Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA.
Success has even more detractors than it has fathers. Accolades and brickbats have been the story of the Gujarat International Tech-Finance City or the GIFT City that has attracted eyeballs and envy in equal measures ever since its inception for it being the first-of-its-kind in India. Vision of a state (Gujarat) and business acumen of an infrastructure giant (IL&FS), took on the challenge when there was no one to pick the gauntlet. Sooner than expected, it rose to #6 in Asia and #10 amongst top 92 financial centres in the world. Praised by businesses in India and abroad, it has remained in headlines for the wow factor. Recently, there has been a concerted campaign making sensational claims against the project. Whether there is an element of truth or is it a case of jealousy, vendetta and detractors at work? Dr Gursharan Dhanjal, Editor, INCLUSION, speaks with Ajay Pandey, MD & Group CEO, GIFT City to find out:
Job creation, unarguably, is one of the most critical issues facing not only the Indian economy but also the world as a whole. Several governments have been elected on the promise of jobs and thrown out of the power if the promises are not met. Job creation is critically important not only from economic point of view but also it has wider impact from social indicators to law and order. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led alliance also won the election with a thumping majority in 2014 on the promise of according high priority to job creation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has been working on several front to create employment opportunities, as has been the case with the previous governments.
As a reforms historian, I had seen the situation of Indian economy in the last phase of Congress Government which was engulfed with policy paralysis and stagnant economy and therefore in reassuring the peoples' faith bestowed on him-Modi had to take several bold steps and one of it -is demonetization.
Given that Indian economy is fast becoming digital and from opening a bank account, to making financial transactions every facility, an Aadhaar Authentication is required. Even the Supreme Court has been working on making Aadhaar mandatory. Imagine my shock when I was told that Aadhaar can be hacked as it has very poor security. My eyes popped out when I saw the video as given below.
Over the last twenty years Government of India has launched a series of Centrally Sponsored Schemes with a view to promote development, reduce poverty and reach basic services in education and health, etc to the common people. While the individual programmes have been evaluated several times showing that in general these are better implemented in states with stronger political leadership and better capacity for delivery, no comparative study is available to my mind that will explain why in the same state some programmes are more successful than others in achieving their goals, or why some schemes do not work well even in states associated with better governance.
Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA. However challenges still remain in some vital sectors, such as water, marketing of fruits and vegetables, skill development, education and health.
The pervasive theme this year was clearly that of 'Maximum Governance, Minimum Government' and the jury was happy to learn that all the states, which had sent in their nominations, stood firmly behind this talisman. The states sent in their entries under a variety of classifications. These were Health, Finance, e-Governance, Transport, Agriculture & Rural Development, Governance, Municipalities and Education.