A chain, they say, is only as strong as its weakest link. How then are societies and economies grow successfully without safeguarding and strengthening their weakest members?
Under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), India along with other developing countries, has committed to eradicate extreme poverty. The deadline to achieve the goal is 31st December 2015. However, according to a recent United Nations report, nearly 300 million people still live in extreme poverty in India and face deprivation in terms of access to basic services, including education, health, water and sanitation.
I am in politics for over 35 years. Since early days we have been talking about poverty alleviation. "Garibi Hatao" (remove poverty) slogan was given in early 1970s. Since then a number of schemes have been introduced aimed at removing poverty. I am not saying that nothing has happened. But surely the pace has not been good.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines poverty as "the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions." However, poverty is not simply characterised by a lack of adequate income. It has far reaching implications.
I appreciate that the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has announced the "Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India" and also brought out the policy framework for rapid and effective adoption.
In India, we are encountering a unique situation. We decide on what technologies to be used without sometimes having a clarity on what are the services that we intend to deliver. It is dichotomous. Isn't it? It is my long-held belief that, it is government's job to define services and leave the technology choices to the market forces.
The debate over technology choices is not new. We have been talking about this for at least 15-20 years. Innovations have far surpassed this debate. Innovations are happening so fast that it has made the technology choice debate redundant. What technology to be used would be best determined by the markets and the users. It cannot and should not be done by regulation or regulators.
India's Growth Resurgence: Sectoral Issues and Governance Risks, jointly authored by Yerram Raju, M Sitarama Murthy and Subbaiah Singala looks into detail on the frontal sectoral issues and governance risks, India is facing as a leading emerging economy.