Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Kalam's 10-point vision for a competitive India
Kalam's 10-point vision for a competitive India
Inaugurating the Confederation of Indian Industry's Partnership Summit 2006
in Kolkata on Tuesday January 17, President APJ Abdul Kalam emphasised the
need for 'spiritual connectivity' in the 'dynamics of leadership.'
The President said that the country's primary challenge was to uplift the
260 million poor in India and remove poverty by 2020. He said that this
could be done through a network of connectivities encompassing a knowledge
grid, a healthcare grid, e-governance grid and the knowledge grid.
He said the focus should be on integrating the entire country economically
as it transforms itself into a knowledge society.
We reproduce the President's speech at the CII Summit below:
"I am indeed very happy to participate in the inauguration of Partnership
Summit 2006 with the theme 'Shaping the growth: Nurturing development.' My
greetings to CII, who has organised this meet consecutively with different
themes for the development of the nation.
I also greet the political leaders, industry captains, development planners
and other distinguished guests. My special greetings to international
delegates for participating and contributing in this important international
I was thinking, what thoughts I can share with you on this occasion. I have
selected the topic 'Dynamics of Leadership' that will present two important
systems of national development and will lead to rural development through
PURA (Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas) system and national
electronic grid connectivity.
Law of development
Last two years, I was studying the development patterns and the dynamics of
connectivity between nations, especially in trade and business. As you all
know the world has a few developed countries and many developing countries.
What is the dynamics between them and what connects them?
Developed countries have to market their products in a competitive way to
different countries to remain a developed country. The developing country,
to transform into a developed country, has to market its products to other
countries in a competitive way. Competitiveness is the common driving
factors between the two types of nations.
Competitiveness has three dimensions:
Quality of the product; Cost-effectiveness; and Product is in the market
just-in-time. Indeed this dynamics of competitiveness in marketing of
products by developing and developed countries is the law of development.
There is a relationship between the core competence and the competitiveness
of the country. Such a law applies to individual companies as well.
Ambience in the nation
In the Indian history, very rarely our nation has come across such a
situation, all at a time: an ascending economic trajectory, continuously
rising foreign exchange reserves, reduced rate of inflation, global
recognition of the technological competence, energy of 540 million youth,
umbilical connectivities of 20 million people of Indian origin in various
parts of the planet, and the interest shown by many developed countries to
invest in our engineers and scientists including setting up of new R&D
The distinction between the public and the private sectors and the illusory
primacy of one over the other is vanishing. India, as the largest democracy
in the world, has a reputation for its democracy and for providing
leadership for the one billion people with multi-cultural, multi-language
and multi-religious backgrounds.
And our technological competence and value systems with civilisational
heritage too are highly respected. Also, FIIs (foreign institutional
investors) find investing in India attractive. Indians are also investing in
abroad and setting up new business ventures.
As per the report titled From the Ganges to the Thames, which states that
the Indian foreign direct investment in Britain is second only to that of
the United States and Indian FDI project in Europe has increased from just 5
to 119 during the period 1997 to 2004.
The government is also committed to economic development by ensuring growth
rate of 7% to 8% annually, enhancing the welfare of the farmers and workers
and unleashing the creativity of the entrepreneurs, business persons,
scientists, engineers and other productive forces of the society.
Can we expect anything better than this for increasing the momentum of our
development missions and economic growth? Let us translate this great
opportunity for transforming India into a developed nation before 2020.
This calls for the agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors becoming
globally competitive leading to economically competitive. Then a competitive
profile will emerge that will create more opportunities to the corporate
sectors working in India.
Enabling environment has also been created by the government through the
sanctioning of Bharat Nirman programme -- with a commitment of Rs 1,74,000
crore (Rs 1,740 billion) allocation in 4 years, enhancement of Agriculture
credit from Rs 92,000 crore (Rs 920 billion) to Rs 200,000 crore (Rs 2,000
billion), sanctioning of 100 days' guaranteed and productive employment
programme in 200 backward districts and annual allocation of Rs 30,000 crore
(Rs 300 billion) for rural development programme.
Profile of a globally competitive nation
Global competitiveness for any nation is indeed a big challenge. For
achieving such a competitive edge for a nation, it is essential to have a
vision. I would like to share with you my visualisation of such a nation.
- A nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin
- A nation where there is an equitable distribution and access to
energy and quality water.
- A nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work
together in symphony, absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained
wealth-generation leading to greater high value employment opportunities.
- A nation where education is not denied to any meritorious
candidates because of societal or economic discrimination or because of
constraints of rules.
- A nation which is the best destination for the most talented
scholars, scientists, and investors from all over the world.
- A nation where the best of healthcare is available to all and the
communicable diseases like AIDS/TB, water and vector borne diseases and
other stress diseases, cardiac diseases, cancer and diabetes are brought
- A nation where the governance uses the best of the technologies to
be responsive, transparent, fully connected in a high bandwidth e-governance
grid, easily accessible and also simple in rules, thereby corruption free.
- A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy
removed and crimes against women are absent and none in the society feels
- A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and
continues with a sustainable growth path.
- A nation that is one of the best places to live in on the earth and
brings smiles on the one billion-plus faces
How the nations can realise the specified goals? I will give an example for
our nation. Since India has a population of billion people, it represents
1/6th of the population of our planet. The ideas I am going to present may
also be relevant and applicable to many developing countries, which are
aiming to shape their growth and nurturing their development in an
environment of peace and harmony with other nations.
I would like to invite all countries and investors to participate with us in
the development process for mutual benefit. As far as Indian companies, they
can seek partnership with civil society in India to accomplish these
projects and also venture our in other countries helping them to transform
India's national missions: The challenges
India's current population is about one billion people. We are going through
a major challenge of uplifting of 260 million people who are below the
poverty line and also to give better life for many millions who are on the
border line of poverty or just above the poverty line.
They need a decent habitat, they need work with reasonable income, they need
food, they need speedy access to health care, and they need education and
finally they need a good life and hope for a better future.
Our GDP is growing at more than 7% per annum on an average. Whereas, the
economists suggest that to uplift the people below the poverty line, our
economy has to grow at the rate of 10% per annum consistently, for over a
Integrated action: To meet the need of one billion people, we have the
mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified
five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action:
- Agriculture and food processing;
- Reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and
infrastructure for all parts of the country;
- Education and healthcare;
- Information and communication technology (ICT); and
- Strategic sectors.
These five areas are closely inter-related and if properly implemented, will
lead to food, economic and national security of our country. In each of
these areas, there is a wealth of opportunities awaiting nations who would
like to work together for mutual benefits in a win-win situation.
Each of these missions comprise many projects, investments, innovations,
marketing and therefore many partnerships are possible. Those who seek out
will find a new opportunity. Let us remember the adage, 'early bird catches
Engines for growth: Emphasis would be on full utilisation of natural and
human resources of the nation to meet the demands of the modern society. We
should also remember that about 50% of our population is young people with
aspirations for better living.
Value addition in agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors, building
the national core competence and technologies will lead to additional
high-income employment potential. The engines for growth will be accelerated
by launching of the five national missions, which are common to all of us
wherever we are on planet earth.
The totality of these five missions will enable achievement of 10% GDP
growth rate per annum. It is possible to do so with ecological and economic
sustainability. It is not the mission of governments. It is a collective
efforts of big and small businesses, science and technology and academic
institutions, foreign investors, and many others who have confidence about
With these aspects in view, we have already laid down the road map. The
priority for the government is to convert the road map into various
missions. It is to be done in a decentralized manner allowing a greater role
for private enterprise and local initiatives. While converting the vision
into different missions we seem to have many thoughts and variety of routes
to reach the goal.
This is where there is a need to have coherent thinking among all the
members of the society. All of us have to think that the nation is greater
than an individual or an organisation.
Now I would like to discuss the economic growth and societal transformation.
Societal transformation and economic growth are interlinked. Knowledge
societies enrich information society through innovation. Information society
enriches agriculture and manufacturing through value addition. The whole
purpose of education in a country is to develop and enhance the potential of
our human resource and progressively transform it into a knowledge society.
The knowledge society will be a society producing products and services that
are rich in both explicit and tacit knowledge, thus creating value added
products. The real capital of this knowledge society will be its knowledge
The society will be highly networked to create knowledge intensive
environment along with enabling process to efficiently create, share, use
and protect knowledge. Our education system should re-align itself at the
earliest to meet the needs of the present day challenges and be fully geared
to participate in the societal transformation through innovation, which is
the key to competitiveness.
It should also develop a global outlook. India has many strengths. It has to
reach out and make our individuals and institution capable of succeeding in
a competitive world.
Changing patterns of society:
When the world was moving from the industrial to information and knowledge
era, we witnessed a changing pattern in the sectoral share of GDP and the
number of people employed in each sector.
The sectoral share of gross domestic product percentage has undergone a
considerable change. Contribution of agriculture to India's GDP has reduced
from 39% to 22% during the period 1979 to 2004. During the same period
contribution of manufacturing sector has moved from 24% to 27% and whereas
the contribution from the services sector has increased from 37% to 51%.
There has been considerable change in the employment pattern also. The
percentage of people employed in agriculture has come down from 64% to 54%.
Simultaneously, the percentage of people employed in manufacturing has gone
up from 15% to 19% and in the service sector from 20% to 27%. This trend has
to continue and by 2020 our employment pattern should aim at 44% in
agriculture, 21% in manufacturing and 35% in service sectors.
The displacement of 10% people from agriculture sector has to be facilitated
through skill enabling for undertaking value added tasks in the rural
enterprises so that migration to urban area is reduced. Instead of the
person from the rural areas going to urban towns in search of jobs in
manufacturing and services sectors, PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural
Areas) facilitates creation of employment in the rural areas itself.
PURA achieves this by providing physical, electronic and knowledge
connectivities to a cluster of villages thereby leading to their economic
connectivity and prosperity. Knowledge creation and knowledge utilisation is
the key to the success of a PURA programme. PURA programme can generate many
business opportunities. This model is applicable to many countries.
Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA):
The number of PURA units required for the whole country is estimated to be
7,000. This envisages integrated connectivities to bring prosperity to rural
India. These are: physical connectivity of the village clusters through
quality roads and transport; electronic connectivity through
telecommunication with high bandwidth fiber optic cables reaching the rural
areas from urban cities and through Internet kiosks; and knowledge
connectivity through education, vocational training for farmers, artisans
and craftsmen and entrepreneurship programmes.
These three connectivities will lead to economic connectivity through
starting of enterprises with the help of banks, micro credits and marketing
of the products.
The PURA is required to be run by enlightened citizens and people capable of
giving moral as well as business leadership. There is profit for partners
but there is also a human face.
Both are built in the business plan itself. This is where the concept of
spiritual connectivity is seen as the foundation, which bonds all the other
Each PURA cluster will connect about 20 villages depending upon the region
and population and will cost about Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion). After
initial short-term employment during construction etc., we have to plan for
initiating actions for providing regular employment and self-employment
opportunities in nationally competitive small enterprises in agro
processing, manufacturing and services sectors for about 3,000 people.
If the industrial/business parks are marketed well, they can generate
employment opportunities in support sector for about 10,000 people in that
cluster. This will provide sustainable economy for the rural sector. In this
national mission, bankers can promote entrepreneurship in the rural areas.
This will lead to the removal of urban-rural divide. This experience can
become a model for other countries to follow.
PURA as an enterprise: A large number of banks have entrepreneurial
development programmes. Banks have also been funding small scale industries
of different types in various regions. The small-scale industrialist is a
promising candidate for becoming the chief executive for managing the PURA
complexes in an integrated way.
PURA enterprises can also undertake management of schools, health care
units, vocational training centres, chilling plants, silos and building a
market, banking system and the regional business or industrial units. A new
mission mode management style has to emerge for PURA enterprises.
It should not be looking for protective legislations to support them. Rather
they should be efficient to compete with others. This new PURA enterprise
needs partnership from the bank, from the government and also from the
private entrepreneurs. Banks can train the entrepreneur for managing the
PURA in their training centres and also provide them loans for creating and
running PURAs as a business proposition.
Think of public-private-civil society partnerships in these efforts. Now I
would like to describe the societal grid which will give the connectivity
for the billion people.
The core of the connectivity model is Electronic Connectivity for prosperity
of one billion people is the partnership between governmental and multiple
institutions in the public and private domains. The strength of this
partnership for collaborative growth and economic prosperity is facilitated
by free flow of knowledge and information in a seamless manner cutting
across levels and boundaries embracing all walks of life in the three
sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and services
In this model, four grids bring about the inter-connectivity between these
three sectors of the economy: namely knowledge grid, health grid,
e-governance grid and the PURA (7,000 PURA) grid. Each grid is a system of
multiple portals. The aim is to maximize gross domestic production and
productivity of the land and people through maximizing the performance of
each sector, synergised by the system of inter and intra-sectoral electronic
connectivity to serve one billion people.
This will bring prosperity to 700 million people in the rural areas and 300
million plus people in the urban areas. In the process, it will ensure that
the lives of 260 million people will be uplifted from below the poverty
To maximise the synergy between the various components of education,
healthcare, e-governance, rural development we need to establish
connectivities among them. These connectivities will certainly bring
seamless access and information flow among the various domains leading to
maximisation of GDP and productivity; hence, there is need for establishing
the grids, namely knowledge grid, healthcare grid, e-governance grid and the
PURA knowledge grid.
This interconnecting grid will be known as societal grid. Knowledge sharing,
knowledge utilisation and knowledge re-use is very vital by all constituents
of the society for promoting non-linear growth. The societal grid consists
Interconnecting universities with socio-economic institutions, industries
and R&D organisations.
Interconnecting the healthcare institutions of the government, corporate and
superspeciality hospitals. Research institutions, educational institutions
and ultimately, pharma R&D institutions.
Interconnecting the central government and state governments and district
and block level offices for G2G and G2C connectivity.
PURA knowledge grid:
Connecting the PURA nodal centers with the village knowledge centres and
domain service providers. Since this is the backbone for rural development,
all other grids will infuse the knowledge into this grid for sustainable
development, healthcare and good governance.
For example, five of the Periyar PURA villages have now connected using
Wi-Max connectivity. Integrated village knowledge centers will act as an
inter-connected delivery mechanism for tele-education, tele-medicine and
e-governance services apart from individual access by the people, within and
between the village knowledge centres through the PURA grid.
We have, so far discussed all the four connectivities required for the
societal transformation. These connectivities can form the basis for
providing platform for societal transformation leading to empowerment. This
will blossom with the enabling environment of trust and confidence in the
Pan African e-Network
While we are discussing the topic 'Shaping the Growth: Nurturing
Development,' I would like to recall my address to the Pan African
Parliament on September 16, 2004, at Johannesburg, South African which was
attended by heads of 53 member countries of the African unit.
There I announced the willingness of Government of India to provide seamless
and integrated satellite, fiber optics and wireless network connecting 53
African countries. This will provide three connectivities:
Heads of the State Network for e-governance; Tele-education network for
higher education, skill enhancement and capacity building; and Tele-medicine
for providing health care and super specialty medicare. The government of
India has already commenced the project in partnership with African Union
and it will be completed by early 2007.
Now I would like to discuss with you another international partnership model
for high-tech product development for world market.
Design and develop products for world market
In order to achieve global competitiveness, the product must be world-class
with high quality, high cost-effectiveness and must be available in time
within the shelf life of the product. I would like to share a unique
experience of design, development, production and marketing of a missile
system -- Brahmos, an Indo-Russian joint venture.
What we have achieved through this venture is the development and
realisation of a world-class product using the synergy of technological
competence and consortium of industries of partner countries. In addition,
the product being internationally competitive, it is able to service a large
market with availability in time and state of the art performance at reduced
cost per unit.
This will put India, a global defence exporter. Moreover, with minimum
incremental investment the product has been developed and led to production
and induction, at a relatively short time frame, well ahead of prescribed
schedule. This has enabled early entry of the product into the world market
well before any competitor could emerge.
I would like the civil industries to emulate this example and design and
develop commercial products for international markets. This will lead to a
win-win situation for the partner industries and enable availability of
product at a low cost for the customer leading to nation's wealth
Our experiences in mission mode programmes
I remember, during the 1960s India was in a state of ship to mouth existence
in food. If the American ships did not bring wheat, there will be a famine
in India. But there were two visionaries who worked together with the
farming community and brought the first green revolution.
They are the political thinker C Subramaniam and the agriculture scientist
Dr M S Swaminathan.
Today, we produce 200 million tonne of food grains, which is not only
sufficient for us but also available for export. Around the same time,
Varghese Kurien masterminded the white revolution, which resulted in placing
India at the top of the world map of milk producers.
In India much innovation and creative thinking took place at various phases
of our development. Dr Vikram Sarabhai in the 1960s said that India should
design and develop large satellite launch vehicle and put communication
satellite and remote sensing satellite in geo-synchronous orbit and polar
This vision statement ignited hundred of scientists, technologists and
thousands of technicians. Today India is capable of building any type of
satellite launch vehicle and satellite.
Similarly, the vision of nuclear programme led to establishing series of
nuclear power plants adding nearly 4,000-megawatt power to our electrical
grid of 100,000 megawatt. There is a proposal to increase the nuclear power
to 20,000 megawatt by 2020.
In the 80s, India had a very low base in information technology. Some young
entrepreneurs with their innovative and creative thoughts and within the
difficult boundary conditions of India's rules and regulations, demonstrated
how IT enabled services can fetch export revenue.
Subsequently, even the government had to bring out innovative and
liberalised IT policies. Now, our young IT entrepreneurs are making export
revenue of $18 billion. This is expected to grow to more than $100 billion
by the year 2020.
Similarly, the pharma industries are making a positive impact in the Indian
economy. Wherever the government works in mission mode, the programme is
Directory of Partnerships
Two decades ago, there has not been many international partnerships in
India. Therefore, one could keep track of all the partnerships entered into
by various business houses. In the recent past there is a trend of increased
partnerships by India with many countries.
However, we do not have a database on all the partnerships which are
presently operational in the country. Since CII has been conducting the
Partnership Summit for the last twelve years, I would recommend creation of
a directory of existing partnerships, which commenced from the year 2000 and
publish this as a partnership directory giving details of the country,
scope, progressive financial performance, brand image and the benefits
accrued to the partner countries.
This information placed in the web portal can be updated very frequently.
This will enable propagation of real meaning of globalization. In addition,
this will stimulate more partnerships and draw our youth into partnership
In India, we have seen whenever a vision is generated, missions are created
and mission mode operations have succeeded in governmental setup like space
programme, atomic energy programme, agriculture programme, milk programme
and defence research programme.
Also in the private sectors, we have instances of empowered management
systems particularly in Pharma and IT Sectors. However, it can be seen that
there is a large funding for rural development is emerging through Bharat
Nirman Programme encompassing multi-ministries.
There is a big challenge in evolving a management structure and to enable
convergence of multiple ministries in the state and central Governments.
With the background of successful mission mode operations in certain
government programmes and the distinction between public and private sector
and the illusory primacy of one over the other is vanishing, there is a
possibility of evolving a management structure.
What is needed is a creative leader. Who is the creative leader? Creative
leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from
the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator
and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect.
I am sure creative leadership spearheads all the institutions and the future
aspiring institutions. For a prosperous and developed India or any other
country, the important thrust will be on the growth in the number of
creative leaders and innovative organisations that can create wealth through
dedicated management system.
I inaugurate the Partnership Summit 2006 and my best wishes to all the
participants for success in their mission of shaping growth and nurture
development of their industries, organisations and thereby their nation.
May God bless you."