Seventy-seven years post-independence, India’s narrative has been one of paradoxical development. On one hand, it has emerged as an industrially advanced nation and a global IT leader, achieving significant strides towards food security.
On the other hand, the basic necessities of life still remain elusive for a considerable segment of the population.
In this context, a recent report by Indian management consultancy firm Primus Partners, which gathers insights from more than 2047 individuals across 25 states, reveals a complex narrative of aspiration and need. While it underscores that 58% of respondents urgently require access to essential services like shelter, education, healthcare, and meaningful employment, an inspiring 70% express strong confidence in India’s potential to transform into a developed nation, or ‘Viksit Bharat’, by the year 2047.
As India eyes the landmark year 2047, marking a century of independence, the aspirations of its people are clear: access to comprehensive healthcare, modern infrastructure, and quality education. These aspirations form the cornerstone of what constitutes a developed nation. The government’s role in realizing these aspirations cannot be overstated, necessitating targeted initiatives across various sectors.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for robust healthcare systems. The report emphasizes universal health coverage (UHC) to ensure equitable access to healthcare services without imposing financial hardship, highlighting the importance of recognizing health as a fundamental right. The government must prioritize the strengthening of healthcare infrastructure, ensuring equitable distribution of health resources across the nation.
To harness India’s demographic dividend effectively and ensure today’s students transition into meaningfully employed adults, a significant overhaul of the education system is imperative. There is a need for a shift towards integrating vocational training and continuous learning, emphasizing the need for holistic development over mere job acquisition.
Innovative approaches such as the gamification of education and the creation of a strong teacher pipeline, aimed at equipping students to meet future challenges and align with global trends, thereby moulding them into future change-makers, are the need of the hour.
Furthermore, the manufacturing sector plays a pivotal role in generating employment opportunities and the core sector is poised to lead job creation by 2047. India’s blueprint for the future involves a critical transition to an innovation-driven manufacturing sector, spotlighting key industries such as medical equipment, industrial machinery, aerospace, semiconductors, and electronic components. This strategic shift is crucial not just for job creation but also for elevating India’s GDP per capita, which in turn, is expected to boost wages and disposable income across various sectors.
The empowerment of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities through infrastructure development and technological access is pivotal. The government’s Smart Cities Mission should extend to harnessing the potential of these cities as new hubs for growth. Investments in infrastructure, education, and local businesses are vital for urban transformation and inclusive development.
Achieving development by 2047 necessitates the empowerment of key demographic segments: women and farmers. There is a need for significant investment in childcare infrastructure and the implementation of subsidies for family-friendly policies, aiming to bolster women’s participation in the workforce. Concurrently, for strategies to double farmers’ income, it is important to enhance market infrastructure, expand crop insurance schemes, and offer skill development programs as essential for sustainable agricultural practices and economic prosperity.
A critical observation across respondents in the report was the need for responsive and transparent governance. Adopting a bottom-up strategy that emphasizes robust local governance and localized development is imperative. This approach will ensure that the diverse needs of India’s population are met, fostering growth at the grassroots level and acting as a catalyst for national vision advancement.
The Primus Partners report reveals an optimistic outlook among the Indian populace, with 63% envisioning India as a global leader by 2047 in trade, technology, and economy. This optimism is particularly pronounced in rural and poorer households, presenting an opportunity for the government to harness this momentum.
This optimism, shared by a substantial majority, points out a prevailing belief in the nation’s capacity to overcome current challenges and achieve significant socio-economic milestones in the coming decades. It reflects a collective vision of progress that transcends the immediate hurdles of today. Through targeted initiatives and responsive governance, India can indeed fulfil its potential as a Vishwaguru, leading by example on the global stage.
(The author is the Co-founder and MD of Primus Partners; Views are personal)