Thursday, June 30, 2022

Ajay Chhibber on 'Making India a Prosperous and Happy Nation @100' at JGU

IANS | March 30, 2022 12:28 PM

SONIPAT: Dr Ajay Chhibber, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at George Washington University gave a Distinguished Public Lecture on 'Making India a Prosperous and Happy Nation @100' at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU).

Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Dean of the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Prof. R. Sudarshan, expressed their delight in hosting Dr Chhibber at the university campus, which has opened after two years of the pandemic.

Dr Chhibber, who is also the author of "Unshackling India: Hard Truths and Clear Choices for Revival" (with Salman Aneez Soz), emphasized that India needs to achieve sustainable prosperity with inclusive and sustainable development for reducing income- gender-, caste-, or religion-related disparities. India must reshape itself into a "genuinely secular and caring society with a state that belongs to the people and not an overbearing state that stifles innovation, ingenuity, and initiative".

Dr Chhibber proposed solutions to six challenges that impede India's prosperity and future growth.

First, India needs to "reduce the scope and reach of the state (the government) and strengthen its capabilities...India needs to be unshackled from an overbearing state trying to do too much and doing much of it, in my opinion, badly."

Second, there is an inter-dependence of health & nutrition, education, and gender inequality related issues. "India must also build up world-class universities and research centres, must allow greater freedom and involvement of the private sector and build and run these freely while using public funds to support, not supplant them".

Third, the male-female sex ratio continues to decline, with female infanticide numbers being on the rise, "especially in the heartland states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat." India must renew efforts to ensure that women's economic, legal, and political exploitation ends.

Fourth, India's economy must be re-engineered for more inclusive growth and job creation.

Fifth, India must "pursue next-generation reforms for realising the demographic dividend". A strong policy focus on urbanisation and infrastructure development issues is required.

Lastly, "India's political class must broaden its goal ... instead of weakening institutions to serve narrow political goals by creating divisions in the society to pit one group or religion against another." India must join hands with the rest of the world to address climate change issues, promising a better future to the coming generations

"Bending the arc of India's trajectory, over the next 25 years, when India will celebrate 100 years of independence, will surely make India an economic power of the 21st century and a much happier country that all Indians deserve."

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