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Vibrant Gujarat Lecture Series

 17th  Jun 2013, Sabarmati Auditorium, Swarnim Sankul-1, Gandhinagar

Shri Modi’s speech during interactive session on “Achieving India’s Full Economic Potential” with Mr. Jim O’Niell

Mr. Jim O’Neil, Mr. Jitesh Gadhia, my colleagues from the state government, captains and representatives of industry, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a real pleasure to welcome and meet a person like Jim O’Neil. He has been a leading expert on the global economy, particularly the emerging markets. He is also well known as a currency guru. I welcome you Jim, to India and to Gujarat. I hope that today’s interaction will enrich my team and me. I am sure that we will leave the session with newer insights on the global and Indian economy.

Friends, in 2003, Goldman Sachs led by Jim, had predicted that the BRIC countries would overtake the G6 countries by 2050. The world was taken aback. We, in India, were pleasantly surprised.

In the following decade, the BRIC countries behaved to a great extent as predicted, particularly China. We were hoping that India too would grow at a similar rapid pace.

Unfortunately, however, we have not been able to achieve our full potential. Not only that the last decade has been stuck in uncertain and uneven growth. This is further compounded by policy paralysis and mis-governance. We have lost a historic opportunity in the process.

I have read Jim’s 2008 paper ‘10 Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential’ with keen interest. I am quite convinced about what he is saying. You will notice that many of the domains he talks about do not fall within the jurisdiction of a state government in the federal structure of India. Yet you will find considerable similarity in our approaches to growth and development. In fact, many of the ideas which Gujarat has followed and Jim professes as well are very common-sensical.

They are the basics for the development of a developing region like India or its constituents. Many of you may recollect that we started our journey with strengthening governance. It was a bad time in 2001 as we were hit by a devastating earthquake. Amongst our initial steps were setting up mechanisms for inter-departmental sharing and coordination. E-governance, system re-engineering and rigorous monitoring, were other areas of focus.

Transparency, openness and people’s participation were also insisted upon right from the beginning. The overall idea was to move from Government to Governance. From Rules and Acts to Responsible Action.

I am now happy to say that these seeds that we sowed, have grown into towering trees. Our innovations in the social sector and progress on HDI parameters have been appreciated far and wide.

Many of our initiatives have been recognized at national and international levels. This includes awards from World Bank, CAPAM and the United Nations. Another paradigm shift was weaving the entire development model around a well thought- out strategy. In the initial one month itself, we had laid out our strategy of Panchamrut or Five Nectars. This comprises of the domains of energy, water, knowledge, human resource and security.

Since then, we have been working aggressively to develop these sectors and domains on a fast track basis. We have just completed our annual school enrollment drive, which we started 10 years back. This has had a tremendous positive impact on basic education, particularly the girl child education. Starting with our focus on strengthening the primary and secondary education, we moved on to creation of new age academic institutions and universities.

The result is that today there is a six fold increase in the intake capacity of technical institutions and a four-fold increase in the number of universities. Not only the numbers, but in terms of quality as well; we have tried to engage with the global best. Earlier this year itself, 120 international and 52 national universities had come together to give a brighter shape to our higher education system.

A decade before, the financial situation of Gujarat was weak. This was further compounded by crumbling of livelihood and infrastructure due to successive   droughts and the earthquake. Our public sector units were running in losses. The state finances were running into severe fiscal deficits. Starting with tightening on the expenditure front, we improved the management of the public sector undertakings substantially.

We also enacted the Fiscal Responsibility Act and adopted various means of reducing non-developmental expenditure. Thereby, we were able to allocate more money on the development front. The result is that we are in surplus now. Most of our PSUs have turned around and have enhanced their market cap. Another beauty of this exercise is that it is achieved without levying new taxes or enhancing them.

Another front on which Gujarat stands out clearly is in establishing global linkages in trade and investment matters. In fact, Gujarat today is amongst the most preferred FDI destinations in India. Not only that, we have developed long term relationships with a large number of countries and their Industry. Our biennial global investors summit has become a platform for global tie ups. The last event held in January 2013 saw participation of 121 countries as well as most of the Indian states.

Against India’s average 2-3% agricultural growth, Gujarat’s agriculture has been growing at around 10% annually over the last decade. This has happened due to a lot of hard work on the part of government, agricultural universities and scientists, and most importantly the farmers. We have focused on water harvesting on a wide scale. At the same time we have also introduced micro irrigation techniques to ensure more crop per drop.

Simultaneously, we introduced scientific agricultural practices to enhance agricultural productivity and crop diversification. We have recently concluded our annual agri-fair which has become a platform for dissemination of knowledge in agriculture, food processing, horticulture and animal husbandry.

On the infrastructure front, we have been working with the desire to benchmark it to the best globally. We already have the best in India, but we are going further. Both on the core and industrial infrastructure, as well as social infrastructure; we have evolved PPP models and practices which are considered to be the best in India. In 2011, a joint study of The Economist and ADB established that Gujarat is the best PPP destination in India.

We are further making a huge shift in our approach by establishing large size investment regions. We are planning to promote them as global hubs of economic activity.

Ensuring environmental safety and quality has been my pre-eminent  desire. We have been insisting to do things in a way that we consume lesser Natural resources and still become more productive. We are the biggest earners of carbon credits in India.

Going further, Gujarat has emerged as a global hub of solar energy in addition to its sizeable share in wind energy. We have established Asia’s biggest solar park with a capacity of 600 mega watts. We are also keen on developing eco-friendly practices and systems, particularly in our urban and industrial locations.  We are working with the motto of Gujarat’s growth for India’s growth. We know that India cannot develop unless the States develop.

We also know that there is a lot to be done by us in the states, particularly if India has to achieve its full potential.

We can definitely do better if the national policies are aligned towards a greater vision of a developed India. I am a positive person.  I am sure that we will do even better than predicted by Jim.

 

Thank you.  

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Namaskar!

Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.

Friends,

Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.

Friends,

Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.

Friends,

When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.

Friends,

The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.

Friends,

The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.

Friends,

Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.

Friends,

When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.

Friends,

It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!