Address by Governor at the launch of the book “The Innovation Republic: Governance Innovations in India under Narendra Modi” authored by Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Shri Dhiraj Nayyar in Pune
Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao at the launch of the book “The Innovation Republic: Governance Innovations in India under Narendra Modi” authored by Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Shri Dhiraj Nayyar at YASHADA, Pune at 1145 hrs on Monday 9th April 2018
Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Shri Dhiraj Nayyar, OSD and Head, Economics, Finance and Commerce Cell, Niti Aayog, Shri Anand Limaye, Director General, YASHADA, Smt Prerana Deshbhratar, Deputy Director General YASHADA, Shri Anirudhha Deshpande, Chairman, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, Shri Ravindra Sathe, Director General, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, distinguished invitees, officers, ladies and gentlemen,
I am indeed very happy to associate myself with the release of the book, “Innovation Republic: Governance Innovations in India under Narendra Modi”, jointly authored by Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Shri Dhiraj Nayyar.
It is only appropriate that this function is taking place in the premises of the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) which has the mandate to groom elected representatives and officers in the task of good governance.
The book has come at an appropriate juncture. The Hon’ble Prime Minister will be completing 4 years in office next month. The book enables readers and citizens to take an objective look at the work done by the Hon’ble Prime Minister by introducing various simple and innovative ideas for good governance.
The book captures 17 Governance Innovations brought by the Union Government during the years 2014 to 2018. I understand that the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini’s research team went through the achievements and innovations of around 100 departments of central government and finally zeroed in on innovations in 17 areas.
I congratulate Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Shri Dhiraj Nayyar who have authored the book in the form of beautiful stories and articles. The book is a welcome addition to the discourse on contemporary development. I also convey my sincere appreciation, through Shri Aniruddha Deshpande and Shri Ravindra Sathe, to the research team of the Prabodhini.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A scrutiny in the past, affirms the fact that India had been an Innovation Republic for many years. Long spell of foreign domination deprived India of its economic, political and social clout.
According to historian J T Sunderland, quoted by another great Historian Will Durant, “Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world, nearly every kind of creation of Man’s brain and hand, had long, long been produced in India.
India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe, or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods – the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen and silk – were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, ceramics of every kind, quality, colour and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal – iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture and great engineering works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, great bankers and financiers. Not only was India the greatest ship building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea, which extended to all known civilized countries. Such was the India which the British found when they came.” (Unquote).
Study of the old models of government in India show that there were many small republics in ancient India. These republics had elements of democracy in administration. Our local governance structure was so strong and deep rooted that even the British couldn’t dispense with it.
Since attaining Independence, India made various governance innovations.
In the year 1991, when Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao took the decision to open up the economy of India and make the way for globalization, liberalization and privatization, it was a governance innovation, which saved India from the brink of an economic disaster.
Somehow, in the present era of disruptive changes, our development was struck on account of many reasons. Since taking charge in 2014, the Narendra Modi government has challenged the status quo in every area of governance.
In a span of 4 years, the Narendra Modi government has set off a thousand revolutions in different spheres of governance – social, economic and political.
Two decisions of the Narendra Modi Government, namely Demonetization and the passing of GST bill were fraught with great risk – risk of losing out the popular mandate of the entire people of the country, risk of incurring the wrath of traders, industry leaders and common people; and risk of disturbing the momentum of the economy, etc. However, people supported both the decisions wholeheartedly when they realized that the decisions were for the greater public good.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Governance innovation is nothing but new ideas, experiments and practices that help achieve better coordination and more commonly shared results.
The Jan Dhan yojana was a masterstroke with which the objective of financial inclusion was achieved. By 7th February 2018, over 31 crore (or 310 million) bank accounts were opened and over Rs. 745 billion were deposited under the scheme.
Today, education scholarships awarded to poor students are credited directly to their bank accounts. Innovations such as Direct Benefit Transfer under MGNREGA, ‘Government e-Marketplace’ and e-NAM have helped people and other stakeholders immensely. Likewise the Public Distribution System has been overhauled using technology. These initiatives have brought great relief to people and put an end to corruption. I look at these decisions as most innovative governovations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A monumental shift took place in India’s diplomacy and foreign relations during the last four years. India has forged strategic partnership with the United States, Russia, Australia, Gulf and African countries. The historic visit by the Prime Minister to Israel opened new avenues for strong and robust partnerships between the two great nations. Israel as we all know, is a land of innovation and start-up ventures and I am sure India’s friendship with Israel will prove to be mutually beneficial.
For the first time in many years, India has been able to re-connect itself with the 30 million strong Indian Diaspora. Through the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians, NRIs and PIOs, living in different countries, have been made stakeholders in bringing about the social and economic transformation of India. The idea of celebration of ‘International Day of Yoga’ brought India close to every nation of the world.
I do feel that every state in India should have its own ‘Innovation Laboratory’ to innovate and recommend innovations in governance at all levels, beginning with the gram sabha. Such ‘Innovation Laboratory’ should comprise young people, professionals, social scientists and people engaged in development work. I am sure ‘Innovation Labs’ will help us find ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions to challenges like food security, energy security, water security, unemployment, and so on. ‘Innovation Labs’ can help us to usher in a strong, progressive and prosperous India.
The Innovation Republic presents the story of rapid acceptance of the culture of innovation and creativity in governance under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
I congratulate Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Shri Dheeraj Nayyar for their efforts in documenting governance innovations. I will recommend the book to every student of development administration and citizens at large.
I wish and hope that the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini will continue its good work and identify more such governance innovations, which have the power to transform India. These ideas can help India regain and reclaim its legitimate place in the affairs of the world.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!