'Affordable, sustainable models necessary'

'Affordable, sustainable models necessary'

Pitroda speaks against aping Western developmental models; stresses on innovation

India cannot go on and plainly imitate Western models of development. India requires a developmental model, based on affordability, scalability and sustainability, said Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation, here, on Saturday.

He was delivering the convocation address, during the 94th annual convocation of the University of Mysore. 

Today, the basic idea of development is being challenged. We need to keep our focus on Gandhian model of development, as the consumerism-based development models of the West are neither scalable, nor sustainable for India, he said.

Education and jobs

Pitroda listed the efforts made by the Indian government to improve opportunities for education. Due to such efforts, the number of children who went to colleges in India, will increase from 10 per cent in 2004 to 20 per cent in 2014, he said.

During the past one decade, several measures to strengthen educational infrastructure, such as expansion of premier educational institutes, creation of new universities and institutes providing education in specialised fields were taken up, he said. 

With more number of graduates coming out of colleges, India will have to generate 10 to 15 million jobs a year. Young graduates coming out of colleges also have the responsibility to generate jobs, he said.

Challenges

India, as a country, has the challenge to lift 300 to 400 million people above poverty line. We need youth who can work for the poor, not just IT and communication companies. They must invest their efforts towards providing solutions in the field of alternative energy, genetics, food technology, etc, he added.

Reforms

He said, administrative, political, judicial, agricultural and labour reforms were essential to steamroll the country on to the path of progress. In order to improve the economy, we need further liberalisation and globalisation, he added.

“The destiny of the country will be decided in the next decade,” Pitroda said and added that he was both optimistic and concerned about the future. “If we build on the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbai Patel, we will build a country which we can be proud of,” he said.

He said that extensive computerisation in public offices was underway. “We are building a nation and it requires patience, consensus and energy. These things cannot be achieved overnight,” he said.

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