India’s 75th birthday signified a historical turning point when we moved from the old to the new. Panchpran in Sanskrit terms mean the 5 vital life force. Yoga Vashishta says this divine vital air/prana does every movement in the body. Addressing the nation, on its 75th Independence Day from the Red Fort, PM Narendra Modi said we have to take, Panchpran: First, move forward with greater commitment and the resolve of a “developed” India; second, remove all evidence of slavery; third, be proud of our heritage; fourth, the strength of our unity; and fifth, the responsibilities of citizens, including PM and CM. In order to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence, the prime minister warned the citizens against becoming complacent about the accomplishments made in the previous 75 years and emphasised that the country must now concentrate its strength on completing the “Panchpran” in the following 25 years. He outlined an ambitious plan to transform India into a developed country by 2047 and made a fresh case for reducing reliance on imports and boosting indigenous manufacturing.
Given the quick pace of progress in the modern world, it is anticipated that New India’s construction will be completed earlier than anticipated. As a result, New India’s policy ecosystem cannot lag behind. By extension, public policy refers to goals related to the general welfare of the populace. Although the science of governing is large and diverse, it encourages organised activity, analytical thought, and unbiased evaluation like any other science.
Despite being one of the top ten largest economies in the world, with a strong entrepreneurial culture, a top-notch scientific community, and a scientific community that leads in innovation, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth and poverty reduction over the past decade have been impressive, more than a quarter of Indians (27.9%) still live in multidimensional poverty. Since more than 20 years ago, India has made significant investments in health, education, and poverty reduction.
These efforts have produced innovations and long-lasting partnerships, and India has received support from the Government of India (GOI) to adopt best practises and spread them to the general public. However, development disparities continue to exist, and this can be seen as an inclusivity issue. If marginalised groups are included in development initiatives, there will be a decrease in preventable infant and maternal deaths, an increase in basic literacy rates across the board, a decline in mortality from pollution for all groups, a reduction in multidimensional poverty, and a beginning of the most impoverished in India catching up to the development of the rest of the population.
India must work to escape the socalled “middle-income trap” and become a modern, developed nation between now and 2047, or roughly 25 years from now. Of course, India has advanced since the end of British colonial authority in a confusing, somewhat haphazard manner-certainly far more so than during the first 100 years of that colony. Majority of children attend elementary schools in urban slums and rural villages, mobile phones are now widely used, and ports, airports, and roads have all been extended to improve travel around the nation. The majority of villages have also been electrified. Due to COVID-19, poverty, which had decreased by more than 250 million people, has dramatically increased once more. However, this reversal is, presumably, just transitory, as it was during the Global Financial Crisis. The path to progress will not be simple with an economy and society devastated by the pandemic, especially in a nation with such extreme variety. The idea is that, given its size, India’s economy will probably rank third in the world by 2047, but it is still unclear whether it will be a prosperous nation, more inclusive, less unequal, or follow the path of Latin America.
India is the biggest force behind and supporter of development in the world, both from the government and the business sector. To meet what it deems to be the most urgent development requirements in India, the GOI regularly creates development strategies and assigns national initiatives a priority. Along with the GOI and other stakeholders, the Indian private sector develops, tests, and disseminates for-profit development innovations that enhance Indians’ quality of life. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recognises the difficulties of progress but seeks to balance the development of all sectors under the New India 2022 strategy. Development that is inclusive is a priority for the administration. The growth of rural areas is given considerable attention. To lessen poverty is the major goal. By improving rural sectors like power, drinking water, health, and education, poverty will be erased. Economic and social growth will receive special attention.
By improving rural basic resources and empowering women, the goal will be to increase employment. Programs for capacity building and training will be implemented in the villages. By 2022, the government hopes to have changed the way of life for those who reside in rural areas through programmes like the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, National Livelihood Mission, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, MNREGA, Skill Development Program, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission, and National Social Assistance Program, among others.
The government is concentrating on nonagricultural activities in rural areas such as sports, youth clubs, and education, skill development, bank credit, housing, energy, ODF, waste disposal, roads, internet, LPG, and social protection for the elderly, widowed, and crippled. Over the past 20 years, India has achieved significant progress in closing the economic gender gap and improving the lives of women, girls, and sexual minorities. Despite this progress, fewer women than ever before are working, especially urban educated women. Women are less likely than men to hold leadership positions in the government, business, and civil society. The richest one percent of people in 2017 received 73% of the wealth created, while the poorest half of Indians, who number 670 million, saw their wealth grow by a pitiful 1%. Employers in the private sector and elsewhere have a strong need for skilled workers, but due to low and unequal educational levels, this demand cannot be easily supplied, leaving the poor, women, and other oppressed groups with little opportunities for economic and social growth.
Similar to how air pollution and natural resource management have an inclusiveness gap, which causes displacement, ill health, and mortality for some populations by giving them access to and control over resources that are meant for other populations. In addition, those who are socially excluded suffer from climate change in a way that is disproportionate, emphasising the necessity of inclusive development strategies that take climate risks into account. According to studies, this kind of disparity slows down the long-term expansion of the economy. India has made considerable progress in eliminating the injustices brought about by the caste system, and the New India @ 75 policy of the GOI acknowledges the need to bring these caste-based excluded groups up to level with the general population in order to hasten their socioeconomic growth.
A greater number of Indians can participate in India’s development progress by including all populations—men, women, youth, SCs, STs, persons with disabilities, LGBTI and other minorities—in access to services, decision-making, and strengthened governance systems, thereby overcoming one of India’s last mile development challenges and ensuring that all Indians can prosper. As the major contributor to its development needs, the GOI is in charge of developing and implementing the strategy in all technological development areas.
In a similar way, the GOI has supported the development requirements of its neighbours at the regional level for a very long period. In India, civil society also has a significant impact on accountability, public discourse, public partnerships, and service delivery when government services are unable to satisfy all requirements. In order to complete the “image” of India’s dedication to development leadership, civil society, as a provider of livelihoods, essential services, and other requirements, continues to have a significant economic and social influence on Indian society.
In order for everyone to benefit from India’s progress and help the country move toward self-sufficiency, the government should make sure that all population groups are represented in health and education development projects. The motto “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” needs to be implemented in both state and federal governance. Numerous civil services require a comprehensive makeover, which must be founded on a citizen-centric framework and implemented using cutting-edge ICT solutions. The backdrop of developing technologies and the escalating complexity of the economy must be considered while designing administrative reforms. Two recent changes implemented by the Modi administration are the GST and IBC. Because of the epidemic, the IBC is currently stalled, but its resolutions were being contested in court even before the crisis. Implementation problems with the GST continue, and there is fierce opposition to the labour and agriculture regulations that are not up to par.
The reforms that India has benefited from since 1991 are even being undone by increased protectionism starting in 2018, which could result in India losing access to GVCs. The focus in agriculture must change to encouraging farmers to become “agripreneurs.” It is necessary to increase the size of the e-National Agriculture Markets (e-NAMs). This industry can grow thanks to a single national market and an export policy that is more liberal. Agriculture should be automated by the application of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and geographical data. In business, the emphasis must be on promoting MSMEs’ adoption of Industry 4.0.
There needs to be the establishment of small business research programmes to promote R&D in MSMEs. The encouragement of micro innovations will foster an innovative workplace culture. The BharatNet project is already under way and aims to close the digital divide in terms of information and communication infrastructure. Due to its recent efforts, the 5Gi standard— which is intended primarily to serve rural and distant places in developed countries—has been adopted. Dedicated Freight Corridors must be constructed, and the Bharatmala project must be accelerated in the broad sense of logistics and transportation. New building materials and techniques should be used to carry out these undertakings. This knowledge should then be applied to the development of an IT-enabled urban traffic management system as well as the GIS tracking and management of long-distance vehicles. Infrastructure for interior waterways and coastal shipping must also create an IT-enabled platform. The National Education Policy 2020 is being implemented in the areas of employment and education. It is necessary to provide re- and up-skilling training through businesses or jobless aid programmes. In addition to providing social security, this will quickly change the workforce. Affordable housing in urban areas has gotten a lot of attention in the field of health and wellness in order to enhance working conditions and assure equity. In the future, this might be combined with cutting-edge construction techniques and connected with a circular economy to give the economy a powerful boost.
By encouraging innovation in the production of inexpensive solutions, one can take advantage of the popularity of personal health and wellness technology. Utilizing and facilitating technology in local governance must be prioritised. In order to promote the use of information technology at the village level, the Digital Village programme must also be quickly scaled up. Some contend that crises are the only time India undergoes authentic and thorough reform. Acting out of fear of losing everything, politicians then take action. The situation sharpens one’s attention. Instead of undermining institutions to further nascent political agendas and dividing the populace to push one group or religion against another, India’s political class needs to widen its objectives and develop a new economic and social vision.
The way forward must be to free India from its interventionist state, to foster the innovativeness, flair, and talent of young, aspirational India through better education and health systems, and to build resilience with better preparedness for threats from climate change, natural disasters, and pandemics, with robust social assistance and insurance systems. South Asia, which has India at its centre, is regarded as one of the most dynamic regions in the globe due to its high, consistent growth rate and dense population. Existential water scarcity and extreme weather events, which climate change will intensify, combined with a lack of connectivity have the potential to scuttle recent advancements in the region.
The contrast between widespread multidimensional poverty and an active economic, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic Indian class, however, creates a rare opportunity to advance in self-reliance by attracting more Indian investment and galvanising India’s commitment and capacity to address important sectors that impede India’s development. Since innovative thinking has been successful in solving problems that conventional thought has failed to address, society today places a high value on it. The hardest task for New India will be to set up sustainable development for a sustainable future.