India needs to be — and sustain — the world's next "growth miracle" to fight its poverty problem, according to a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
"The tantalizing question is whether India can produce the next growth miracle" after witnessing the same from Japan and China, Duvvuri Subbarao told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick on Friday at the European House Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy.
"In my view it's possible, even probable, but certainly not inevitable," he warned.
"India has enormous poverty," Subbarao said. "In spite of clocking relatively impressive growth rates … India houses more poor people than the entire continent of Africa."
"To get those hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, India needs to produce the next growth miracle," he added.
The latest announcement from India's central bank is a step in this direction. On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India projected economic growth for the new fiscal year to be 7.4 percent, significantly higher than the 6.6 percent anticipated for the fiscal year which ended in March.
India's supercharged economic growth has made other headlines in recent months, with the country taking the crown as the world's fastest growing major economy for the fourth quarter of 2017. This was 7.2 percent, while Asian rival China clocked in at 6.8 percent.
But the two Asian superpowers — both with populations of over 1 billion — have a fundamental difference.
"One of the big advantages that India has over China is that it's a democracy. And whatever reforms that have been implemented in India have the popular will," Subbarao said. "We believe that there is some support for them."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has implemented two major economic changes within the past 18 months.