Thursday, 26 June 2014

How can INDIA become “A WORLD GURU?”

The political system of a democratic nation provides a vision for the nation and simultaneously focusses on the national development. The first step was initiated by our constitution framers by constituting a responsible legislative body whose foremost task was to frame laws and an executive body that will work in tandem to implement those laws. The third pillar in a democracy corresponds to an independent judiciary that will safeguard the constitutional provisions. However in the first three to four decades after independence, India could not play a major role in international affairs due to the prevailing fragile economic conditions and its involvement in three major wars. It was mostly dependent on foreign aid for its socio-economic and infrastructural needs. But post 1991, owing to adoption of structural adjustment policy initiatives, India was set on the path of economic liberalization and globalization. With this, it progressed gradually and considerably. Starting with Eighth Five year plan (1992-97), India embarked upon a new initiative of inclusive growth which became imperative to translate our vision into mission.

After the Industrial Revolution, only few European countries and USA had their say in global affairs and no country in Asia (except Japan) could stand against them. But with the passage of time and due to recent economic downturn in developed economies of USA and Europe, India and China emerged as two global Asian powers in the international forum. India is now vouching for a permanent membership in UNSC to have a greater say with other global leaders moniker as P-5 countries (US, UK, China, France, Russia). It is also making efforts to enhance South-South cooperation by committing itself to groups like BRICS, ASEAN, SCO, LOOK EAST POLICY etc.

Also with recent successful launches of Agni V (inter continental ballistic missile), RISAT (remote imaging satellite) and Chandrayaan –II (under development) missions, India has registered itself in the elite group of nations possessing such technologies. The incredible part about all our space missions is that all the technologies have been developed indigenously.
On the societal front, community participation is a prerequisite for a dynamic India which is possible only through an educated and aware populace who can actively commit itself to developmental politics. Developmental politics means a state which aims at eradicating poverty, provide equal opportunities for all, create a knowledge based society, not just the increased level of GDP but its benefits are shared by all in an equitable manner. Many initiatives are already in implementation mode which is also emulated by other nations like India is the first country to start a national level programme for providing voluntary employment to adult members of any rural household willing to do unskilled manual work (MGNREGA). With the enactment of 73rd and 74th amendment act, decentralization in planning, implementation and organization of work at grass root level has improved in an efficient way. Also implementation of RTE (right to education) is a piece of excellent legislation which provides free and compulsory education to children between 6-14 years of age. No other country has had such a wide coverage for catering to the needs of the children.
Economically, India’s GDP rate rose to a high level of 9.8% but with global recession affecting major economies; lately India too faced an economic slump. Thus a citizen-centric approach for the evolution of business policy and an investment friendly atmosphere, creation of young and dynamic leadership as with 27.6% of people in the age group of 25-44 (as per census 2011) is the need of the hour. Infrastructural facilities are to be developed which is the mainstay of any economy, equitable distribution of resources between primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. With economic development, societal differences would also reduce. The need of the hour is to eliminate or atleast try to reduce the rich-poor gap by imparting skillful knowledge so that they become employable.   Consequently, this would reduce the rural-urban divide to a thin line. 

Therefore, five key areas which need to be developed into its full potentialities to ensure food, economy, and national security in this era of globalization are Agriculture and allied sector, Education and healthcare, Infrastructure, Information and communication technology and self reliance in critical technology. For becoming self reliant, it is imperative to invest more and more in Research and Development and create a pool of scientists, thinkers and scholars who can effectively contribute to innovation and develop new competitive technologies which are at par with global standards and also bring down the barriers between various technological groups that inhibit research.

Thus, for a nation to raise itself from the position of developing to a developed nation, thrust should lie on three core areas viz. science and technology, e-governance and energy. Globally the demand is shifting towards development of sustainable systems which are technologically superior. In such a scenario science, technology and environment will have to work together. Thus, the new age model would be nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and ecological technology. 

With growing cohesive development, need for e-governance has also largely been felt. As e-governance ensures an efficient, transparent, and accountable and corruption-free system of governance.

With increasing urbanization and industrialization, there is estimation that energy would be the source of conflict among nations as population would increase manifold by 2050 and resources would be scant to feed the growing population. So to cater to the demands of the future generation, conservation and efficient utilization of scarce resource and develop alternate resources for energy generation is necessary.

Thus, development cannot take place in a vacuum. It needs the efforts of all the stakeholders to achieve the aim of India becoming a WORLD GURU.