CAN WE MAKE ‘EXCEL INDIA?’

MODI GOVERNMENT’S NEW INITIATIVES
After coming into power, the Modi Government has unleashed a set of reforms, however small that may be so far, making clear its intention to make India grow fast. The few programs which have caught the attention of the people are: the Jan Dhan Yojana, towards financial inclusion and, at the same time, empowering families with a bank account; the Swachh Bharat, or Clean India initiative, which takes care of hygiene also; ‘Toilet for All’; ‘Skill India (a program already initiated by UPA – to bridge the gap between educational institutions and labour market – with some modification and covering more people than targeted by UPA; the ‘Digital India’ program to integrate government departments and the people; the ‘Make in India’ inviting other countries to invest in India.

There have also been reforms push in the insurance and Defense sectors allowing increased limit of foreign direct investment. The revamped Planning Commission, christened NITI Ayog also focusses on transforming India.

One important thing to be appreciated is the speed with which these new initiatives have been announced and the seriousness to pursue these programs.
CAN WE MAKE ‘EXCEL INDIA’?

While all these are excellent programs and, if pursued with genuine interest, are bound to produce amazing results, the ultimate question is whether we could make ‘EXCEL INDIA, where excellence (viz. Superiority, being the best, eminence, admirable, outstanding, incomparable) will be the hall mark of all our activities – be it our services, be it our products, be it our attitude and behavior and so on which could then make people of other countries to think India as their preferred destination for tourism, trade, business partnerships, setting up manufacturing units and thereby creating more and more jobs which will spur growth. After all, when it comes to growth of the economy, creation of more jobs and more money in the hands of people should be our aim. Such an India, which we could certainly dream of, while making us all proud, should be the envy of other nations.

HOW DO WE ACHIEVE THIS?

A few thoughts towards achieving this are:

Every Ministry/Department should draw up for each of their programs KRAs (Key Result Areas) to ensure that these are achieved. Very often so many programs and projects are included in the annual plans of the Ministries and Departments and funds are also released for the same, but due to slackness, many a time a huge chunk of the unspent money is surrendered.

2. Every Ministry/ Department could also consider constituting their own ‘Think Tanks’ to come
out with innovative ideas and speed up action.

3. The word bureaucracy should henceforth mean ‘business crazy’! implying that we mean business, we mean action and we would not tolerate delays. For this people at all levels in Government should adopt a ‘SMART approach. The SMART approach is explained below.

S stands for Simplify. There is abundant scope in all Ministries/Departments for simplification of various rules and procedures. A constant attempt needs to be made in this direction.

M stands for (Be Methodical). This means following the correct step-by-step approach.

A stands for Adapt (to requirements). Since everything changes day by day, adapting to requirements means looking at things from the particular point of time.

R stands for Review. Again, this is very necessary to be in tune with current needs, so that modification, if any, needed could be considered.

T stands for Thinking (continuous thinking). Continuous thinking can produce many new ideas, which is the basis for innovation.

SMART should be a continuous, regular and ongoing exercise.

4. NEED FOR A SAFE-India program – which addresses the concern of women’s safety and freedom of movement without fear, the freedom of movement of people in general freeing themselves of threats of terrorism, and instilling a fool-proof security. Adequate measures in this regard need to be taken urgently.

5. MAKING THE ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ SUCCEED

To make this program a big success, and for people from abroad to invest in India, business-friendly procedures need to be evolved. It is heartening to note that Government is also seriously addressing the question of ease of doing business in India.

According to Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, ( his.address at the recent recent Indian Science Congress), it is necessary for S&T and manufacturing to continuously work together, to manufacture innovative products. Apple boasts of their products as endowed with ‘incredible technology, legendary ease of use and awesome design’. Our products should be able to competent with such manufacturing giants. For the India Brand to shine, however, continuous innovation is essential which should result in superb execution, which, according to Louis Gerstner (talking about IBM), is about doing the right things faster, better, more often and more productively than your competitors do,’

6. GETTING TO THE ROOT OF PROBLEMS

Poverty, malnutrition, child mortality, affordable health care, affordable housing, quality education, urbanizing the rural India, availability of drinking water, strengthening the entire infrastructure, extra precautions to face natural calamities like tsunami, floods, earthquakes and systems to predict these in advance and a host of similar problems, will all continue to haunt us for a long time to come and the success and resulting benefits of all our efforts should percolate down to each and every individual, to ensure everyone a decent lifestyle.

These are but a few and simple thoughts that occurred to me while I was myself dreaming of an EXCEL INDIA.

CONCLUSION

As Paulo Coelho says, in his book The Alchemist, when you want to get something done, the entire universe will conspire in making you achieve this. In that book the shepherd boy, named Santiago, could realize his dream by believing in this deeply. Each one of us should get motivated to believe that nothing is impossible and each one can realize his or her dreams. Dreams make us think, thinking makes us to act and actions result in our achievement.

So, let us dream that the day is not far when we can realize our dream of Excel India, when we can wake up every day, enjoying the ‘breezy call of incense breathing morn and the swallow tw’ttering from the straw-built shed’ – as a prelude to the ‘achhe din’ (good days).
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About cvsubramaniam

Former Director, Department of Electronics & Informatiin Technology, Government of India.. Authored Book on Human Resource Management. Published 80 plus articles on HR, Management, S&T, general topics.
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