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Five Big Ideas to Make Bharat a Developed Nation by 2047


Niti Aayog in consultation with stakeholders has been readying a vision document for Bharat to evolve as a developed country in 25 years from now. This document is expected to be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 90 days from now.


Bharat celebrates 100-years as an independent nation in 2047 free from clutches of imperialistic British rule. By then, the country will have to implement a flawless plan to not fall into classic middle-income trap and emerge as a thriving developed economy. Given that independent consultancies and multi-lateral funding agencies foresee possibility of becoming a developed country, getting there seamlessly is what the government may have to work on.

For this to happen, primacy must be on moderating rising cost of goods and services and at the same time sustain quality, quantity and price competitiveness for these items apart providing access to Bharat’s market.

A national debate may have to be kicked off by Niti Aayog to get the strategy right instead of limiting their consultation to a powerful few that matter today.

Fresh ideas and concepts need serious consideration to bolster moves to turn Bharat into third largest economy with US $ 30 trillion size overshadowing Germany and Japan by 2030.

Here are the five big ideas that CIHS offers:

Economy’s fourth pillar: Economic restructuring is something that needs to be undertaken urgently and expeditiously thereby preparing the ground for transformation into a developed country.

    For that to happen, fourth pillar of the economy needs to be built painstakingly. Grassroots businesses, cooperatives, producers’ organizations with direct linkages to consumers may have to don this role. Many of these consumers may also be business partners of these enterprises.

    Foreign, domestic, public sector investments apart from household savings and spending through annual budgets by states and centre may not suffice to trigger the transformative change that Bharat is aspiring for.

    Carving out at least 500,000 grassroots cooperatives in select sectors to provide goods and services, undertake exports and provide jobs may have to be scientifically designed.

    Bharat needs to be designed as the ‘largest participative economy’ that’s not constrained or limited by stock markets, portfolio investors, domestic savings or foreign funds.

    A large number of big, medium and small profitable enterprises in cooperative sector that are essentially rural will have to emerge and take the lead in next phase of economic expansion. Extending beyond possible 50 lakh street vendors, 66 lakh loans and a measly Rs 8600 crore is something that Bharat has to plan for at grassroots.

    From banking, insurance, pension funds to home grown low cost, home or family based enterprises run on the spirit of cooperation and sustainability is what Bharat may have to design.

    Recalibrating defunct or loss-making cooperatives by inducing professionalism and spirit of enterprises may be the starting point. Bharat’s government at centre, states and local bodies or district administration will have to collaborate to rejig the cooperatives and establish 500,000 new enterprises that are worth billions of dollars.

    Antyodaya: Reaching out to last individual standing in the line should form bulwark of the restructuring plan that takes Bharat to aspired third position in global economic pecking order.

    In the spirit of Antyodaya, broadening and deepening economic growth story to turn ‘all inclusive’ from spread of prosperity to providing services at lowest strata of village panchayats is something Bharat can work on.

    If message of ‘Bhagwan Ram’ can be taken to 500,000 villages to mobilize support for construction of a grand temple at Ayodhya on mission mode, there’s no reason why the ‘Antyodaya’ movement cannot methodically reach these far-flung places and people in seven years. Like Ram Lulla  signifies unification of a diverse Bharat’s society, Antyodaya should serve as unified economic emancipation and empowerment plan.

    Antyodaya cannot be limited to a ‘food scheme’, ‘skills development or a couple of projects in states or centre. An economic model that allows uplift of people at lowest strata in a protracted but sustained way needs to be rolled out by both central government and states in the spirit of ‘team Bharat’.

    For too long, there has been debate on ‘Antyodaya’ as the clinching factor in economic transformation, both in right wing and Left of centre political formations. Getting the model right is the key and implementing ‘Antyodaya’ taking each family as a unit to building clusters of self-ruled and sustained villages. This would translate to decentralization and democratization at lowest in the economic pyramid.

    100 big Indian brands & companies: Can we take this economic change to a different level? In next seven years, can we build 100 known desi global brands for goods and services consumed in at least 25 countries each? Should we not chart a plan to build at least 100 large trans-national behemoths that account for about $ 10 trillion?

    Do our enterprises have the heft to get there and be there in the reckoning? Big question therefore is when do we build our own ‘Apple’ kind of a trillion dollar enterprises?  Let’s concede that unless wealth is produced, democratically spread and celebrated, this cannot happen. From banking, insurance, pension funds to iconic products and services can be ‘Made in India’ for the world, owned by Indians that showcase them with pride.

    Identify at least ten sectors in which the transformation that can be achieved by drawing up fool-proof plans. Here again democratization of these giant enterprises is what can be attempted with millions of stakeholders controlling the wealth.

    Strategic investment plans: Investments and businesses can be dovetailed to suit Bharat’s strategic futuristic plans. This involves careful assessment of Bharat’s interests, both offensive and defensive, to ride on the right horse.

    Chinese Communist Party has made strategic investments globally to suit President Xi Jingping’s aspiration of ruling the country for life time. In Bharat’s context, it cannot be individual centric but role the country would play internationally, both soft and strategic. Identifying a dozen areas with strategic interface and clear goal posts set for these enterprises may have to be readied as part of 2047 action plan.

    Criticism from a few Left of centre political formations notwithstanding, Bharat has to ready plans to play key global role in the spirit of ‘Vasudaika Kutumbakam’.

    Strategic independence & engagement: Identifying 25 partner countries to cement investment, trade and economic relations apart soft power play is what the vision document has focus on. India’s growing clout globally makes it imperative to chalk out detailed roadmaps for engagement while retaining its strategic independence as reflected in Russia – Ukraine war and Israel – Hamas conflict. Combining development outreach with soft interplay of cultural and societal interplay is what needs to be elaborated in the 2047 vision document.

    No-holds barred debate on basic objectives of attaining ‘developed country’ status may precede fine balancing of its vision document. Charting a new economic development plan is what can work best for Bharat.

    (Author is Director & Chief Executive of New Delhi-based think tank, Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies) 

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