India known as a “ land of snake charmers and elephants” gives a me a sense of nostalgia. India has had a glorious history of over 3000 years, many religions and languages have evolved, and this is what we proudly call “unity in diversity”. In modern terms, we are the biggest democracy, the largest brigade of working population, a middle class of the size of total European population. What does this indicate? This indicates that we are the next big thing on this planet and the world is watching us.
Some of the key issues that India needs to address:
- Efficient bureaucracy: Imagine India as a giant wheel, sure it’s slow to start but once it gains momentum it is self sustainable. Post-liberalization,we have had a dream run. An average GDP of 6-8% constantly is a commendable effort, thanks to the private sector. The dampener has been the inefficient bureaucracy. We need to revamp the system, make the bureaucrats accountable for their work and make them efficient. India deserves a better bureaucracy.
- Empowering villages: “A land of a thousand villages” was India in the past. A large chunk of our population live in villages. So villages should be of prime importance in our policies. Agriculture, is the main occupation of people in villages, needs a special attention. The first green revolution is a passé now; we need something of a stature that will rejuvenate the villages. The many agro based industries dependent on agriculture and all this adds up and forms a huge part of our economy.
- Education: With half the population being the youngsters, education is the next important area to address. Free and compulsory primary education is available plus programs like the mid-day meals are in place to keep the kids in schools. Higher education is rapidly being privatized, we need to ensure that the curriculum is constantly upgraded to meet the industry standards. A new wave of foreign universities are about to enter India, which seems promising. Educated people and the intellectual capital are a country’s biggest assets.
- Infrastructure: A population of 1.1 billion and counting, hordes of people coming to cities in search of jobs, the infrastructure built in the British era is bound to crumble. Movement of people and goods across the country needs to be quick, safe and reliable. For which we need bigger better roads, trains and airways. It is also quintessential essential for the economy. We need more power plants to meet the ever increasing need of power. Infrastructure is the backbone of a nation.
- Industries: Private industries play a pivotal role in India. Players like the Tata, Reliance, Bharti and Infosys have changed the way the world looks at India. Entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged and proper regulations should be put in place to make it hassle free. Free markets, SEZs and availability of finances are essential. IT and service sector have been dark horses of India.
- Environmental protection: Last but not the least environment needs a special attention. In the future nations which are self sufficient in energy will only grow. Special attention needs to be given to area of research in sustainable energy resources. Hybrids, cleaner fuels and world class emissions norms should made mandatory in vehicles. Use of solar and wind energy to generate power should be encouraged. CO2 emissions from industries should be checked. Special incentives should be given to industries cutting back emissions. We must realize that we as a developing nation are equally responsible towards environment.
To sum it all up I’d highlight that the path to development goes through all these routes. If we want to see India as a developed nation we all have to put in our best efforts. At last I’d like to quote,
Youths are not useless they are used less
Youths are not hopeless they are hopeless- Swami Vivekananda.