The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today said that corruption is biggest hurdle to inclusive growth and called upon the youth to support those who are fighting to eradicate the malice of corruption from the country.
Interacting with public policy students at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre for Leadership, Policy, and Governance of the Indian Institute of Management in Ranchi, the Vice President said that corruption deepens inequalities and increases poverty and obstructs the growth prospects of the nation.
Asking the youth to take a lead role in fighting corruption, he suggested the use of new technologies to bring transparency and accountability at all levels.
Describing the future as digital, Shri Naidu expressed happiness that the government is connecting all Gram Panchayats with high speed broadband under the project – Bharatnet.
Emphasising the good governance, Shri Naidu said that there should be no gap between policy intent and policy implementation.
“The intended benefits of a program must reach the people in time,” he added.
Calling students as future leaders of the nations, the Vice President asked them to find innovative solutions to country’s problems such as illiteracy, poverty, malnutrition etc.
Shri Naidu called the current slowdown in economy as temporary and exuded confidence that India is well on path to become a five trillion-dollar economy.
Lauding the government for bold reforms such as GST, IBC etc., he maintained that these bold reform measures will lead to long term gains for the economy and people.
Calling for inclusive growth, the Vice President said that development should reach every person. Only then it has meaning.
“Each citizen should feel that he is a stakeholder in development journey of the nation”, he said.
Asking students to become ‘smart leaders’ of tomorrow, Shri Naidu said that the true leadership is characterized by 4Cs – Character, Capacity, Caliber and Conduct.
He asked students to innovate and become entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The government has created a very supportive start up ecosystem through various schemes such as Startup India, Standup India, MUDRA etc, he said and asked the youth to take full advantage of it.
Asking everyone to use the ‘freedom of speech’ judiciously, the Vice President said that dissent is welcome in democracy but not the disintegration of the country.
He also said that Parliamentarians should debate, discuss and decide the things instead of disruption and obstruction in the house.
Expressing satisfaction over the media reports indicating the improvement in the functioning of Rajya Sabha, Shri Naidu said that all legislatures should work constructively and productively. Else they risk losing the trust of people, he cautioned them.
Shri Naidu said that violence has no place in democracy and the Ballot is more powerful than Bullet. “Everybody should follow rule of law and respect constitution in letter and spirit”, he added.
Pointing out that the aim of good governance is to ensure that the fruits of development and governance reach every section, especially those at the lowest rung of the economic and social ladder, the Vice President called for decentralizing powers and responsibilities to local bodies in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.
He said that transferring funds, functions, and functionaries to these institutions would bring in governance closer to people and enhance their credibility and effectiveness.
Shri Naidu, while expressing his concern over the increasing urban-rural divide and inequalities in quality healthcare, education and other areas, urged the Centre and States to work with the spirit of Team India to address such challenges.
He wanted the bureaucracy and administrative setup to embrace technology, adapt themselves to the changing global trends and make constant changes in accordance with local needs to provide seamless delivery of public services.
On the occasion, the Vice President compliment IIM Ranchi for establishing a Policy and Research Center in memory of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said that Shri Vajpayee was a role model for all those in public life.
He said many such Centres were needed at India’s premier management and technology institutions to nurture professionals in all aspects of governance and public policy.
Describing Shri Vajpayee as a true statesman, Shri Naidu said that the late Prime Minister had successfully helmed a multi-party coalition governments and accelerated the pace of reforms and had provided efficient and effective governance. “Atal Ji was a great democrat, an outstanding Parliamentarian, and a great poet,” he added.
The Vice President opined that Atal Ji’s vision for the country came out in full bloom in the form of several initiatives for infrastructure development and economic reforms.
“He brought connectivity revolution in country through initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Golden Quadrilateral” the Vice President added.
The Governor of Jharkhand, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, Chairman, IIM Ranchi, Shri. Praveen Shankar Pandya, Director, IIM Ranchi, Prof. Shailendra Singh, Convener-ABVCLPG, IIM Ranchi, Prof. Gaurav M. Marathe, and students and faculty members were present at the event.
Following is the full text of the speech –
“I am delighted to be present here at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre for Leadership, Policy, and Governance of the Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi and share my thoughts with you on “Leadership and Good Governance-- India and Global Context.”
First, let me compliment IIM Ranchi for establishing such a Policy and Research Center in the name of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a great son of the soil and a role model for all those in public life.
He was one of the tallest visionary leaders and a true statesman, who had successfully helmed a multi-party coalition government and accelerated the pace of reforms and had provided efficient and effective governance. Atal Ji was a great democrat, an outstanding Parliamentarian, and a great poet.
As Prime Minister, Atal Ji’s vision for the country came out in full bloom in the form of several initiatives for infrastructure development and economic reforms.
India carried out the second underground nuclear test in 1998 when Atal Ji was the Prime Minister, 24 years after the first such test. While several leading countries acknowledged India’s right in undertaking such nuclear test. Atal Ji steered the nation admirably over the hurdles that were imposed by a few till they were lifted. India also scored a decisive victory in the Kargil War forcing the infiltrators to retreat in 1999. Atal Ji not only knew how to smile but also to be tough when warranted.
As Prime Minister Atal Ji pioneered a ‘connectivity revolution’ in the country giving an unprecedented fillip to building of national highways, air travel infrastructure and massive expansion of telecom sector.
Alongside, the path breaking ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna’ was also launched which is instrumental in changing the rural landscape through increased all weather connectivity. I was privileged to be associated with the launch of this scheme as the then Minister of Rural Development in the Vajpayee’s Government. ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan’ or campaign for universal education and a series of other measures taken by Shri Atal ji changed the face of India’s development story. Shri Vajpayee revived the economy and the GDP growth was around eight percent when he demitted the office.
He was a master communicator whose mastery over language left audiences spellbound. He was the architect of the telecommunication revolution as well. He brought people together, villages and cities together and political parties together.
As a matter-of-fact, Good Governance was close to his heart and I am sure that this Centre will come up with many innovative policy formulations for improving governance. The nation celebrates his birth anniversary as Good Governance Day.
All of us need to carry forward his legacy and ensure that people receive time-bound delivery of all the services. In my view, that is the best tribute we can pay to him.
As you all are aware, the State of Jharkhand was carved out during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister.
I am happy to learn that this center aims to become a globally renowned think tank to nurture policy professionals and thought leaders through research on leadership strategies, policy skills, and governance mechanisms.
It is a great opportunity for participants of the programs at the ABVCLPG as they will be benefited from interactive lectures, engaging group discussions, leadership training, and personality development and networking opportunities.
We need such Centers at all our premier management and technology institutions to nurture professionals in all aspects of governance and public policy.
Dear Sisters and Brothers
Good governance is a form of governance that follows the rule of law, makes processes participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive
Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the Sanskrit treatise on statecraft, economic policy, and military strategy explored the governance aspects. Kautilya said that good governance and stability go hand-in- hand.
According to him, there is stability if rulers are responsive, responsible, accountable and democratic. Otherwise, there would be instability.
According to Kautilya, good governance could be ensured by upholding the true essence of sovereignty. For good governance, all administrators, including the King, are considered servants of the people.
These concepts and principles hold good for all times to come. Good governance is a combination of visionary leadership, committed bureaucracy and transparent mechanisms of service delivery.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was widely quoted as observing that “good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development".
While there cannot be any compromise on the fundamental aspects of good governance such as ensuring rule of law, providing efficient service delivery and eliminating corruption, it is important to learn from the best global practices and replicate them by suitably modifying to Indian conditions wherever needed. In an increasingly globalized world order, it is important to adapt to changing global trends and make constant changes in accordance with local needs.
As there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution, a nation needs to think globally and innovate locally to address challenges such as poverty, urbanization, pollution, climate change and water shortage, among and others.
Unlike many other nations, India is blessed with a huge demographic dividend. Good governance plays a vital role in the optimal realization of the demographic potential and in ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi had given a three-word mantra—Reform, Perform and Transform. We need to cut down on red tape, improve accountability and transparency and transform the face of governance by implementing wide-ranging reforms. The fundamental idea behind the Prime Minister’s call is to transform the nation by changing the paradigm of governance.
Dear sisters and brothers,
Please remember that peace is an essential precondition for development. Any type of disturbance or unrest will hamper progress and therefore it is essential for all citizens to observe the rule of law.
My dear sisters and brothers,
Despite the temporary lull due to global economic slowdown, India is expected to bounce back as the fastest growing economy. As one of the world’s major economies, India has been commanding the attention of the global community. Structural reforms such as Goods and Service Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the measures taken to improve the Ease of Doing Business have been attracting foreign investors.
By reaping its demographic advantage and skilling the youth, India has the potential to become the human resource capital of the world.
Effective leadership and good governance are requisite qualities for any nation to move on the path of Sustainable Development and achieve inclusive growth.
Today, we are envisaging a $5 trillion economy in the coming years. To reach the ambitious goal, we need combined and united efforts of the government, the public institutions and the civil society.
The far-reaching and path-breaking reforms initiated by the government must be further accelerated through citizen-centric, technology-oriented, transparent, responsive and adaptable good governance practices.
While many progressive policy interventions, legislations, and programs such as “Swachh Bharat”, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ and ‘Ayushman Bharat’ are aimed at transforming people’s lives, there is a need to strengthen the foundations of governance and ensure that no deserving beneficiary is left out of any scheme. It is essential to ensure effective delivery of the services at the grass-root level.
Implementing and executing laws and policies is the most crucial aspect of the governance system.
It is not enough if we design programs meticulously. Monitoring their implementation and evaluating their outcomes scientifically are important aspects of good governance. We need to constantly evaluate our governance strategies and bring about course corrections whenever necessary.
There should be no gap between policy intent and policy implementation. The intended benefits of a program must reach the people in time.
One way to make the delivery of services more efficient is through the use of digital technologies. India has embarked upon an ambitious ‘Digital India’ mission, intended to drive governance and the delivery of services online, thereby eliminating middlemen and infusing greater transparency and accountability into our systems.
Dear Sisters and Brothers
I am glad that the government of India has recently launched the Good Governance Index on the birth anniversary of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on December 25, 2019.
It will also promote the spirit of competitiveness among states and encourages them to perform to the best of their abilities.
Dear Sisters and Brothers
The rising gap between the rich and poor, increasing urban-rural divide and inequalities in quality healthcare and education infrastructure in rural areas continue to pose a challenge to the administrators. Here the Centre and the States must work with the spirit of Team India to address these challenges.
It is also important to ensure the decentralization of powers and responsibility to local bodies' needs in accordance with the Constitutional provisions. Funds, functions, and functionaries must be transferred to these institutions. This will bring governance closer to people and enhance their credibility and effectiveness.
The fruits of development and good governance must reach every section, especially those at the lowest rung of the economic and social ladder.
Dear Sisters and Brothers
The need of the hour is to declare total war on corruption as it is the biggest the hurdle to development and growth. It deepens inequalities and increases poverty.
Every citizen must develop a positive outlook and constructive approach towards nation-building. Every citizen must strive to protect the unity, safety, security, and sovereignty of the country.
Finally, I would urge every Indian to work towards realizing Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Surajya and build a New India where there is all-round inclusive growth without poverty, corruption, discrimination, inequality, illiteracy and hunger.
Once again, I convey my best wishes to the Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi for setting up the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Center for Leadership, Policy & Governance in memory of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee JI to train future leaders.
My best wishes for your future endeavors.