New book suggests ideas to address economic, social challenges


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A new book brings together 25 industry executives, domain thought leaders and government officials to suggest ideas to address the country's economic and social challenges. Edited by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, "The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India" seeks to put forward transformative and innovative ideas to achieve the vision of helping India realise and capitalise upon its immense potential.

With a foreword by John Chambers, chairman emeritus of Cisco Systems, and an epilogue by former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, the book is divided into four sections - Human Capital Development; Transforming Rural India; Towards Inclusive Growth and Prosperity; and Building Brand India. In his introduction, Kant highlights various government programmes and also some of the challenges.

"In a world where geopolitical uncertainty and at times volatility is becoming more commonplace, global trade is frequently under threat as a consequence. A technological revolution in manufacturing and services in India is imminent but choosing the right reform for the right revolution will become a slightly more delicate process given the global environment and to ensure we keep step with the rest of the world," he writes.

He also says that millions of Indians are entering the workforce annually with a continually major shift from rural to urban areas, and a burgeoning middle class with demands and expectations of quality health and education, further increasing the dependence on sustainable, viable and continuous growth.

This, he says, is an ongoing challenge and "India is at a delicate juncture where the new generation of policymakers must take responsibility and initiative to adeptly work in tandem with industrialists, academicians and the common man to form impactful policies". According to Subramanian, despite coming a long way in moving forward on the reform and policy agenda, major challenges still lie ahead.

Some of these challenges are creating jobs, increasing share of manufacturing in GDP, increasing exports growth, making banks capable of lending credit to the private sector, and providing inexpensive and quality education and healthcare to each and every Indian, he says. The book, published by Rupa, was conceptualised as a collaborative effort that borrows from the very essence of working in tandem to have meaningful discourses, says Kant.

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