According to official figures, the Indian economy grew at an average rate of 7.5% in 2015, faster than the 6.9% growth in China.
In recent history it has been unusual, but not unprecedented, for India to grow faster than China.
India’s government said growth in the October to December quarter was 7.3%, a slight drop on previous quarters which were revised sharply higher.
Even though the economy lost steam in the last quarter, its pace of expansion was faster than the growth posted by China in the same quarter.
India measures its economy over a fiscal rather than a calendar year.
The government of Narendra Modi said the Indian economic growth for the fiscal year ending March 2016 is forecast to accelerate to 7.6%.
However, some economists say the latest growth figures are at odds with other data for Asia’s third largest economy, including weak exports, railway freight, cement production and investment and flat order books.
A year ago India’s statistics ministry revised GDP growth rates higher – closer to that of China – by updating the base year used for price comparisons.