While inaugurating the first “Transforming India” series lecture organised by NITI Aayog PM Narendra Modi said his vision for India is rapid transformation , for which the country will have to change its laws, speed up processes and adopt technology for development.
“We cannot march through the 21st century with the administrative systems of the 19th century. There is need of collective opening of the minds, to let in new, global perspectives,” he added.
“If India is to meet the challenge of change, mere incremental progress is not enough. A metamorphosis is needed. That is why my vision for India is rapid transformation, not gradual evolution,” Modi said.
Stating that the “transformation of India cannot happen without a transformation of governance” the Prime Minister said that a transformation of governance cannot happen without a transformation in mindset and a transformation in mindset cannot happen without transformative ideas.
Modi said the younger generation in India is thinking and aspiring so differently and the government can no longer afford to remain rooted in the past.
“Development now depends on the quality of institutions and ideas… Thirty years ago, a country might have been able to look inward and find its solutions, but today countries are inter-dependent and inter-connected,” the Prime Minister said.
He said he has been holding brainstorming sessions with government officials, and the next step will be getting ideas from outside, adding that India has always been open to ideas from outside.
“This is the purpose of the Transforming India Lecture Series. It is a series which we will attend, not as individuals but as part of a team which can collectively make change happen,” he said.
The Prime Minister also requested the gathering to suggest names of experts and panellists from within and outside India.
“I also request all secretaries to government to conduct a follow up discussion in a week’s time, with the participants from their ministries. The purpose is to convert ideas that emerge in today’s session into specific action points relevant to each group. Wherever possible, I request the ministers also to participate in these sessions,” the Prime Minister said.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, said that skill and innovation along with technology can take India forward.
Delivering the keynote address, Shanmugaratnam stressed on empowerment of people and emphasised on strong social and political culture for a strong society.
“Education system is a big challenge in India and there is a need to increase the education budget. India has the biggest gap between talent in the top and unfulfilled expectations,” he said, while expressing disappointment that nearly 43 per cent of students leave school before finishing the upper primary level.
He also stressed on the need for trained teachers and quality training for them.