new thrust

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Mar 2018 11:17:26

Nakshatra Pushya 11H 25M

Moon Karka (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Chaitra Shukla Tithi Ekadashi 25H 29M
Bhadra starts 14H.35M, ends 25H.29M
Muslim Rajab 9th Hijree 1439

DELIVERING his monthly radio talk ‘Man Ki Baat’ on Sunday, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi sought to give a new thrust, a new dimension to the country’s development process where the poor will occupy the pivotal point. Now onward, therefore, the planning process and the implementation part will be focussed on the upliftment of the poorer sections of the society. In the Prime Minister’s assertion of ‘New India’ belonging to the poor there is a realisation that in the last nearly 70 years of the so called planned development, lopsided progress of a few sections of the society has been pronounced. This has created an unwelcome imbalance among sections of society and there is a very clear divide between the rich and poor with rich getting richer by the day but the poor remaining consigned to stagnation in terms of their social and economic status. The Prime Minister has, therefore, stressed the need to remove this imbalance by offering equal opportunities to all sections of the society to progress and uplift themselves higher in economic and social ladder.

In his speech the Prime Minister has referred to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s thrust on manufacturing to generate jobs for the millions of needy, raise their incomes and generate demand for goods and services and thereby spur economic activity within the country. Equally, Mahatma Gandhi too was emphatic on giving thrust to rural employment but his stress was on encouraging village and cottage industries to offer employment opportunities to village youth. Thus his emphasis was on making village as the focal point of economic activity and development. Both Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi had visualised the need to encourage manufacturing activities within the country for creating jobs but with a differing approach.

Prime Minister Mr. Modi has pointed to the great foresight of these visionary leaders and in a way has drawn attention to the imbalance that has built in in the Indian society on social and economic level. Hence his stress on the need to take steps to correct the anomaly that could prove harmful in the long run if not attended to immediately. Obviously the Prime Minister must have in mind recent reports of international agencies pointing to the fact that the gap between the rich and poor has widened enormously in the last more than two decades.
After the economic reforms of the ’90s of the last millennium, India has no doubt progressed to the extent that it is now being regarded as one of the fastest growing and among the five top economies of the world. With the liberalisation and economic reforms phenomenal changes have taken place in the country with some sections of the society, especially the middle class, climbing up the economic ladder fast and business and industry people finding new avenues for investment. These sections have benefited immensely from the reforms process. Manufacturing has taken a big leap, services sector is booming. All these are the positives flowing out of the reforms process.

However, though manufacturing has grown by leaps and bound and the NDA Government is laying stress on encouraging manufacturing under its ‘Make in India’ mission, it has not been able to generate jobs proportionate to the investment that has gone into it. The truth is that corporates have tended to prefer automation than labour-intensive manufacturing processes. And with the Artificial Intelligence threatening to make a big headway, there is the danger of jobs shrinking further.
In the light of these developments, it is time to have a fresh look at Gandhiji’s concept of use of appropriate technology and encouragement to village industry to create rural jobs.