The Centre has begun work on a blueprint for India@2047— a vision plan for a ‘future ready India’ that befits the 100th year of Indian Independence.
The Prime Minister’s Office and the cabinet secretary last month assigned the 10 Sectoral Group of Secretaries with drawing up a road map for the plan and rounds of meetings have been held across ministries on the same.
The aim is to finalise the 2047 plan by May this year.
The groups are expected to involve individuals and institutional experts, from both within and outside the government, to draw up the template.
The Centre also wants to start right away on the 25-year targets. It has asked the SGoS to identify targets achievable within this decade and to set out specific timelines and milestones for the same as these will act as ‘foundations for future growth’.
The key areas identified so far include agriculture, commerce & industry, infrastructure and urban landscape, security & defence, technology and governance.
The first set of suggestions on the table is : Freeing up India’s defence acquisitions from foreign reliance and a road map for ‘India’s place in the world in 2047’.
On the industry side, restructuring and merger of public sector banks and creation of 3 or 4 big banks is being looked at.
Similarly, developing 3 or 4 global champions in each sector, including oil and gas sector by merger or restructuring of companies, developing semi-conductor complexes and making India a hub and leader in green technology and skilling are ideas under discussion.
To effect the same, a governance overhaul is needed which will involve ‘re-engineering government processes’, bringing institutional expertise in government besides ‘eliminating unnecessary interference by the government in the lives of citizens’.
On the social sector side, it is proposed that India aggressively partner with foreign R&D organisations to build up top 10 labs in the country, develop India into a skill capital and bring at least 10 Indian institutions among the top 100 in the world.
A ‘new age agriculture’ plan proposes micro irrigation and organic farming, a flagship scheme for hilly regions, positioning India as a top exporter in identified streams.
Development of urban infrastructure and ‘future ready’ urban spaces is a major area of focus alongside ensuring access to best of facilities in rural areas as well. Niti Aayog is learnt to have pointed out in meetings that India has to do so along with decarbonisation to be ready for the new era.
The Terms of Reference laid out for the Sector Groups Of Secretaries ask them to first conduct a ‘gap analysis’ of domestic capabilities — both in the government and private sector —vis a vis the most advanced international capabilities across sectors and identify strategic areas where India could aim to become the world leader in a defined time frame.