The corona outbreak may call for pragmatic re-caliberation of our vision of development
There is no doubt that every nation and every organisation needs a vision which stimulates and motivates all segments towards growth. 2020, became an important milestone for all Indians because of two reasons one, in the year 2000 a high level committee was formed at Planning Commission which submitted a 100 page document , ‘India Vision 2020’ after 2 years of deliberations with 30 experts from different fields and , two, a book ‘India 2020’ by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr YS Rajan, which translated the dream of the erudite technocrat and ex-President for the common man. After all both gave a new hope to India and the Indians to look on to a new India in next 20 years. The Planning Commission report said in its opening pages that ‘vision statement can neither be a prediction of what will actually occur nor a wish list’ but India 2020 became a buzz word on the lips of every Indian after the report was released in December 2002. The report titled ‘India Vision 2020’ delved into seven chapters namely human development , Infrastructure, uncommon opportunities, energy environment , globalisation and peace and security with each chapter containing some data and its extrapolations for coming two decades. Its been 20 years now and as we herald into 2020 it’s important to glance into what the experts had envisaged after two years of deliberations and what we have achieved on ground. A non-critical review of it is utmost important to be able to exercise due diligence in predicting future vision statements. Few milestones which were enumerated in the report are, one ‘India should become the 4th largest economy by 2020’ , two, forest and tree cover should have grown from 71 million hectares to 83 million hectares cover i.e 33% of the area and generate millions of rural jobs, three, power generation capacity should have risen from 101000 MW to 292000 MW by 2020, four, the vision statement accepted that we had 34 million unemployed job seekers and envisaged elimination of unemployment by 2020, five , achieving 100% enrolment of children between 6 and 14 years age group is achievable by 2020, six, urban air pollution will be under control owing to strict enforcement of emission standards and use of ethanol blended motor fuel and seven , India will become predominately a service economy by 2020. Overtly, some of the goals seem to have been achieved but most of them seem to have been missed with narrow to huge margins. Its time that the Niti Ayog analyses this document of the erstwhile Planning Commission in detail before commencing any work on the new vision document. Though this document was comprehensive there are many more areas which required attention and vision which could have been incorporated. Though all countries have their vision and mission but not all countries have formulated such national level documents. In the very recent past, China released its vision statement ‘Vision 2050’. In this Xi Jinping, envisaged two stage goals. One, to become a most innovative nation by 2035 and two, to become a nation with global influence by 2050.The way China was effected by the Corona Virus, it will have to see how it would have effected its economy. As per reports China has started its manufacturing units at full capacity but due to worldwide lockdowns, it will have to balance out the production with the market demand. That may not be an easy task too.
As the India heralded into 2020 , the nation and the world was hit by the blow of Corona Virus. Its time to move into calibrating pragmatic, achievable vision which takes into account the losses to the various sectors of the economy namely, tourism, travel, agriculture, manufacturing, education , construction and many more. This outbreak has also opened our eyes into the inadequateness of our healthcare sector. At present the healthcare sector in India is mainly having only government or private sector. It’s time the govt thinks of introducing PPP mode into healthcare sector which would be able to support the government in the times of national crisis.
However, as we move through the turbulent 2020 and in lockdown period its not time to sit back but time to start preparing our ‘Vision 2040/2050’. The body to formulate it must be established soon and it must have a team of visionaries and not merely experts. The ‘India vision 2040/50’ in addition to the existing seven chapters of the present vision document must include on the top the Human Security, space exploration and research including space weaponry, defence preparedness and defence self-sufficiency, industries including strategic industry, border security and internal security, pragmatic evaluation for poverty elimination, literacy and employment, new role of DRDO/ PSUs, health education as part of the education curriculum, pragmatic research and upliftment of Indian medicine system, physical fitness standards of our youth and sports policy and vision to make its mark in this field. The new document must envisage the strategic dimension and recommend the thrust areas in making India a ‘Nation to reckon with’ in the region. As we wade through the tough period of nation lockdown we must open our thoughts for a quick comeback.