"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." This famous quote of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who himself turned his dream into a reality as a nuclear scientist and has "ignited" many minds with his ideas, is perhaps the most appropriate theme for present day India aspiring to become an economic and knowledge superpower.It is the culmination of the dreams of 1.2 billion people that has led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ideate his plan of making the $2 trillion economy a $20 trillion behemoth within the next two decades, eradicating poverty and making India a knowledge society.
Mumbai, 11th June 2015: Focus on innovations, inventions and fresh thinking in the areas like education, health, food and housing can help India become $20 trillion economy from the current around $2 trillion, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said at the 40th Skoch Summit here Thursday.
It's really a pity and a challenge to the system particularly those who are in power, that even after 67 years of Independence, we have a lot of people living below poverty line. We have issues like rural-urban divide and serious economic disparities. Then we hear of farmers' suicides and sometimes of hunger deaths here and there. And then we get criticisms about the system not being sensitive to the vulnerable sections.
It has been 10 years after P V Narasimha Rao, the country's Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996, died. India's history would have been different had Rao led the Congress to re-election in the 1996 general elections. Had it won, the Congress might have had the real chance to break loose of the Nehru-Gandhi family's vice-like grip. However, what followed a few years after the 1996 elections was political theatre. Within months, Rao had to quit as president of party, but his downfall was not complete until the representative of the first family, Sonia Gandhi, was anointed party chief in 1998.
As Narendra Modi government is rolling out various initiatives to accelerate growth and ameliorate the standard of living of the 1.2 billion people, Sameer Kochhar's new book titled Defeating Poverty: Jan Dhan and Beyond should be an eye-opener for policymakers of yesteryears as well as those at the helm right now. While poverty eradication has been a national priority since the day India attained Independence, the country still has about 300 million people surviving on subsistence income.
On 28th January 2014, P Chidambaram had said, Modi's knowledge of economics can be put on back of a postage stamp. This is when I was completing my book ModiNomics. Having interacted intensely with both Modi and Chidambaram and having the highest of regards for both of them, I wrote in the book: '…opinions (of Chidambaram and Modi) may be divergent, but economics is the same…'