Economic development is powered by competitiveness. Competitiveness is powered by knowledge.
When I see Uttar Pradesh, I see a land of tremendous opportunities. The largest state by population in India with over 19 crore people has more human capital than most of the nations of the world. In fact, China, United States and Indonesia are the only nations, besides India, which have more population than the state of Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has some of the premier educational and research institutions of the nation, and also the holy places to many different religions. It represents vastness of size, diversity of competencies and richness of history. Above all, it has more than 100,000 villages, which can be the engines of vibrant growth in the state. As the new decade ushers in, the development and empowerment of these villages would be the primary action needed for the development of the state and the nation.
How can this be done?
This action will need the creation of number of rural enterprises in the state as part of PURA clusters (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). Let me now discuss the sustainable development system.
PURA as a Sustainable Development system
In 2010, India turned 63 years old as the largest democracy in the world and we witness a defining period for the nation and its people. We stand ten years away from the goal of achieving the vision for a developed India by 2020, and there has been significant progress in all directions. Each step we take towards a developed nation also opens a fresh challenge to overcome. The need of the hour is the evolution of sustainable systems, which act as 'enablers' and bring inclusive growth and integrated development to the nation. One such sustainable development system is the mission of Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA). It means that:
* The villages must be connected within themselves and with main towns and metros through good roads and wherever needed by railway lines. They must have other infrastructure like schools, colleges, hospitals and amenities for the local population and the visitors. This is physical connectivity.
* In the emerging knowledge era, native knowledge has to be preserved and enhanced with latest tools of technology, training and research. The villages have to have access to good education from best teachers wherever they are, must have the benefit of good medical treatment, and must have latest information on their pursuits like agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and food processing. That means they have to have electronic connectivity.
* Once the physical and electronic connectivity are enabled, knowledge connectivity is enabled. That can facilitate the ability to increase the productivity, the utilisation of spare time, awareness of health welfare, ensuring a market for products, increasing quality conscience, interacting with partners, getting the best equipment, increasing transparency and so in general knowledge connectivity.
* Once the three connectivities viz physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity are ensured, they facilitate earning capacity leading to economic connectivity. When we Provide Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), we can lead to uplift of rural areas, we can attract investors, we can introduce effectively useful systems like Rural BPOs, Micro Finance. The number of PURA for the whole country is estimated to be 7000 covering 600,000 villages where 700 million people live. There are a number of operational PURAs in our country initiated by many educational, healthcare institutions, industry and other institutions. Government of India is already moving ahead with the implementation of PURA on the national scale across several districts of India. Besides the government, the implementation of PURA would also require many other innovative platforms - which are sustainable and replicable. One such platform called PURA Corporation was evolved and is being pursued by one of my students from IIM Ahmedabad, Shri Srijan Pal Singh. This involves creation of local level, vertically integrated enterprises, which share common markets and branding. For vibrant growth of Uttar Pradesh's villages we would need such intellectually thought out and self-sustainable platforms.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has a tremendous opportunity and a significant role to play, which would contribute not only to the state, but the nation as well. Developed states will make developed India. To achieve developed India, UP has to be developed.
For realizing this, mission mode programmes are essential taking into account the core competence of the Uttar Pradesh. The possible missions are:
* Tourism, both spiritual and general
* PURA missions (1100 PURA - Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) - Providing Physical connectivity, electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity leading to economic connectivity to the cluster of villages.
* Education mission - School drop out to be reduced to zero. Reaching out the quality education through tele-education.
* Healthcare mission - Health care through tele-medicine and mobile medical vans to all the PHCs from the corporate and district hospitals. Introduction of Yashaswini type healthcare scheme.
* Agro - food processing mission
i. Sugar industry & Ethanol
ii. Dairy and milk food Processing
iii. Jatropha cultivation and Bio-disel mission
iv. Food grain production increase to 1.5 times
* De-silting of rivers and Linking water bodies and creating waterways within UP
* Transforming IT into Knowledge products (Value addition) and Setting up of BPO and KPO industries
*Creating all weather roads covering all the rural villages and cities. Infrastructure upgradation to reduce the urban congestion.
* Evolution of enlightened citizens.
For making UP a developed state, the following five criteria have been identified:
* Per-capita income to be tripled
* Literacy rate to be 100%
* IMR rate has to be less than 10
* UP to be polio, leprosy and TB free state
* Minimise the unemployment rate through value added employment generation
Profit with integrity
In a time when the growth of a state will be led by the growth of industry, it is important to realise that only profit with integrity can lead to sustained growth. How is it possible? We need to have state ethics for sustained growth and peace. Where from it starts?
* The state has to have ethics in all its tasks and transactions, for sustained economic prosperity and peace.
* If the state is to have ethics; the society has to promote ethics and value system.
* If the society is to have ethics and a value system, families should adhere to ethics and value system;
* If families have to get evolved with ethics and value system, parenthood should have inbuilt ethics.
* Parental ethics come from great learning, value-based education and creation of clean environment that leads to righteousness in the heart.
What is the most important ingredient that will enable us to realise sustainable national and state development? My study indicates that the creative leadership is the most important component for attaining success in all missions.
I would like to define 'creative leadership', based on my experiences:
*Leader must have a vision.
* Leader must have passion to realise the vision.
* Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path.
* Leader must know how to manage a success and failure.
* Leader must have courage to take decisions.
* Leader should have nobility in management.
* Leader should be transparent in every action.
* Leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
For sustainable growth of any state or nation, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders through nurturing the talent, and promoting innovation in every sector. Emergence of such leaders will facilitate global competitiveness and help India transform into a developed nation. Uttar Pradesh, the state which has given more than half of India's Prime Ministers since independence has to generate many such creative leaders, especially from the youth. The higher the proportion of creative leaders in a state or nation, the higher the potential of success of visions like "developed India".
(This article has been written exclusively for Hindustan Times).