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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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Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a person with universal vision: PM Modi
April 14, 2021
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Baba Saheb Ambedkar had a universal vision: PM Modi
Baba Saheb Ambedkar gave a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage: PM
We have to give opportunities to the youth according to their potential. Our efforts towards this is the only tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar: PM

Namaskar!

Present with me in this programme, Gujarat Governor Acharya Shri Dev Vrat ji, the country’s Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani ji, Education Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Singh ji, Chairman of UGC Prof. D.P.Singh ji, Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ami Upadhyay ji, Association of Indian Universities President Prof. Taj Pratap ji, all dignitaries and friends.

Today when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar ji's birth anniversary also connects us with that great yagna and also with the inspiration of the future. On behalf of the grateful nation and all the countrymen, I pay my respectful homage to Babasaheb.

Friends,

During the freedom struggle, millions and millions of our freedom fighters dreamt of a harmonious and inclusive India. Babasaheb made the beginning in realizing those dreams in the form of the Constitution to the country. Today India is creating a new future and achieving new dimensions of success by following the same Constitution.

Friends,

Today, the 95th meeting of the Vice Chancellors of Association of Indian Universities is taking place on this auspicious day. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University has announced the establishment of 'Babasaheb Samarasta Chair'. The four books written by Shri Kishore Makwana ji have also been released on Babasaheb's life, his thoughts and ideals. I congratulate all the dignitaries involved in these efforts.

Friends,

India has been the mother of democracy in the world. Democracy has been an integral part of our civilization and our way of life. Babasaheb laid a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage. When we read and understand Babasaheb, we realize that he was a person of universal vision.

There is a clear vision of Babasaheb's philosophy in Shri Kishore Makwana ji's books. While one of his books introduces Babasaheb’s “Jeevan Darshan” (philosophy of life), the other focuses on “Vyakti Darshan” (individual philosophy). Similarly, the third book highlights Babasaheb's “Rashtra Darshan” (national philosophy), whereas the fourth book “Aayam Darshan” will introduce his philosophy of dimension to the countrymen.  These four philosophies are no less than modern scriptures in themselves.

I would like our new generation in colleges and universities to read more and more of such books. All these dimensions, whether it is the inclusive society, the concern for the rights of the Dalit-deprived society, the question of upliftment and contribution of women, or Babasaheb's vision on education and especially on higher education, will offer an opportunity to the youth of the country to understand Babasaheb.

Friends,

Doctor Ambedkar would say:

"My three revered deities are -- Knowledge, self-respect and politeness.” Self-respect comes with knowledge and makes a person aware of his or her rights. Through equal rights, social harmony emerges and the country progresses.

We are all familiar with Babasaheb's struggles of life. The position that Babasaheb reached after so many struggles is a great inspiration for all of us. Our education system and universities have this responsibility to carry the country forward on the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar. And when it is the issue of common goals and shared efforts as a nation, collective efforts become the means of accomplishment.

Therefore, I think the role of Association of Indian Universities becomes very important. AIU also has the legacy of scholars like Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ji, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Smt. Hansa Mehta and Dr. Zakir Hussain.

Dr. Radhakrishnan ji would say: “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature”.

It implies that education should be such which should liberate the person, so that he can think openly, and make something new with a new thinking. He believed that we should develop our education management as a unit of the entire world. But at the same time, he emphasized the Indian character of education. This becomes even more important in the global scenario today.

Here special issues were released on the new 'National Education Policy' and plan for its implementation. These issues are detailed documents how National Education Policy is a futuristic policy, a policy of global parameters. You all scholars are familiar with the nuances of the National Education Policy. The purpose of education that Dr. Radhakrishnan ji spoke about is reflected in the core of this policy.

I am told that this time the theme of the seminar is - 'Implementing National Educational Policy-2020 to Transforming Higher Education in India'. All of you deserve congratulations for this.

I have been constantly discussing NEP with experts. National Education Policy is as practical as its implementation.

Friends,

You have dedicated your entire life to education. You all know very well that every student has his own capability and capacity. Based on these capabilities, students and teachers also have three questions.

First: What can they do?

Second: What is their potential if they are properly taught?

And, third, what they want to do?

What a student can do is his inner strength. But if we add institutional strength to his inner strength, his development becomes expansive. With this combination, our youth can do what they want to do. Therefore, the country’s special emphasis is on skill development. As the country is moving ahead with the mission of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat, the role and demand of skilled youths is also increasing.

Friends,

In view of the strength of skills, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had placed greater emphasis on the collaboration of educational institutions and industries decades ago. Today, the country has immense opportunities, and there are new industries of modern times. India is being looked upon as a future centre of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, mobile technology, geo-informatics, smart healthcare and defence sector. The country is taking huge steps to meet these requirements.

Indian Institutes of Skills are being set up in three big metropolitans of the country. The first batch of the Indian Institute of Skills has already started in Mumbai a few months ago in December. The Future Skills Initiative was launched with NASSCOM in 2018. This initiative offers training in more than 150 skill sets in 10 emerging technologies.

Friends,

The new National Policy on Education also provides for NETF which emphasizes the maximum use of technology in education. We want all universities to be multi-disciplinary. We want to give flexibility to students so that they can complete courses anywhere easily through the easy entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credit. Every university in the country will have to work together to achieve all these goals. All the Vice Chancellors have to pay special attention to this.

A huge skill pool will be created in our universities for the new possibilities that we can create in the country. All of you are requested to work in this direction more expeditiously and the work should be completed within a stipulated time.

Friends,

The country is rapidly transforming the lives of the poor, Dalits, the victims, the exploited and the deprived following the footsteps of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb talked about equal opportunities and equal rights. Today, schemes like Jan Dhan accounts are leading to financial inclusion of every person and through DBT money is reaching directly to their accounts.  The BHIM UPI that was launched for the digital economy has become a great strength for the poor today. Today, every poor person is getting a house and free electricity connection. Similarly, work is in the progress to provide clean water to villages under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

When there was a corona crisis, the country stood up for the poor and the labourers. There is no discrimination among the poor and the rich in the world's largest vaccination program. This is the path shown by Babasaheb and these are his ideals.

Friends,

Babasaheb always emphasized on women empowerment and made many efforts in this direction. It is with this vision that the country is giving new opportunities to its daughters today. From toilets at home and schools to combat roles in the army, women are at the centre of every policy of the country today.

Similarly, the country is working to spread Babasaheb's message to the people. The places associated with Babasaheb are being developed as Panch Teerth.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to dedicate the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. Today, this Centre is emerging as a centre of research on social and economic issues and on Babasaheb's life.

Friends,

Today, we are close to 75 years of independence, and we have goals for the next 25 years. The country’s future, the future goals and successes of the country are linked to our youth. It is our youth who will fulfill these resolutions. We have to give opportunities to the youth of the country to the best of their ability.

I am confident that our collective resolve and conscious efforts of the education world will realise this dream of a New India.

Our efforts and the hard work will be our tribute to Babasaheb.

With these good wishes, I once again thank you all very much. I wish you all the very best on Navratri. I also extend my special greetings on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Many thanks.