Place : New Delhi Speech Date :18-03-2011
Today India is recognised as a world economic power and in one decade India can become a global leader in workforce, technology and in democratic and inclusive growth. An approach centred on empowering our people will create a progressive society where everyone has the potential to succeed. Today India lives on the cusp of becoming greater. The potential of global leadership is being held back by a governance deficit that means undelivered public infrastructure and services, inefficient regulation and a lack of concern for equality. To see a quantum jump in development with knowledge-based employment, world-class infrastructure and comprehensive social services – the single answer is democratic governance that empowers all to realise their full potential.
The world's economic centre is shifting from the West to the East, where high rates of growth in emerging economies present challenges and opportunities. India's inherent strengths are in being the world's largest democracy, having an effective judicial system and the growing empowerment of the youth. Earlier this year concern for global risk was described: as the world grows together, it is also growing apart. India has experienced these main threats of economic inequality, problems in water, food and energy supply and disease pandemics. To overcome and advance, India requires a double-strategy of building democracy and empowerment inwardly and also opening relations internationally. Asia is seen as a new centre of economic integration where global collaboration and dialogue can lead to new solutions for prosperity and peace. This year we held our international Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit with country partners: Japan and Canada. The greater objective was to energize global networking for knowledge and technology sharing; learn the best practices and inspire entrepreneurs to think bigger. Over one hundred countries participated to make use of our platform for business and technology partnerships at the national and international level. India must continue to develop working relations with business and government, built with transparency and efficiency.
The next decade for India requires development with a focus on key areas:
- Preparing the World's Largest Workforce
- Developing as a Knowledge Powerhouse
- Global Gateways and Global Hubs
- Balanced Development
- India an Icon for Democracy and Empowerment
- Road Map for Inclusive Growth
- Erasing Corruption with Efficiency
- A Governance Environment Enabling all to Succeed
Preparing the World's Largest Workforce
The demography of leading economies is changing. In USA and Europe the population is ageing, whereas in India the
young population has an average age 25 years, much lower than in China. India's young workforce is estimated to increase by 240 million over the next two decades, andby 2035 India will have the largest working population in the world where 65 per cent will be of working age. With an intense investment now, India can gain the demographic dividend of a young workforce that is intelligent and productive, to sustainably propel our economic growth.
For many years the private sector has been demanding a more skilled workforce, and one study has estimated that only around 20 per cent of India's graduates and professionals are employable in multinational companies. Government, Academia and Industry need to have constant interaction to systematically up-skill India's youth with the education and expertise that is required. The private sector has a key role to assess and communicate the skills the youth need, to increase their competitiveness as India's future workforce. To reach more people the education and training institutes must fully tap the potential of
E-learning to multiply access to professional training.
A World Economic Forum Report estimated that by 2030, the United States will need 26 million employees, and Western Europe will need 46 million employees. Other countries are also facing a future shortage in the population of a young workforce, and here India needs to prepare to send to other countries highly-skilled professionals, especially for the technology sector. Our goal should not be just to prepare for our own industry needs, but to serve the global need with a mobile talented and skilled workforce.
The Society for Creation of Opportunity through Proficiency in English(SCOPE) has been setup by the Government of Gujarat to enhance English language skills for employment of the youth. Through SCOPE over 100,000 youth have gained an international qualification through Cambridge ESOL, opening doors for global opportunities.
Globally the dramatic demographic changes of ageing populations as well as India's youth-boom, will create a fast-changing international labour market. An assessment of future skill requirements both in India and internationally will allow strategic preparation of our workforce and migration policy. Migration of Indian workers has already shown how
brain-drain can transform to a beneficial
talent-circulation, where highly skilled workers return. Government and Industry associations together should assess and prepare mobile workforces with the skills and proficiencies to meet sector requirements. By invigorating our talent pool, in one decade our youth will be the engine of growth not just for India, but for the world.
Developing as a Knowledge Powerhouse
India should not follow other developing nations with expansion in the manufacturing sector to drive economic growth. Instead, India's workforce should sharpen a competitive edge as a leading knowledge-based economy. It has been estimated that 90 percent of jobs in our service sector are skill-based, and not knowledge-based, and this indicates the large scope for up-grading talent. By preparing a generation of highly educated and skilled youth, India will lead with a scarce resource for industry all over the world: knowledge workers with flexibility and analytical powers will be a driving force for innovation and growth.
The demands for a world-class education are high for today's job market and necessary for current professions. In Gujarat we have focused on expanding and establishing new education institutes in focused areas. Today people are studying at the only
Forensic Sciences University in India, as well as at the new
Gujarat National Law University and
Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. The recently established
Raksha Shakti University is the first of its kind in India, conducting diploma and degree courses in public science and internal security. By preparing India's youth in key areas we are ensuring qualified professionals are ready to address future challenges and create solutions.
Young India is in a hurry in every aspect of life, this is not only limited to governance. This
Net Generation – who from childhood have been stimulated by unlimited online information and instant social networking will be the future workforce. Their new tools for communication and approaches to work will give a technology-quake shaking up the work culture of traditional hierarchies as well giving an injection of creativity and innovation. The Net Generation will contribute advanced systems to revolutionise efficiency and with novel methods will solve persistent problems.India, by promoting a knowledge empowered workforce can become a leader in alternative processes and pioneering innovation to address the challenges of a fast-changing world.
Global Gateways and Global Hubs
As the international business centres are re-balanced over the world, India needs to be ready to attract a flow of investments across the country. India's business regulations has been found to be overly-complex and non-transparent and standards and certifications procedures are cumbersome. This over-regulation is turning away governments and businesses. Necessary business regulation processes are taking hundreds of days when other countries are able to complete formalities in weeks. India requires systems that deliver and an administration that focuses on outcomes. In Gujarat we use a
single-window web portal for investors to apply and track their requests for a delay-free process. The recent
Economic Freedom Rankings ranked Gujarat 2nd from the top in India, recognising the State's improvement in legal institutions and labour and business regulation. Gujarat's efficiency has attracted businesses from India and around the world. Over USD 450 billion of investments were committed at the last Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit. India's cities need to be upgraded to
Global Gateways for business. Forbes Magazine named Ahmedabad number 1 in India in its list of
The World's Fastest-Growing Cities with a focus on the global emerging powerhouses. Ahmedabad was described as the
"most market-oriented and business-friendly" among Indian states. Gujarat offers a model to transform business regulation processes that will bring investments with employment and new technology for our people.
Planning infrastructure for our country can no longer be driven by responding just to local needs and fixing the problem areas. Our roads, ports and energy hubs need to be globally connected to vitalise and drive our economy. Gujarat's
Port Policy has led to world-class private-sector ports and is recognised as one of the best public policies in Asia, by the USA based
Cato Institute. Today we see 35% of India's cargo-handling being through Gujarat's ports.
To fully utilise the future potential, India needs to ensure that there is maximum use of the country's natural resources and human capital. Gujarat has provided concrete solutions to capturing the energy of the youth to support social service. The Chief Minister's Fellowship Program is an opportunity for high achieving youth to work with senior Government Officers to contribute to society. Another initiative is apprenticeships with the urban municipalities and Gujarat Law University students are working with our judges for new solutions.
Gujarat's formula for balanced economic success is to avoid over-dependence in any sector. We have evolved a
three-part development model for Gujarat: one-third is industry, one-third is service sector and one-third agriculture. If there is a balanced development in all three, the state economy can never slow down. As the technical and knowledge skills of the young workforce are further upgraded India can create multiple global manufacturing hubs. India's geographic location and unique ethos of business efficiency will ensure lower costs of production and supply for the rising consumption of Asian economies.
Institutes from all over the country and the world come to Gujarat to study the key drivers which have been shown to contribute to the Gujarat Agriculture Growth rate of 12.8% over the last 5 years (2001-02 to 2006-07), compared to India's growth rate which has been 2.8% over 5 years and not even close to the 11th Plan target of 4% for 2007-12. Seven to eight years ago, the Gujarat's agricultural income was Rs.90 billion, now it is over Rs.500 billion. Increased yields and crop diversification means farmers are reaping gains from high-value fruits including papaya, kesar mango and dates. Where once droughts were common new crops like sugarcane are flourishing, supported by drip-irrigation technology subsidised by the Government. In other States farmers are tied to official procurement hubs. In Gujarat laws allow farmers to sell direct to private buyers. Companies buy crops from farmers 1 year in advance, reducing risks and encouraging investment. Many multinationals have established plants in Gujarat and farmers are benefitting through the increased sales and income. A focus on agriculture processing hubs will multiply value as we access global markets and this will further multiply incomes for our people.
India an Icon for Democracy and Empowerment
This year the world has witnessed the dramatic fall of authoritarian regimes where the people were constrained and powerless – there is a new hunger for freedom all over the world. The impact on global economic stability is threatened with oil prices rising and security risks heightened. These nations emerging from crisis are know looking how to develop a just and fair system of governance. India's democracy where over 1 billion people have a voice in deciding their future is a world example of how governance can incorporate diversity into a movement for inclusive growth. New modes of democratic engagement, especially through using e-governance are allowing greater access to fundamental rights for all our people.
India's strength as an international policy leader lies in fully democratising our governance functioning. Our country requires a commitment to people's empowerment which will realise an end to inequality. Harnessing e-governance moves access to governance from long queues at offices to any internet point. In Gujarat, our UN awarded and Nationally awarded
SWAGAT e-governance system ensures long-term grievances are resolved through use of online applications and video-conferencing across all District and Block offices. Thousands of applications are received each month and over 96% have been resolved with a fixation on transparency and accountability.
SWAGAT is mostly accessed by the poorest, the least educated and disempowered, who have failed to obtain justice elsewhere. SWAGAT exemplifies how today's technology can transform systems to fully empower citizens so their voices are heard, and responses are given that are effective and time-bound.
India must further activate people's role in governance to ensure the citizens are part of a development transformation. In Gujarat innovative citizen engagement has contributed to the success of groundwater levels increasing. 14,000 water committees are managing village water facilities through our
Water and Sanitation Management Organisation (WASMO) which has won the CAPAM award (2010), and the
UN Public Service Award for best participatory practice (2009). The withdrawal of groundwater, our most precious resource, has reached unsafe levels in about 30% of our country. As food requirements increase and industry expands we will see only an increase in water needs. Policies and regulation are mostly failing to manage this complex open resource. The success of WASMO illustrates that people's participation in governance is key to quantum changes in development.
The development strategy of Gujarat can be characterized as
360 degrees growth model where people become the drivers of development. In order to empower people locally to guide the growth process, we have initiated
Taluka Sarkar – a sub-district citizen centric approach where governance and development is activated at the grass root level. Every Taluka in Gujarat will be empowered and self-sustaining to provide a local platform for driving double digit growth and social development. We are pioneering a new model of growth based on consent from the people rather than control of the government – this is the essence of our democratic inclusiveness.
Road Map for Inclusive Growth
Gujarat completed 50 years of its existence on 1st May last year and this gave an opportunity of celebrating our Golden Jubilee. We decided to use this opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves for the development of the State with a
50 Point Program which provides the vision and road-map for the State's development. For the Golden Jubilee year we set ourselves
50 Golden Goals or
Swarnim Siddhis where the major focus was on improving human development index, promoting better governance by emphasizing citizen centric governance, empowering youth and women and preparing citizens for the challenges of the future while retaining their cultural identity and ethos.
Over the next decade the
50 Point Program will provide the outlines of our aspirations and ambitions. Good governance with active partnership of citizens can only happen when the goals and vision are clear to all, where the road map and mile-stones are recognizable and where policies and systems are there to serve the people and not to be obstacles in progress. The overall development strategy has been enhanced with four major
Flagship Programs to address areas of highest need. Three are completely rural programs:
Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for 43 tribal talukas,
Sagarkhedu Sarvangi Vikas Yojana for 38 coastal talukas,
Developing Talukas program for 41 backward talukas, and a separate
Garib Samruddhi Yojana was launched for urban areas. The flagship programs are for convergence of implementation to efficiently utilize resources and fast-track progress.
This next decade's challenge will require a balance between Urban India and Rural Bharat. The digital divide and social infrastructure divide has to be bridged in India to address the issues of urban congestion and rural deprivation. Gujarat has taken up the
Rurbanisation initiative, to provide urban facilities in rural areas, without tampering with the soul of the villages
. Mission Mangalam will ensure livelihood opportunities for the poor by integrating skill development and entrepreneurial skills. Cities across the country struggle to supply power at all hours and in Gujarat electricity shortages were common before 2003. From 2006, Gujarat's
Jyotigram initiative has been giving 24 hour electricity and connectivity to 100% of our villages. Intelligent rationing between agriculture and non-agriculture along with investment in power generation has meant Gujarat now supplies surplus power to other States. With round the clock power, women in villages complete more work with electrical appliances, children study in the night and rural businesses are growing. Innovation bound with a commitment to deliver a real change in quality of life has created success for millions.
Borrowed models will not resolve our issues, instead local innovation has to be encouraged and promoted from the grass-roots level. For centuries Gujarat's ancient water management techniques supplied households and fields. In Gujarat we were inspired by these structures and built
Khet Talavdi Farm Ponds to empower farmers to locally manage their own needs. This was combined with river inter-linking, checkdams and jal mandirs.A holistic approach with people's participation has meant Gujarat is India's only state where ground water levels have risen.
Erasing Corruption with Efficiency
Corruption and mismanagement are undercutting growth and threaten to further widen the inequality across the population. Leakage through the public delivery system has diseased outcomes for the poorest for decades and studies estimate impossibly huge amounts of leakage. India requires a full commitment to reverse the leakage and replace the rotten systems. In 2010 we pioneered a direct system of distribution through
Garib Kalyan Mela held in all Districts and Sub-Districts. Beneficiaries were informed in advance of their entitlements and transport was organized to the Melas where benefits were allocated systematically. A tremendous Rs.4,859 crore of funds were directly distributed including cheques, auto and cycle repairing kits, sewing machines, cycles for the disabled. 100% of funds reached 100% of intended beneficiaries through an efficient mass-scale system benefitting more than 3.7 million Gujaratis. The innovation illustrates that commitment to transparent systems can ensure the poor receive entitlements without diversion.
A Governance Environment Enabling all to succeed
Gujarat is showing the country what is possible, and once we walk this path it is irreversible. The result is inclusion, happiness, and people empowered to reach their potential. The political mindset of our country needs to develop a fixation for progress in inclusive development as the primary action of governance. Previously people were satisfied with accepting failures and limitations, and were convinced change would not be possible. These days there is an energy in the nation especially with the youth, that calls and searches for better answers for our deepest problems.
The best measurement of success is by the end-users, our people clearly know whether their lives are better, they are already moving from problem-filled areas to locations driven by success. In Gujarat we are seeing our population move to villages where they now have 24hr electricity, excellent roads, internet connectivity and vibrant employment. Businesses and Governments are choosing Gujarat over others as they have experienced the guarantee of key requirements and innovative methods to fast-track otherwise tedious processes. Our plethora of innovation is resulting in growth in all areas of the economy and a significant change in the quality of life of all our people, in cities and villages.
I have spoken about a vision to develop India's workforce and to strengthen democratic governance as well as open international relations. Beneath all of these principles lie the core values of our country.
Vasudheva Kutumbukam reminds us we are one family, a Global family. We should work so that each member of our family is included and connecting to the economy and society. Our ancient wisdom reminds us to ensure happiness, health and goodness for all
- Sarve bhavantu sukhinah. This ethos permeates our inclusive growth strategy to ensure no person is left without the opportunity for equality. Most important of all, in Gandhi's land, we are committed to transparency and truth. The value of truth should strengthen our resolve to make decisions that are true to the benefit of our people, and not to serve personal interests. This Indian ethos drives the inspiration for all our initiatives to better serve our people.
The experience of India's development has lessons for all emerging and transforming economies. Access to governance has to be guaranteed with transparent systems that deliver responses and outcomes. The strengthening of democratic governance empowers the population to become active partners in the growth process. Come and see Gujarat where good governance has given new meaning to the people for
Jal, Anna, Chattand
It is the exemplary good governance that will then engage citizens at every locality as well as countries of the world to become active partners in India's development.