India 2020 – Dream or Reality?
Many of our leaders in the past have fought so hard for our independence from the hands of the British and gave us the air of freedom. There has been numerous struggles and loss of lives along the way. We have been a land with the best culture, tradition, knowledge and wealth which brought many foreign interests in our soil. We were the first ones to apply the spiritual wisdom we acquired, into science. Our understanding of the human body and mind with its impact from the universe is profound. Our Vedas and worship of the Almighty is in a way that celebrates the human body and soul. Our Gurus have taught us to experience the eternal bliss. Our land is full of life and the returns offered by it cannot be counted. Due to this foreign invasion happened and we became slaves. To a great extent between 1600 and 2000 we have changed to that extent where we started appreciating the West. We have ignored our true self, the way our ancestors lived and took the path that was laid, to take us backward. We have started admiring the way of life of the West and have forgotten our identity. But having said that, we cannot ignore the benefits we received from being ruled by the foreign nations. We have learned their culture, language, business, technology and education that are needed in today’s world. We simply cannot dismiss the innumerous counts of inventions they have done in the area of science. We became a land of various cultures and slowly started to deviate from our true self. At this juncture, it is unnecessary to debate whether it is required or not. We are accustomed to it and we got to move ahead with this uncompromising world. We are to move with the dynamics of life forward.
The Leaders of our nation desperately wished for reaching the status of a developed nation by 2020. For a nation with more than 100 crore population divided by regional languages, cultures and beliefs – attaining the status of a developed nation requires drastic changes in its administration. Our soil comprises of over 100 languages and castes. We are a highly divided nation. We have a divided taste and fight with our neighboring states. Several religions thrived in this land. Our Kings and history stand the test of times and prove how the country must be ruled. Even today, we battle with our neighboring states for land and water. So much diversity prevails within the minds of us. Experience has taught us many valuable lessons. The yesteryear freedom fighters wished for a unified land and togetherness. They risked their lives for relieving us from the bonds of slavery. They wanted for a well educated and capable future generation. All the revolutions, bloodshed were aimed towards creating a better and peaceful nation. But after tasting the fruit of freedom, did we progress in the right direction? The rulers who ruled during the past 50 years – were they successful in transforming India as a developed country? – or they at least kept us intact with the same financial stature as we had before independence? Did their administrative adroitness took us the way forward? Were they attuned to our culture and motivated us to embrace it? The hopes that we pinned on our elected leaders over the last 5 decades – were they fulfilled? Were the leaders after independence worked towards the same goal as the leaders before independence? Did anything change – especially in the mindset of our leaders after freedom? Did we make enough progress in the right pitch? How many entrepreneurs and innovations we created in the past few decades? Did we experience completeness in our Next Gen? Have we improved across all sectors? Are we using our soil’s wealth towards development of our nation? Several of our leaders, after freedom, wished India to be a fully developed nation by 2020 – Do we think it is achievable?
Agriculture – The oldest and primary sector that provided life and job for millions of people in the country. Ours is a land that has the potential to produce and export agricultural products to the entire world. This was the largest sector of the country few years back. Any developed economy must have a strong foundation and have its primitive base in the Agricultural sector. This is the breath of the nation. Even without the latest advancements in Science, we were once an organized and profitable nation as far as output is concerned in this sector. We had a win-win situation for both producers and consumers. We were aligned to the nature and were successful in production with good quality output. During the recent few years we had a drastic change in this sector. We learned new technologies and methods of production but the output and quality has gone down. Farming has turned a sector with loss. The return on investment is poor. Farmers throughout the country have been committing suicides. Even the nature has changed and started affecting the cultivation. Either we receive flood or drought. The ground water has subsided. The Past Governments failed to initiate any steps to conserve the lives of the farmers. We have ignored the very reason for existence of us. In the name of development we have converted the lands suitable for agriculture into living households. In the name of technology we have polluted our soil. We ignored common sense and are progressing in the destructive path. The very basic thing in life is food and we have started to appreciate western foods. Our traditional foods which are like medicines were ignored in the last few years. This has led to severe health issues. Our ancestors lived happily with good health. Our past Governments failed to address the needs of our farmers. The crops we cultivate have turned poisonous. Due to the loss incurred every year, the Dealers and Agents have raised the prices of the foods which has impacted the consumers. The Govt. however pays the Farmers little. The demand is too high but the production is low. Most of the crops are polluted with chemicals and are grown in a short period of time. In order to grow them rapidly and make quick money, the way of cultivation has changed. This has led to poor quality. Manpower involving in this field has reduced and the cost of labor has increased. Proper knowledge sharing and welfare schemes are not introduced leading to further damage. The producers and consumers are affected while the middle men make most of the money in this trade. The present Govt. being a stable one has the complete ability to ensure the Farmers a friendly environment by bringing necessary schemes to increase production. Proper awareness about technology has to be brought across our villages and the necessary inputs and platform has to be provided to them so that they can deliver products with good quality. Both traditional and modern ways of implementation has to be followed. The products we produce must be aligned to the nature and chemicals has to be avoided. Appropriate time frame has to be given for complete growth of the vegetation. There are a few customer care available now to address the needs of the farmers but the Govt. should open more awareness and welfare centers in all the villages. We must understand that the villages are the backbone of this nation. Adequate Govt. funding must happen and youths of the country must involve in this oldest sector. A little push and awareness can bring in drastic change. We must reach the position where we turn the tables and make this sector a profitable one by exporting our goods. Our villages must be connected with Internet and separate focus should be on our villages. Govt. personnel must be appointed in every villages to monitor the developments. The welfare schemes must reach the needy. The present Govt. under Shri. Modi has the hopes of the people and it is capable of bringing in the change required. The Farmers’ union must meet every fortnight and discuss about the issues of the farmers. Our hopes are pinned towards betterment of agriculture.
Water – They say only 0.1% of water in the world is usable. Water is life. Several civilizations of the past thrived alongside the banks of rivers. Agriculture has been dependent on rivers and lakes. We have started to deplete the water resources and convert them to apartments. Every year India receives adequate rainfall but most of them are lost and joins the sea. We missed to do rain water harvesting. The waters in the lakes and ponds are not preserved. It is quite astonishing to experience flood and drought in the same year. Water is not stored when we receive floods. It is said that water would be available for Chennai only for the next 2 months and there’s no source after that. This is as a result of poor maintenance of the lakes and river banks. We failed to take conservatory measures to save it. Even at households, the rain water harvesting schemes are not in use. In the name of development and construction of cities, the water resources are converted into apartments. The ground water level has gone drastically down. We take sand from the river banks, adding fuel to fire, destroying water resources. Certain states have life-giving rivers while certain states in the country doesn’t have adequate water resources. As a nation we must stand united by linking the rivers in the country. It is true that it would require huge amount of money to incorporate such system but a country with huge population would be benefitted at large by accomplishing this. In the name of urbanization, we must stop constructing buildings at water resources. Lakes, Ponds must be preserved by the village panchayats. Rivers across the country must be linked. Lake water must not be polluted with industrial wastes. Roughly 95% of the nation has villages. So power must be given to the village Panchayats to monitor the water resources and awareness has to be brought to people to increase the ground water level. Due to urbanization and construction of buildings in the water resources we face severe financial damage during the monsoons. Proper plan and care is not experienced and approvals are given to construct buildings in the river banks. Already we have done enough damage to the society and our future generation are at the risk of losing water. Time has come for us to spread awareness and preserve rainfall and conserve the water in our lakes and rivers. Govt. must come up with proper rules and schemes to incorporate river linkage and rain water harvesting.
Resources – Oil, Electricity, Bio, Solar and Renewable resources. Every resource available in this world has a limit. We must understand that and use it conservatively. Our nation is progressing and we require a lot of these resources for our work and life. Given that we are not a resource of Oil and since we import, we must limit using it. Usage of Cars and bikes have gone northwards. By being socially responsible, we need to limit the import of oil to have a balanced economy. We must use public transport instead of cars and bicycles instead of two wheelers, if we are to travel 2-3 Kms. We can improve our health and offer a pollution free environment if we behave responsibly. Lessening the imports will improve our fiscal balance and we can be a better economy. Usage of solar bikes and bio-fuels must be encouraged by the Govt. There are certain inventions made by our own countrymen where two wheelers are designed to use bio and renewable resources. Govt. must encourage people to use them. We must use electricity conservatively and prefer solar and wind energy to generate it. Proper funding must be done by the Govt. to do research in these areas and come up with products using Solar, Bio wastes. We must save these resources for our Next Gen.
Healthcare – Once we were a nation with good health. Our old practices and hard work kept us well. Advancements in technology deteriorated us physically and mentally. Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in India and the sad thing is that it has turned to be a medium of business. It is no more perceived as a service. The cost of medicines have gone up drastically preventing the poor to get the necessary products. Corporate companies have flown in looking at the returns. As a country with majority of the people living below the poverty line, it has turned hard for them to experience quality healthcare services. The infrastructure offered by the Govt. hospitals are poor and needs improvement. Adequate amount of funds has to be allocated in improving the quality of the Govt. hospitals so that everyone can get quality services. Modern equipments have to be purchased by the Govt. hospitals helping poor in their diagnosis. Regulations have to be brought in the private hospitals and Govt. should monitor the charges they levy for their services. The cost of the medicines has to be brought down. The need of the hour is to encourage private Doctors to focus frequently on the villages offering good health to people. Proper awareness schemes should be brought to avoid diseases from spreading in the villages. Doctors coming out of the colleges must at least serve 2-3 years in the villages before opening their clinics and working for Private hospitals in the cities. Private hospitals must be encouraged to open awareness centers in the rural areas. Periodic surveillance of the Pvt. hospitals is necessary and severe actions must be taken against those hospitals that doesn’t follow the regulations. Reduce cost – Increase quality – offer service should be the mantra.
Insurance – Govt. should emphasize the necessity of insurance. Life and health insurance products should be made mandatory. Insurance for all – should be the motto. Govt. should come up with proper plans to offer insurance products for the consumers. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri. Modi has come up with life and accident insurance policies for all via Banks, which is a good move. More awareness is necessary and the entire country must be encouraged to avail these schemes. A family must be secured worth at least 5 lacs of Life Insurance and 3 Lacs of Health insurance. This will ensure safety. Govt. must pay the premiums of those living below the poverty line. All two wheelers and four wheelers must be insured and periodic vigilance can be conducted to ensure its operation. A good start towards that have already been done by the Central Govt. in enacting Accident insurance for passengers traveling by train. The Life insurance premiums has to be in relation to the salary earned by an individual per year. Subsidy can be given to the middle class. Like the Govt. adopted the policy towards LPG, similar system can be followed.
Banking – Each and every Indian citizen must hold a bank account. As we are gearing towards digital India and reduction of using paper money, holding a bank account becomes necessary. This will contribute towards development of the nation. Our current Govt. has already come up with this strategy and are in the process of implementing it. Primarily the villages have to be focused and the presence of banks in those areas must be increased. Interest rates offered in FDs and RDs must vary according to age of the holder.
Education – Sadly, Education has become a money making market. Ever since the corporate have taken over, this has become a business and not a service anymore. The quality of education has to be improved. It should not just be oriented towards scoring marks but it should make the pupil to come up with innovative thoughts. Education must enlighten. It should be a ray of hope and idea. It should guide the students to choose their path forward. A lot of people are not able to afford to the current fees levied by best schools. Govt. should increase the quality of education in the Govt. schools and employ the best teachers from the industry. The infrastructure must develop in the Govt. schools. Majority of the kids in India are dependent on Govt. schools. Proper tie-ups with academic institutions can offer better education. Private Schools and colleges must be regulated. A portion of the seats has to be offered to the Govt. It can be like 50% payment seats, 25% free seats, 25% Govt. quota so that even the poor can afford. Emphasis on extra curricular activities like painting, music, dance, sports and other physical activities must be done. The students coming out of the colleges have to be given proper job ready coaching. Schools and Colleges must have tie-ups with world class educational institutions so that the best in class technological idea can be passed to all. State of the art infrastructure can be provided by having links with foreign universities. Students must be educated to be aware of the current trends in the world. Simply said, education must be thought provoking and must be served for all.
Employment – Our today’s youths are perturbed by unemployment. Due to over population their dreams are shattered. They aren’t able to apply their knowledge. Right opportunities are not provided to them. Some of them work in a different field from their expertise and often perform poor. A developing economy must be able to supply adequate jobs. Tie-ups with foreign countries must generate jobs locally and abroad. However only a few get the taste of it, others succumb. There have been instances where our youths suffered without jobs. Globalization has brought in a significant amount of jobs. Our current Govt. has brought in the ’Make in India’ campaign. But we are yet to receive its fruit. We haven’t performed at our fullest potential and are yet to attract significant amount of foreign investments in India. We expect all our youths graduating out of the colleges to end up in jobs. Govt. should come up with proper employment plans and training programmes for our youths. Industry oriented and job-ready trainings has to be provided. Partial and temporary employment schemes has to reach the poor. The lives of the below poverty line people has to be enriched by the 200 days employment programme.
Infrastructure – Being a still developing nation, the cities have got good infrastructure but there’s still room for improvement. We must build lots of smart cities. The density of population in the metro cities can be brought down by implementing a large number of smart cities. Proper connectivity and network are necessary. Our villages must be improved. Internet connectivity has started to reach the villages today. Our villages must grow as small towns. The Govt. should bring in all necessary facilities like banks, hospitals and factories to our villages. By improving the infrastructure, we can generate more jobs and invite more foreign investments to our country.
Manufacturing – China and other Afro-Asian nations manufacture almost all the products needed for the world. Having a nation with over 100 crore population, it is mandatory for us to invite the global organizations to make their products in India. We must offer the required infrastructure and benefits to those global companies. By attracting foreign investments, there can be an increase in growth. As of now we are poor in manufacturing. We should the desired destination of global companies. We should encourage the local companies to create good quality products and motivate the local consumers to use it. For instance., the current Govt. has started to encourage our traditional products of Siddha and Ayurveda and those companies have started to build their products aligned to the consumers. Buy Indian products – is the motto. We should provide adequate supply to our local manufacturers.
Small/Medium Business – Adequate benefits has to be given to the small/medium enterprises. More and more new ventures have to be encouraged. The current Govt. has come up with ‘Startup India’ programme to educate the business owners. Relevant training has to be provided for startups. These organizations must be funded by the Govt. banks. A simple idea can lead into an ocean. Small/Medium businesses keep our nation healthy by providing jobs to the poor. Restaurant chains, Hotels, Spas, Super Markets, Small manufacturing units, Theatres, Shopping malls and grocery stores etc fall under this category and the Govt. should offer suitable funding to them to startup and develop their ventures.
IT – Our primary export. We have made a considerable progress in this sector. More aspirants are logging every single day. We must provide technically able resources to the market. This is one such industry which can take the economy forward. More businesses can be invited by performing best and delivering a good quality output. There are a very few IT giants in India. More and more companies must join. By offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and industry ready workforce more business can be generated. This is a revenue and profit generating space and proper steps has to be taken to keep this sector alive and growing.
Stock Markets – Our Indian stock market is mostly operated by the FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments). The domestic participation is very poor. More and more people should be invited to participate in this via ULIPs, Mutual Funds and trading. Adequate knowledge sharing has to be done by the Govt. and awareness should be increased. The service providers must provide suitable offers thereby inviting them to join the market. Most of us have the fear of taking risk and investing in equities. Only through proper education and training, can we invite more participation. We must impart adequate amount of online programmes to enable most of the people to join the markets. This is a good platform for long term investment and the growth rate is considerably good. The current and recent performance of the stock markets in the last 1 year, after the new Govt. is formed shows that India is one of the primary desired destination for FDIs. By active domestic participation can lead to good performance of the companies invested and good returns for the investor.
Sports – Apart from Cricket there’s not much sport in India which is celebrated. Our country has rarely produced good quality athletes and sportspersons in the past. This is due to lack of infrastructure and world class training. Govt. funding is necessary in all kind of sports thereby enabling production of good quality athletes. Result oriented trainers have to be appointed in coaching those young bloods. Our performance in Olympics is devastating and the only way to improve the quality is by proper training and motivation. All sports must be treated equally and the players must be paid well. Our country must host international events. We have a long way to become a sporting superpower.
Media – Media is the most powerful substance in this world. They can make/break a man/society. The electronic/print/visual media have been delivering us every day news. We wake up in front of the media. Several newspapers, TV channels, websites are widely followed and commented. They are the maximum source of power. With great power, comes great responsibility. Media should confront towards constructive news. They should engage in imparting knowledge to the people and raise their awareness. They should transport the news rather than making the news. They should be aligned to people’s interests. They should report truth and not be biased to any person/community. They should proactively criticize the rulers of the country and address people’s demands. They should be oriented towards the TRP ratings or making money but must be focused on delivering the correct news. They should care for the society and raise concerns whenever needed. They are kind of feedback generators to the rulers of the nation. They raise the voice of a common man and broadcast it to the entire nation. Their service is immense and it must not be looked as a business medium. Our media in the country delivers news but most of them are biased towards a political party. Media should not be interfered by politics but sadly it isn’t the case here. Very few channels that are live are constructive in nature. Time has come for them to feel their responsibility and carry news in such a way that will result in benefit of the environment around. They must exercise their power with care.
Politics – Our tax money is used in building the nation. They are the ones who authorize transactions, allocate funds towards different sectors. They are elected by us with the hope of delivering their promises. We have invested our faith in them. We look forward to them in making us a developed economy. But most of them work for their family. The common man’s money is wasted and the country is till dark. Had they invested our money in the right place, we would have been a superpower by now but they failed us. The ruling party and the opposition never go hand in hand. They almost forgot why they were elected and only worked for their wealth. They progressed but our country didn’t. We must make our defence stronger. Latest technology has to be implemented in the area of defence. Our politicians so far have taken the advantage of our illiteracy and incapability. If we are to receive light, it is in the hands of them. They should exercise their duty responsibly and take the country forward. Our politicians must be directed to serve the people and aim our growth. Time has come for us to come out and vote for the best. Our current Govt. which is strong and stable must take the entire nation towards growth and make every individual feel proud and powerful.
Spirituality – This is the base of our soil. Religion and Spirituality can provide empowerment and enlightenment to an individual. We can feel the power within when we exercise spirituality. It is about going within and understanding our true self. School and college students can perform better if they are taught to think. We can produce great leaders only when they understand the essence of life. When they try to appreciate nature and feel it within themselves, can they make thought provoking ideas. One has to have the full and complete feeling. It can give courage and confidence to us and we can create a better next Gen. by adopting the proven principles of spirituality we can grow enormously. Yoga, Pranayama and meditation are the tools to make our ideas flourish. They create and carve our body and mind. Our current Govt. has introduced the World Yoga day, but we must remember to practice it everyday. Any media which can make our thoughts progress out of a boundary must be appreciated and adopted. Spirituality and Religion have greater impacts on our life.
Innovations , R&D, Entrepreneurs – How many innovations have we came up with in the last few decades? Most of the science and technological innovations are from the West. We have acquired their ideas and innovations and have put them to practice but hardly there was any innovation within the country. This can be due to the education system difference between us and the West. They have more practical exposure. The advancements they made is immense. We have been the consumers of their researches. Although we have been successful in launching satellites to the earth’s orbit and Mars, we owe the knowledge to them. Our education system must drastically change to produce more and more innovators and scientists. More Govt. fund should go into R&D and tie-ups with foreign nations in coming up with innovations. Solar, Wind power and bio wastes should be converted into meaningful things. Our investments on innovation and R&D must go up and we must produce good quality engineers, entrepreneurs and scientists. Business owners must come up with good ideas which will benefit the society and become successful entrepreneurs.
Looking at the way we performed during the last few decades after independence, it looks like that we fully haven’t exercised our powers. We are ignorant of our strengths and haven’t made good progress all these years. While small countries like Singapore and Malaysia have grown rapidly, in spite of having maximum workforce we couldn’t oblige to the market’s requirements. Our politicians have let us down. We have high hopes on our current Govt. hoping to bring in the change that was long desired by us. Small steps have been taken by the Govt. in improving our standards and we are to make a long way. It looks like, as the past leaders thought, we may not be in a position to be a fully developed nation by 2020. We have lots of things to do before we reach there. We must put corruption to end in all forms of life. The stable Govt. that we have now has the ability to take us forward. Also we require lots of investments in various sectors to achieve developments. Although we failed in the past, we can start now and create a better tomorrow. We can have a vision 2040 and hope that in the next 20 years, we will bring in lots of scientific innovations and be a super power so that each and every individual in the country can feel proud. Jai Hind !!
h3<>. To my Parents who stood by, during my difficult times
h3<>. To the Almighty who gave me everything
How India as a country has progressed in the last few decades. The industries that have thrived over the last few years. How we can shape ourselves better? The failures and mistakes our country over the different sectors. How to improve the quality of these sectors. Detailed analysis on the different areas of interest and how the country has fared. What are the needs of the hour to make us a developed nation?