'Make in India' linked to success of 'Making of India'

Last Updated : 25 August 2015, 18:35 IST
Last Updated : 25 August 2015, 18:35 IST

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As India heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort during the 69th Independence Day celebrations, there has been a renewed emphasis on the “Make in India” initiative through more slogans.

The Government of India with great expectations had launched the “Make in India” initiative on September 25, 2014. The main objective of this initiative is to encourage companies to manufacture in the country focusing on several sectors of the economy for creating jobs and enhancement of skills.

The “Make in India” initiative is an important and ambitious effort by the government. However, its success will depend upon our ability to effectively participate in the making of India that is based upon the formulation of laws, policies, rules and regulations that are deeply embedded in principles and values of enlightened governance.

The following issues require urgent attention as far as the Making of India is concerned:
1. Rule of law and an effective judicial system: The major challenge in the making of India is our ability to institutionalise rule of law within the democratic governance framework. While democracy has been well established and democratic values have been deeply embedded in the civic and political culture of our people, we are far from establishing a society based upon the rule of law.

This has undermined the vision of the constitution framers for the making of India where laws are adhered to as a rule and violations of law will be an exception. We have a highly respected judiciary comprising of competent judges, but the effectiveness of the adjudicatory processes is far from desirable. The making of India needs to seek fundamental reforms in the legal system and the focus of which ought to be to establish a society based on the rule of law.

2. Transparent public policy making and effective implementation: Public policy making is central to the making of India. It is not possible to govern this large country on the basis of individual desires and preferences. We cannot afford any longer to formulate policies on the basis of guesswork, populism and adhocism leading to myopic decisions. Policy decisions of the government needs to be rigorously examined on the basis of analysis that involve academic and intellectual rigour, comparative analysis, social science research methods, law and economic analysis and assessment of its social and economic implications.

In recent times, many laws, policies, rules and regulations that have been passed by the state and central governments have come under legislative and constitutional scrutiny by the courts. The making of India cannot be based upon such degree of uncertainty and unpredictability.

3. Corruption-free governance and accountability in administration: The “Make in India” initiative cannot achieve its goals without ensuring corruption-free governance. Corruption continues to be a major challenge that has affected all aspects of governance. The making of India should focus on infusing integrity and rectitude in governance. While the right to information and efforts to seek greater transparency in the functioning of government has made a positive impact, we have a long way to go in ensuring that basic public services, which citizens are entitled to receive, are free from corruption.

The tragedy of the making of India is that “Make in India” will not be effective till such time corruption is weeded out of the system. It is unfortunate that even after the law relating to Lokpal having passed in parliament, there is no consensus to ensure that it begins to function independently and effectively.

4. World class universities and reforms in higher education: One of the most neglected aspects in the making of India is our indifference and palpable lethargy towards the higher education sector. No developed or developing country has achieved distinction in its growth and development without paying attention to the need for building world-class universities.

In the making of India that we are envisaging, our universities ought to be at the forefront of knowledge creation, innovations in science and technology, research and publications in all areas including arts, humanities and social sciences, knowledge sharing and dissemination. While the developed countries of the world have spent the last century building quality universities to promote excellence in higher education, some of the developing countries like China are dramatically transforming their universities.

I believe that the “Make in India” initiative can succeed if both the government and the private sector come together in seeking radical transformation of the universities. This reform, leading to the establishment and development of universities of global standards, needs to recognise the role of public and private sector through philanthropic initiatives that can help the making of India.

5. World-class vocational institu-tions with industry interface: We need to develop a culture of excellence that can help build excellent institutions of learning. Our propensity to settle for mediocrity needs to be challenged through a new imagination of vocational training institutions.

Vocational training and the concept of community colleges never received credibility and legitimacy because of their inherent weaknesses that has led to quality deficit and mediocrity. There are few incentives, limited vision and little imagination that has gone into the creation of these institutions. Skills development through community colleges needs to focus on building reputable vocational training institutions.

The making of India needs to invest in the development of trust between the citizen and the government. Without the foundation for basic trust that will allow the possibility of reform and transformation through citizen’s engagement in governance, we will not be able to contribute effectively to the making of India. The “Make in India” initiative is inextricably linked to our success in the making of India where institution building is the foundation for nation building.

(The writer, a Rhodes Scholar, is the Founding Vice Chancellor of O P Jindal Global University and the Dean of Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana)

Published 25 August 2015, 17:50 IST

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