Transforming India -2

Some views of the Indian intellectuals about the ‘Transforming India’ in special Issue of ‘India Today’ are as follows:

Ajimji Premji The day when the local government school is able to attract children from across the social spectrum, that will be the day we can proudly proclaim that India is on the threshold of transformation.

Rajat K Gupta The nation should focus on providing preventive and promotive medicine, which can help people avoid illnesses before they occur; on delivering timely access to primary care, which can treat medical problems in their early stages and encourage a holistic view of health; and on strengthening health education, which must train a larger workforce to apply advanced methods of promoting healthy living.

Dipankar Gupta If there is one big idea we can pursue, and pursue realistically, then that is to put our might, mouth and money where R&D is. All our ideas about modern knowledge come primarily from the West, and often do not suit our demands. We have millions who are sick and ailing, but we are yet to conduct appropriate research that could help them. Endogenous growth takes place when R&D is locally produced and applied.

LN Mittal
has set up the Mittal Champions Trust (MCT) targeted at improving our medals haul at the London Olympics in 2012. We need a supreme national and individual effort to improve our results across all sports. We need to start now. It won’t be easy, but we have the talent and determination to do it.

Narayan murthy talks of his experiment Special Training Programme. The solution to the problem of social injustice is not reservation, as it will damage the psyche of the youngsters permanently. The solution is to invest heavily in producing high-quality, committed teachers and create incentives for them to provide special attention to the disadvantaged children right from primary schools.

RK Pachauri Just like Japan treated the energy crises of 1973-74 and 1979-80 as an opportunity, India is in a similar position to gain competitive advantage in a world whose future rests on low carbon technologies, products and processes. India can within a period of 10 years emerge as a leader in a range of technologies and equipment to exploit the abundance of energy from the sun.

Tarun Khanna Dusty public sector laboratories and universities are returning to life aided by unexpected visitors- business development managers from multinationals, students and researchers from international universities, young local entrepreneurs from startups and the who’s who of global private equity. India’s government-funded space and satellite programme generates world-class research. Herbal medicine is another area of heartening scientific developments-between 1976 and 2003, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was granted 33 US patents in this area, the highest in the world.

E. Sreedharan Any city with a population of more than three million and where any transport corridor sees a density of more than 8,000-10,000 people per hour per direction of traffic needs a metro system. The economic rate of return and benefits to society from a metro system are evident within five years of its inception. Phase one of the Delhi Metro has taken 39,600 vehicles off the roads, slashed the consumption of petrol, diesel and CNG by 57,800 tonne and saved Rs 288 crore on road maintenance and traffic management. The aim is to bring a metro station within half a kilometre of each person’s residence and workplace, which will discourage the use of private vehicles. It has been credited with following a work culture setting it apart from other government bodies by focusing on transparency, professional knowledge and punctuality. Re-inculcating a forgotten value system is the only way to root out corruption.

C.K. Prahalad If we stop thinking of the poor as victims and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole world of opportunities will open up. The focus should be on dealing with social inequities as a business and not through charity. Worldwide, aid and subsidies have proven to be mostly ineffective. Most importantly, subsidies create dependence and rob people of dignity. Without a long-term, self-sustaining solution that reduces poverty, we are likely to create higher levels of inequality.

Anuradha Joshi The creation of mechanisms for the easy dismissal of public officials is nessary. The process of firing bureaucrats should be kept out of the hands of politicians. Control over transfers and promotions by politicians have made public officials more responsive to political considerations than the rule of law. In a country where politicians are not part of the process of selecting candidates for public service, there is no reason for them to be part of the process of dismissing them.

It is necessary that India take up the task of transformation seriously, when it knows the hurdle in the process of transformation. India Today has done an immense service to the nation by bring in the thoughts of so many celebrities in one issue.

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