Time for incremental change is long over: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the time for incremental change is over what is needed now is “transformational change.” He called upon the NITI Aayog to create a vision document to chart a roadmap for India’s development for the next 15 years and lay the foundation for the country’s growth over the next decades.

Interacting with members of the NITI Aayog in New Delhi, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of technology as an emerging driver of change over the last three decades, and asserted that this pace of change would not slacken, said an official press release. He asserted that his government has the courage and the ability to deliver transformational change for bettering the lives of the people.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Aayog Members, and senior officers from the NITI Aayog, the Prime Mininster’s Office, and the Cabinet Secretariat.

Modi pointed out that, historically, Indian policy-makers had tended to lament its constraints rather than play to its strengths. Laying out the broad contours of India’s development path, he said that judicious and intelligent application of India’s natural and human resources would be at the heart of this change. Giving several illustrations of this theme, he mentioned the use of available land, the country’s mineral wealth, and vast untapped solar energy potential. In a similar way, he said India has made sub-optimal use so far of its vast coastline.

Talking about human resource development, the Prime Minister said focused skill development is vital, as India has the potential to fulfill the global requirement of human resources in the future. He stressed on the need to develop India’s tourism potential. He said partnership with states for promoting development and boosting exports is not just an element of cooperative federalism but also the need of the hour.

On agriculture, the Prime Minister said the focus cannot be on increasing agricultural productivity alone, but should be on the overall development of a vibrant rural economy. He emphasized the importance of the food processing sector, warehouse development, and technology inputs.

The Prime Minister said that the intentions (niyat) of the policy-makers are even more important than the policies (niti) themselves. Stressing on the need to build capacities for good governance, he highlighted the importance of real-time data availability.

He urged the NITI Aayog to take inspiration from events such as the success of the Give-it-Up campaign, and the widespread positive response from the people to the Swachhta Abhiyan. This experience disproves the assumption commonly made by experts that people are only interested in benefits for themselves; it shows that people are motivated by the larger public good.