"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." This famous quote of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who himself turned his dream into a reality as a nuclear scientist and has "ignited" many minds with his ideas, is perhaps the most appropriate theme for present day India aspiring to become an economic and knowledge superpower.It is the culmination of the dreams of 1.2 billion people that has led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ideate his plan of making the $2 trillion economy a $20 trillion behemoth within the next two decades, eradicating poverty and making India a knowledge society.
Since taking over as Prime Minister last May, Narendra Modi has made several major announcements-smart cities, bullet trains, Digital India, Make in India, Jan Dhan, to name a few. Recently, he talked about taking India from a $2-trillion economy to a $20-trillion one. Of course, one day, some time in the future India will be a $20 trillion economy. But, what is the timeframe we should be looking at-15-20 years, 30 years or 40 years? In a subtle way, can India become a $20 trillion economy within a generation?
It was a prudent move for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the e-governance scheme with renewed vigour. As Gujarat chief minister, he has used IT as a tool to improve governance not just at the top level but also at the grassroots levels. It is the success in Gujarat that emboldened him to implement the e-governance scheme at the national level.
India should aim at reducing the transaction costs in its Make in India programme because it would not make much sense to create cheaper goods because the labour costs are cheaper, suggested Anthony De Sa, Chief Secretary, government of Madhya Pradesh, while speaking the concluding day of the 39th Skoch Summit here on Saturday.
It's really a pity and a challenge to the system particularly those who are in power, that even after 67 years of Independence, we have a lot of people living below poverty line. We have issues like rural-urban divide and serious economic disparities. Then we hear of farmers' suicides and sometimes of hunger deaths here and there. And then we get criticisms about the system not being sensitive to the vulnerable sections.
To my mind, there cannot be any controversy or debate as to how to achieve inclusive growth. I think the experience of all developed and developing countries as well as India shows that in order to achieve inclusive growth we need to do five things.
The true challenge for India is to really to grow at 9-10 per cent per annum year after year for two decades of more to lift a vast section of population out of poverty. India has grown at those rates but grown relatively for a short period. Therefore, to have a sustained high growth for three decades, is a challenge. And these challenges will happen at a point when 700 million people in the 3-4 decades will move from rural to urban areas.
While six months is too short a period to judge the performance of a new government, Narendra Modi has rolled up his sleeves for a slew of reforms-some have been announced and implemented, some are getting framed and some caught up in administrative, political and legislative tangles.