Place : Jaipur, Date : 9-01-2012
Hon’ble Union Minister, my colleague Chief Ministers,Distinguished Overseas Indians, Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is always a pleasure to return to this event year on year. The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is a unique platform which gives us an opportunity to deliberate the development agenda with the Overseas Indians. This interaction gives a world’s view on our development process.
With the efforts of all of us, India has emerged in the frontline of the world economy. It is not only the efforts of industrious people residing in this country but also the support and dedication of all of you – India's sons and daughters – that has enabled us to grow faster. This event provides us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to make India stronger each day, in every sphere.
India has the largest Diaspora in the world after China, estimated at 25 million, as per UNDP 2010 report. India is also one of the largest ‘sending’ nations in Asia, with an emigration rate of 0.8%, of which 72% work in other Asian countries. Also, as per UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the number of Indian students abroad tripled from 51,000 in 1999 to over 153,000 in 2007, making India second after China among the world’s largest ‘sending’ countries for tertiary students. This includes a large number of Gujaratis, who have travelled to foreign lands and made it big.
The Gujarati Diaspora forms an important part of the great Indian Diaspora. The Non-resident Gujaratis are now spread all around the globe and are settled in various countries including USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia and the Gulf. Being an important component of the host societies, providing services in sectors as diverse as medicine, engineering, hospitality, retail, information technology and financial services, they are making immense contribution to the socio-economic, cultural and political life of the host countries.
The Diaspora is very special to Gujarat. Residing in distant lands, its members have succeeded spectacularly in their chosen professions by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work. What is more, they have retained their emotional, cultural and spiritual links with the land of their origin. It is manifest in the Diaspora’s desire to make emotional and socio-economic contribution and investment in Gujarat by promoting and establishing hospitals, schools, colleges and various other public assets. They have successfully lobbied in their host countries for foreign investment in India and in influencing policies that are in India’s interests. Their role in getting the latest technology and their contribution to the enrichment of religious and cultural life cannot be exaggerated.
Friends!, when we say India is emerging, we must see that every Indian benefits from the growth. In fact, all economies around the world are putting stress on inclusive growth today. We all know what inclusive growth means and how important it is. But the million dollar question is ‘How do we achieve that?’Unfortunately, there are very few models left on which we can rely. Many philosophies have been tested. Many techniques have been tried. The human race has mastered how to make anything and it also knows how to destroy it. But when it comes to “inclusive growth”, no strategy, no science, no management theory has proved to be enough. How do we overcome this? I think we need a major shift in the way we have been thinking. We need to think afresh. We need to change our strategies and theories from the roots.
I strongly feel that the biggest problem of the present model of development is that it is based on exploitation. The way natural resources are depleting, the way the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, the way consumerism is flourishing, the way ill-will among nations is increasing; are all due to this basic lacunae of our present model. This cannot sustain.
We must bring a paradigm shift from this model of exploitation to the model of nurturing and fostering.We have to find and exchange technologies which ensure optimum utilization of natural resources. We have to find ways that ensure maximum satisfaction and value for the consumers and workers, not just the producers.We need to broaden our horizon. We cannot limit the terms ‘development’ and ‘growth’ to economic development. Moreover, we also need to think beyond the present needs.A model with a holistic view of human life and the surroundings is essential for our sustainable development- a model that combines the people, resources and amenities; a model that combines the past, the present and the future; a model that does not just consume but also regenerates resources. I can say that such models are available in many emerging nations. I have the humility to say that India has the best answer to this. I am proud to say that the great son of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi has showed us a way in this direction.
We, in India, have been taught “SarveJanahaSukhinoBhavantu” (let all be happy).We have been taught to worship the elements of nature. Serving the deprived and the disadvantaged has been imbibed in our social traditions. These thoughts have been embedded in our epics and scriptures since ancient times. And our modern Mahatmagaveus a golden rule for translating these values and concepts into action. Gandhiji gave a one liner. He said, “If you are in a dilemma, just remember the face of the last person who is going to be affected by your decision”. ‘UNTO THE LAST’ is thus the best guiding principle for inclusive growth.However, we have misinterpreted it to mean just ‘trickle down’ of wealth and development. This is not enough. Just distribution is not enough. It will not reach till the last person. It will not reach to him at the time when he needs it. It will not be available in the manner and form in which he needs it. What we need is models of development where people are not just beneficiaries. Rather they are made equal partners in the process of development. People should be involved right from the beginning of the development cycle, not just at the end. And that is why in Gujarat we are working on the mantra “SabkaSaath, SabkaVikaas” (Development of all with co-operation of all). This is a total shift from the traditional approach wherein the government is perceived as the giver and the people as takers. In Gujarat, efforts for inclusive growth are made not only through Government policies but by the action of the society as a whole. Development is with involvement of the private sector through PPP projects, through ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (people’s involvement) and with better involvement of public servants.
Let me give you a few examples. We have not only created robust and world class infrastructure like ports & roads on PPP basis, but have also given access to good medical facilities to the poor, through Chiranjeevi & Balsakha Yojana, by involving private sector gynaecologists and paediatricians.This has saved lives of many mothers and infants in recent years. In the water sector, we have created lakhs of water harvesting structures like farm ponds, boribunds and checkdams through ‘jan bhagidari’ We are also involving the community in helping the poor like the drive for collection of toys for poor children, giving food to the children of Aanganwadis (Teethi Bhojan), collecting milk for the poor and so on. We encourage the public servants to take up social development projects under the ‘Swantah Sukhay’ scheme. My cabinet colleagues, bureaucrats and their families enjoy being a part of drives like Kanya Kelavani Rath Yatra (for promoting girl child education) and drive for promoting quality education (Gunotsav). Our agriculture scientists and other administrative staff tread in villages for a month in scorching heat to educate our farmers about modern scientific practices in agriculture during Krishi Mahotsav.
And the results are there for all to see. Gujarat is consistently achieving double digit growth in GDP since last so many years. The State which was never known for agriculture development has now achieved an unprecedented double digit growth in agriculture against an average national growth of 2 to 3%. The ground water tables are rising due to the water conservation drive. As per Census 2011, the State has shown more than 13 per cent increase in female literacy in the last decade, one of the highest among Indian States. School drop-out rate has reduced drastically by 29.77 per cent. These are but a few examples of the success of our approach to inclusive growth.
The best of intentions can go haywire without efficient delivery mechanisms. To address this, we organise Garib Kalyan Melas to deliver assistance under various schemes under one umbrella. This has led to time bound and efficient delivery, ending the scope for middlemen or manipulation. We have decentralised our administration upto Taluka (sub district) level and are reinvigorating the grass root administration through the concept of Apno Taluko, Vibrant Taluko (our sub-district be vibrant).
One factor that has contributed substantially to the success of our robust yet inclusive model is e–governance. It has been a great enabler for efficient and transparent delivery. Having connected all our villages through WAN and broadband, we track the health of mothers and new-borns with e-mamta, we track the school drop-out rates with software, our farmer knows the profile of his soil through soil health card, we redress the grievances of common citizens through SWAGAT online. We are now moving on to M-governance by sending SMS alerts to citizens for immunisation and other services.
Friends !, when we talk of inclusive growth, we also pay special attention on certain less developed sections and regions. Schemes were being run for these sections since years together. But they were fragmented among multiple departments of the government with the result that both the government and the beneficiaries were clueless regarding the actual meaningful impact on the life of the beneficiaries. We have addressed this through a unique convergence approach. We have clubbed the benefits under various schemes under a package so that what the beneficiaries get is more meaningful and holistic rather than just for the sake of it. Our flagship Programmes of Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for Tribal belts, Sagarkhedu Sarvangi Vikas Yojana for Coastal belts and Garib Samruddhi Yojanafor Urban poor take a holistic view of the needs of the people.
You will be happy to know that inclusiveness has been so well engrained in our approach and systems that even our Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summits, which are more known for attracting huge investments and participation of who’s who of the business world, have a special focus on social sectors like health care, urban poor, education, women empowerment etc. In the Vibrant Summitof 2011, the limelight projectwas creation of Mission Mangalam for empowerment of poor, especially the women. The State Government and the Corporates have joined hands and created Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Ltd. (GLPC)to run this programme. It seeks to mobilize the poor into Self Help Groupsand build capacities, nurture skills, assist them with micro finance and proper market linkages. You will also be happy to know that more than 50% of the 8000 plus MOUs signed during the last Vibrant Summit are for medium and small enterprises.
Friends !, our model of inclusive growth not only takes care of the present but also the future generations. Inclusiveness thus Includes Sustainability.Gujarat has set up a dedicated Department for Climate Change – the first provincial Government in the world to do so. We are focussing on non renewable energy in a big way. We are setting up a 500 MW Solar Park. Wehave signedPPA for 1000 MW of Solar Power. With an installed capacity of 2255 MW of wind power, weare contributing more than 4500 million units of electricity. More importantly,we are also simultaneously focussing on conserving energy through technologies that ensure higher energy efficiency, on reduction of transmission and distribution losses and on adopting green technologies. I have listed some thoughts on this in my book on climate change which is titled ‘Convenient Action: Gujarat’s response to Challenges of Climate Change’.Our mass transportation project BRTS in Ahmedabad has been acclaimed worldwide. Our state-wide gas and water grids are not mere distribution systems but also a measure to reduce distribution losses. We are popularising micro irrigation in a big way to save water and energy. This is how we include climate justice for the posterity in our model of inclusive growth.
It is quite gratifying that our efforts in governance are being applauded the world over. We have received more than 200 national and international awards in last nine years for Good Governance. We are getting such awards on weekly basis nowin recognition of excellence in various fields. However, we treat these awards as another milestone in our journey. They are only indicators that we are in the right direction. We want to do still better because we want India to do better. The Diaspora has arich experience of systems, disciplines and work culture at the global level. Many of them also have an understanding of our local issues. Let us bring the best available in the world to India to bring more and more smiles on the face of every Indian.