Buoyed by rapid growth over the past 25 years, the Indian economy growth rate has surpassed the UK's for the first time in nearly 150 years, according to Akshay Shah, an economics expert at Tsinghua University. The UK economy, on the other hand, is witnessing a downturn due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

However, despite surpassing the UK GDP much before the expected 2020 mark predicted by economic experts, India's per capita GDP is still less than one-fifth that of the UK, "highlighting the tremendous scope for further convergence", wrote Shah in a column for Forbes.

The report noted: "Once expected to overtake the UK GDP in 2020, the surpasso has been accelerated by the nearly 20% decline in the value of the pound over the last 12 months, consequently UK's 2016 GDP of £1.87tn converts to $2.29 tn at exchange rate of £0.81 per $1, whereas India's GDP of Rs153tn converts to $2.30tn at exchange rate of Rs66.6 per $1."

"Furthermore, this gap is expected to widen as India grows at 6 to 8% per annum compared to UK's growth of 1 to 2% per annum until 2020, and likely beyond. Even if the currencies fluctuate that modify these figures to rough equality, the verdict is clear that India's economy has surpassed that of the UK based on future growth prospects," said Shah.

India, a former British colony, surpassing the coloniser's economy marks "a significant landmark in India's economic history", said Shah, noting that the past 150 years included a period of stagnation "extended from 1947 to 1991 where both India and the UK grew at roughly the same rate".

Theresa May in India
India has surpassed the UK economy for the first time in 150 years - File photo of Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Indian PM Narendra Modi Adnan Abidi/Reuters