A fleeting moment in western India on the evening of March 8 will remain etched in Nikita Punjabi’s memory forever: The first glimpse of her newborn daughter as the doctor held her up after delivery.

Aniket Rai, nervously waiting during the birth, cried tears of joy when the nurse told him he had a baby girl. "It was surreal feeling. ... Unparalleled. I cannot describe it really, it can only be felt.”

Their baby, Prisha — which means god’s gift — is but one of the millions born across India so far this year who have contributed to the historic milestone of passing mainland China’s population. That comes just a few years after India snatched from its northern neighbor the title of world’s fastest-growing major economy.