Address by Governor at the Xynteo Exchange 2019 at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Xynteo Exchange 2019 at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai at 10 AM on Tuesday 2 April 2019
Smt Rajashree Birla, Chairperson of the India 2022 Advisory Board of Xynteo India, Mr Sanjeev Mehta, CEO & MD of Hindustan Unilever and Executive Committee Chairman of Xynteo India, Mr Lorenzo Simonelli,Global CEO, Baker Hughes, GE and host of the event, Mr Oswald Bjelland, CEO and Chairman Xynteo, all distinguished members of the Advisory Board, Executive Committee and Members, leaders from business, start-up community, academia, research institutions, arts and government,
Good morning and greetings to you.
At the outset, I extend a warm welcome to all the delegates to India, and particularly to this State of Maharashtra and its capital city of Mumbai.
I am indeed delighted to associate myself with the Xynteo Exchange India, which aims at taking forward the agenda of global coalition for creating a new model of growth for India.
I was pleased to note that India’s most respected philanthropist and social worker Padmabhushan Smt Rajashree Birla has been appointed as the Chair of the India 2022 Advisory Board of Xynteo India. I have no doubt in my mind that under her guidance and leadership, many ideas of development emerging from the Exchange will be tran`slated into reality. I congratulate Smt Rajashree Birla on her appointment as the Chair of the India Advisory Board.
I place on record my deep appreciation of all the hosts of this initiative including Hindalco of Aditya Birla Group, Hindustan Unilever, General Electric India, Tata Trusts, Cyient, Shell India, Technip FMC and others for joining hands to create a new model of growth for India by 2022.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This wonderful initiative must succeed if we wish to leave a better world for our children and grand children.
This wonderful initiative must succeed if we wish to undo the immense damage that has already been to our environment, Mother Earth and our Planet during the last one century of industrial development.
India will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Independence from the Colonial Rule in the year 2022.
As a free, democratic and secular Republic, India has made remarkable progress in the realm of socio-political and economic development.
Indian democracy, which is the biggest democracy in the world, has taken strong and deep roots with greater participation of women.
India has witnessed spectacular growth in Industry since independence.
Post 1991, India has unveiled a more liberal trade and business model. This period has witnessed an increase in the number of domestic businesses and the inflow of foreign direct investment, leading to creation of prosperity and employment opportunities.
Maharashtra is a leading State in the country in industrial development. The city of Mumbai has emerged as the growth engine of Indian Economy. The State has made great strides in the Ease of Doing Business.
One major demographic transition has taken place in recent years.
India has emerged as the youngest nation in the world with an average of its citizens standing at 29, which is 8 years younger than an average age of An American and Chinese. I often mention to Ambassadors and Ministers from European countries that the population of the State of Maharashtra alone is equal to the combined population of Germany, Australia and New Zealand put together !
However, our large population is a double-edged weapon. If we fail to educate, skill and re-skill this large group of our young men and women, our demographic dividend will turn into a demographic disaster.
There is another side to the demographic dividend. According to the 2011 census, India has 104 million elderly people having age of 60 and above. It is expected that the country will have 340 million elderly people by 2050. Which means, India alone will have an elderly population which is more than the total population of the United States of America !! Businesses will have to bear these demographic changes in mind while pursuing their business and social goals.
As India gears up to take its place as an emerging superpower, the country will have to address the challenge of meeting the ever growing energy requirements of people and businesses.
Considering India’s growing demand and limited oil and gas reserves, the country has plans to expand its renewable and nuclear power programme. To save the environment and to fight climate change, India wants to generate 175 Giga Watt of renewable energy by 2022. We need global partnership to reach this goal of clean energy.
I am very happy that apart from Energy, the India 2022 coalition has selected Sustainable Mining, Waste Management and Healthcare as themes for action. I wish to flag one more area for collaborative action, and that is water conservation.
Many cities, towns and villages in the world are facing the threat of running out of drinking water. Last year Cape Town in South Africa was in the news for facing the threat of running out of drinking water. What happened to Cape Town may happen to many cities of the world. According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40 per cent in 2030. Without water there will be neither life nor business.
Last year, I had presided over a meeting for rejuvenation of rivers in Maharashtra in association with the Isha Foundation. A good beginning has been made towards this end.
I will appeal to the Xynteo Coalition to make our businesses water-conscious and contribute to making our villages, towns and cities self-sufficient in water. The Coalition must join hands to save forests, lands and water bodies to make our development sustainable and inclusive.
In my capacity as Chancellor of 20 state universities, I often preside over Annual Convocation of Universities. I have noticed that in almost 8 out of 10 cases, the top awards and Gold Medals are bagged by girl students. In the case of University of Mumbai, 46 Gold Medals out of 52 were won by girl students at its recent Convocation.
However, women are distinctly missing in leadership positions and in the employment market.
A survey conducted by an American think tank covering 22000 publicly-traded companies in over 91 countries, showed that companies employing 30 percent and more female executives earn more profits. So it makes a sound economic sense to employ more women as Professors, as Board Members and in all other professions.
While creating a new model of growth for India, we must facilitate the participation of more women in the workspace and in leadership positions.
I was pleased to note that the Coalition has taken up transformative action and projects such as the Pilot to diagnose cardiac problems in villages in Mokshagundam in Andhra Pradesh and soon to be rolled out in Nagpur. I also read about the Plastic Safari project to sensitize children about waste management.
May I draw the attention of India Coalition towards one crucial area?
Thalassemia, Sickle Cell anemia and other genetic disorders are widely prevalent among tribal population in many States in India, including Maharashtra. These disorders require lifelong treatment with repeated blood transfusions, chelating drugs and antibiotics and a multidisciplinary management. The treatment is very expensive. Random screening of couples can prevent Thalessamia. The Health Ministry has proposed compulsory genetic screening of all pregnant women to prevent inherited disorders such as Thalessamia. Through your collaborative effort, you can save a large number ofL precious lives.
India 2022 holds a great hope for humanity, the flora and the fauna. I will be only happy if I could be of any help to you in further advancing the agenda of India 2022.
I thank you all once again and wish you fruitful deliberations.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!