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Laying the foundations of the Vishwaguru

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Teen Speak

Highlighting the developmental challenges faced by India to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

At the stroke of midnight, 1947, India did not only awake to life and freedom. This newborn, zealous country ventured willingly and knowingly into a world of challenges and uncertainties. A rather disconcerting question thus haunted the minds of Indians across the country: How was an India so long governed by British institutions, propelled by British ideas and sustained by British industries, to confront the many hindrances that come into its path of progress and evolution?  

The answer, though, has been satisfactory. As history has testified over the years, India has blossomed remarkably well from a third-world country to one of the fastest-growing economies. But, with the dawn of the century, we are facing new deterrents in our course of becoming the Vishwaguru. Today, our generation is fortunate enough to pick up the baton and chart solutions for an Aatma nirbhar and resurgent India, an India that will truly be independent by the virtue of its flourishing industries, conscious citizens and resilient infrastructure.

On that note, presenting before you three vital domains, maturing in which can take our country a step further towards self-reliance, and independence, in the true sense.

 Nucleus-Industry

In the 19th century, English author Charles Dickens had said, “Industry is the soul of business and the keystone of prosperity.” Indeed, the story of industrial development has an imperative role to play in determining the economic development of any nation. Sadly, even after 70 years of independence, India has not been able to achieve the desired results that would on a par with its immense potential. Our industries today find themselves at crossroads. 

 As of 2020, India ranks 63rd out of 190 countries as per World Bank’s Doing Business Report. Though we have moved up by 14 spots from the previous year, it is evident from our position that a lot more needs to be done to achieve our target of India becoming a global manufacturing hub. While the government has made concerted efforts to give a fillip to Indian industries with schemes like Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, Make in India, Start-up India and PLI (Production Linked Incentives); issues like difficulties in land acquisition, poor infrastructure, insufficient local demand and erratic power supply still need to be addressed. The key lies in acknowledging these hurdles and coming up with solutions that can be implemented as per the requirements of each state, owing to the heterogeneity of geography and customs in India.

 Industrial reforms also include going beyond the conventional industries like textiles, I.T. or gems and jewellery and advancing the new sunrise sectors. Being a major food producer, sectors like food processing have immense potential. A wide variety of high-value crops can be grown for the industry by harnessing the diverse climate of our country. Moreover, the tourism industry has not prospered to the extent it could have in a country as historically and geographically gifted as ours. Besides employment generation, tourism can be utilised to capture the minds of people across the globe into the local tunes of India to encourage the indigenous industries of each state. 

 

Calling card for Innovation 

The incomparability of the Indian brain is something that cannot be overlooked. From Aryabhatta and Ramanujan to S N Bose and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, our country has been graced by the presence of such inspirational individuals, men with extraordinary talent and thinking that their like may never be found again. Despite all this, Indian innovation is yet to receive a robust impulse, a driving force that steers this ingenious country even further in the path of prosperity.

 To start with, there is a need to pay more attention to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), owing to the massive employment that it provides to the people in our country. Thus, this sector has an abundance of untapped creativity and if we can utilise this efficiently, it will accelerate technological development and lead to industrial up-gradation. Furthermore, the introduction of innovation as a subject in school can help India develop its own culture of innovation, inherent in each student and learner of the country. Today, India stands at the cusp of demographic dividend, with its economically productive population going above the 60 per cent mark. Initiatives like the AIM (Atal Innovation Mission), INSPIRE scholarships and Smart India Hackathons have contributed significantly in encouraging young learners to innovate at the grass-root level. While technological advancement and scientific endeavours are the keys to innovation in any country, we must not restrict ourselves solely to these fields and strive for innovation in every facet of the economy, be it marketing, administration or education.

 Win-frastructure

As American economist Joseph Stiglitz asserts, “In developing countries, lack of infrastructure is a far more serious barrier to trade and tariffs.” The development of infrastructure is thus a precondition for eradicating poverty and unemployment in any country.

Mahatma Gandhi had once rightly said, “Real India lives in its villages.” As per the World Bank, the rural population in India is reported at 65. 5%. Establishing well-built and well-planned infrastructure in rural areas is thus an issue of growing concern. Despite having one of the largest road networks in the world, about 2.7 million kilometres of the rural road network is in poor condition and most of the rural roads are not all-weather roads. It is time that adequate attention is paid to the rural infrastructure to improve the living standards of people in these areas. Moreover, infrastructure should be built keeping in mind environmental concerns, it must be given environmental clearance speedily and investment in infrastructure should be rapid.

 Overall, endeavouring to achieve these objectives is crucial for us to fare well in the contemporary era. What we require is appropriate policy intervention accompanied by efforts by industrialists to improve output. With this done, in this fast-moving and restless world, India can be the soothing future, the guide that leads humanity, the world-master.

 

Bhuvi Pandey
AMITY International School, Saket
New Delhi

Bhuvi Pandey
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