Ten things Modi can do to sustain enormous societal expectations:
a) Champion Look East policy: visit USA after visiting China, Russia, Japan, Malaysia, S Korea, Ethiopia, Uganada, Kenya etc., President Mukherjee who triggered it earlier can really guide in this; the centre of the world, I argued in 2003 has moved towards East; China and India and Japan and Korea need to synergise, not just in south Asia but also in Africa and Latin America
b) Fold back Food Security coverage to poor people only ( 70 per cent people of this country neither asked for this subsidy nor they deserve it) and use the saved resources for creating innovation and entrepreneurship promotion fund at district level in all the districts of the country, a million enterprises by the youth should be the goal, even if ten percent succeed, a revolution will have been achieved;
c) Mount a mission on child and women nutrition to remove malnutrition and anaemia completely in the next few years; biodiversity conservation needs to get higher attention not just for its own sake but also a source of nutritional diversity;
d) Have a national dialogue with teachers’ federation and ensure that quality of education in schools improves right away failing which parents association should have a right to fire the teachers, or post them for non-teaching duties, even outside education department; taskforces of high performing innovative teachers in each district should be formed to audit teaching quality every week and submit a report on web;
e) Ensure web presence of every MSME (through the involvement of tech students), craft, informal sector innovator and ensure linkage between their problems and the final year projects of the students as attempted through techpedia.in
f) Talent, talent, talent should be the watchword for appointment to planning commission, various constitutional positions and educational institutions. There are secretaries ot government of india who have come up on account of their ability to perform, they need to be given bigger responsibility but there are also those whose strength lies in holding back things, being risk averse, not trusting others, they need to be shunted out. In Gujarat, most administrators understood the message and tried to deliver. But there were many who were too full of themselves, they hadn’t learned the art of listening and doing. On loyalty ground alone, no system can deliver. The culture of bureaucracy in Gujarat is worth spreading at the Centre;
g) Higher education system needs a thorough transformation, much greater autonomy accompanied by much higher accountability; leadership matters and meddling with the system by appointing people with a particular kind of political leanings alone will undo all the faith that society has in future; there will be pressure to do so, cadre will demand reward for its work, but then what is the change? Should not the reward be in performance rather than positions?
h) India must become the largest provider of technology and infrastructural public goods to Africa and other poorer nations. We must mount a major mission to link trade and diplomacy. Russia which is supposed to be our fiend has hardly 12 billion usd trade while China which many treat as enemy has more than 80 billion and likely to touch 100 billion usd ( with more than 40 Billion deficit on the part of India. Why should China and India exchange not increase in all walks of life and why should not china buy more from India, open its market more and collaborate for global collaborative presence? If trade deficit with China can be bridged, our manufacturing sector will become vibrant.
i) Sports and education require renewed attention and why shouldn’t North Eastern school Teachers be appointed all over the country to eliminate unemployment in north-east and provide high quality committed teachers to our children elsewhere?
j) Openness in governance and enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities in minority dominated regions is the way forward. Social infrastructure must be improved in many of the regions which did not receive much attention during last six decades. Same for tribal regions which need a new deal.
Country needs change and not everything can be changed at the same time. Country must assess it expectations through a little more pragmatic lens but creating too much patience will be counter-productive. Wealthy People will not mind paying a special tax if an honest and transparent system can be designed for using this fund say, for eliminating poverty in fifty or hundred most poor regions in the phase one. Unconditional talks should be begun with leftists insurgents and also other disaffected youth in different parts of the country. Expenditure of more than 20,000 crore in fighting our own children must be saved for better application. Violence has no place in democratic polity of a nation to resolve differences, no matter who inflicts it.