the past five decades.

"We are often compared with China. But the Chinese economy, which was smaller than ours in the 1960s, is now five times our size at market exchange rates. The average Chinese citizen is over four times richer than the average Indian. The sobering thought is we have a long way to go before we can claim we have arrived."

Raghuram Rajan's full speech is available on the RBI website.