Next decade is going to witness remarkable changes in India’s economy: Gopal Agarwal
| IOP Desk - 25 Jan 2021



Integration of rural value-chains with the global value-chains is the way forward: Dr. Ram Upendra Das

India needs to scale up our skills and creativity from silos to systems: Amb Anup K Mudgal

Eco development should contribute to human development indicators: Dr. Ernst von Kimakowitz, Switzerland

Universal basic income is key focus area: Pooran Chandra Pandey, Berlin

Women, SMEs and marginal farmers should be in focus of digital financial inclusion: Prof. Arpita Mukherjee

Govt must align its policy reforms with the priorities of the country: Nirupama Soundarajan

Latest disruptive technology should be used widely in agriculture: Himachalam Dasaraju 

Germany and South Korea is better model for India: Prof Rahul Singh

a focused strategy for rural youth development through technologies: Maj. Gen Dilawar Singh

Access to high-quality and affordable education and healthcare are essential: Prof. (Dr.) Shiv K. Tripathi

Govt should reach out to the doors of doers, who are able to give jobs to the people: Onkareshwar Pandey 

Summary of 21 Ideas by young Experts was presented by Dr. Pritish Kumar Sahu

Vote of Thanks was given by Chandran Iyer, Founder Editor and Publisher, Corporate Tycoons, Pune, Maharashtra 


NEW DELHI, JAN 25, 2021:

“The next decade is going to witness remarkable changes in India’s economy as well as the other sectors that support the economy,” said Mr. Gopal Krishna Agarwal, National Spokesperson (Economic Affairs) of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during his inaugural address to ‘21 for 21’ national webinar, focusing on presenting 21 ideas by 21 young economic thought leaders from 21 universities of the country, to Government of India for shaping next development vision.

Appreciating this innovative initiative of IOP, Mr. Gopal Agarwal shared that Monthly economic round up of MOF brings out clearly the V shaped recovery in various economic parameters during recent few months, which is a very good sign. He mentioned that RBI's report a day before points towards robust growth around. GST collection figures, PMI data show fast track rebound in economic activities.

Mr. Agrawal mentioned that the Govt is committed to reforms in agriculture, labour and manufacturing policies.

Speaking about Atma Nirbhar Bharat he said that it is not about a closed economy but integrating domestic manufacturing to global value chains, making them competitive. Agarwal said, "Entrepreneurship development is the key to realize Atma-Nirbhar Bharat under a challenging scenario. We all must prepare to work collectively for developing entrepreneurial India."

Stressing on the need for localized technical education, Mr. Agarwal felt that after the first few decades of economic reforms, now it’s time for the country to take the next phase of reforms in manufacturing, labour and agriculture.

Delivering the keynote, Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Professor and Head, Centre for Regional Trade, New Delhi stressed that integration of rural value-chains with the global value-chains is the way forward to foster economic development in India.

Dr Das felt the need to check migration from Rural to Urban areas and to ensure this, he suggested action agenda including:

1. Creating necessary urban facilities in rural areas like hospitals schools vocational & higher educational institutions shopping complexes and entertainment multiplexes while preserving the farm land and non-farm activities;

2. Private Sector must come forth to catapult the existing DBT financial inclusion network and rural infrastructure upgradation schemes of Central government to deliver a minimum level of urban content to rural area; and

3. Digital networks must be oriented to developing Smart Villages that facilitate Village-level supply chains getting connected with Global Value Chains; helping to achieve the vision of 'One District One Product/ Service' of PM Modi while providing impetus to rural employment generation as well!

Ambassador Anup K Mudgal in his special address mentioned that India needs next level of reforms in terms of promoting entrepreneurship development that addresses sustainability issues at focus. "India has all the fundamental qualities and strengths for positioning itself ahead of the post pandemic curve. However, we need to scale up our skills and creativity from silos to systems. At the team levels, our individual capabilities do not fully add up," said Amb Mudgal who has served in different capacities at the Indian Missions in Mexico (including NAFTA matters), Peru, former Yugoslavia, Belgium (EU matters), Germany, Austria (work relating to IAEA, UNIDO, UNODC, UNOOSA, UNCITRAL), and Mauritius is currently a Member of FICCI Task Force and Steering Committee on Blue Economy.

Dr. Ernst von Kimakowitz, Founder Humanistic Management Network, Switzerland stressed that economic development should be planned in such a way that it contributes to human development indicators. He stressed that time is to realize the difference between means and the desired end.

“For reforms aiming at rural development we need to ensure that we have clarity on the means and ends of development efforts. Too often do we find economic growth positioned as the end, the ultimate goal of development efforts whereas it is a means. The end of development efforts is to create sustainable livelihoods allowing people to live a life in dignity and self-determination. Hence we must always ask how we can make productive use of economic growth, what needs to be in place so that economic growth can make a positive impact on the many people and what will that impact be,” said Dr. Ernst.

Mr. Pooran Chandra Pandey, former CEO of Dialogue of Civilizations, Berlin mentioned that universal basic income is a key focus area for development initiatives in the global south, India and beyond. Pooran initiated by focusing on India’s ‘rural narrative’ on how the country, a majority agrarian, considers incentivising investments into rural areas as it still has more than 65 percent people living there as per World Bank Report 2019. Such cases are visible aplenty as policy measures in the European Union and the West where governments offer a variety of incentives and schemes to businesses and investments going into rural hinterland. “Policies should be directed at enhancing non farm income of farmers and rural households to be able to maintain a broad equilibrium between income, saving and investment where interest rates would play a vital role in strengthening our national economy besides upending consumption and demand, hit hard by ongoing pandemic.” Pooran said. He further stressed that the mechanism of universal basic income can be considered for a nation wide roll out in the country to mitigate both the extreme poverty, and income inequality as a social protection scheme.

Prof. Arpita Mukherjee, Professor at ICRIER, New Delhi mentioned the need for inclusive development with focus on holistic considerations.

“Along with the need for the growth of agriculture and food processing; for the rural economy to grow there should be focus on value addition and improvement on services such as logistics/e-commerce and retail services. It is important to develop, brand and market product-specific clusters, which can meet global food safety and hygiene standards. Along with this, we should diversify exports to high value-added crops like horticulture and organic, to improve farmers income; Entrepreneurship and alternative livelihood development at the village/block levels will provide higher income to the rural population. Technology for product traceability to the field and a B2B platform to connect farmers to markets will help to increase income. Vulnerable groups like women, SMEs and small and marginal farmers have to focus on digital financial inclusion and training initiatives. There is need for efficient waste management law and processes to reduce food loss from farms to consumers,” Prof Arpita said.

Ms. Nirupama Soundarajan, Senior Fellow & Head of Research, Pahle India Foundation, Delhi stressed the need for integrated policy making and scientific measurement of spending. “The government must align its policy reforms with the priorities of the country. There seems to be a disconnect. For instance, India is keen to promote exports through e-commerce, and yet we do not permit any FDI in inventory based e-commerce model. The government should also find ways of linking the urban economy and rural economy. We keep treating both differently and in silos. A more integrated approach is necessary. While logistics has been a priority sector for the government, the fact that our rural manufacturers are yet to benefit from the logistics infrastructure and this is because we have not taken the reforms to the last mile. The third priority for the government must be to review how we spend. Rationalisation of central sector and centrally sponsored schemes must be consolidated,” said Nirupama.

Chairing the session, Prof Himachalam Dasraju, Professor Emeritus (UGC) and Commonwealth Visiting Fellow stressed the need for realizing a triple bottom-line in ensuring sustainable and inclusive development. Dr. Dasaraju emphasized the need for focusing special attention on the Economic, Social, and Environmental values of an investment for attaining sustainable development through infrastructure development in rural areas. In this context, Dr. Dasaraju underlined the dire need to focus attention on the following three key areas.   

1) “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship” in rural and semi-rural areas

2) “Nurturing Entrepreneurship in MSMEs” for achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals, and

3) "Promoting Technology-based Startups” in rural development in the Post-Covid19 “New Normal".

The latest disruptive technology should be used widely in agriculture and allied sector development. 

Moderating the session on 21 Ideas in 2021 for Rural Economic Development, Prof Rahul Singh, Professor and Chair - Strategy and Globalisation connected the dots on how Indigenous models of economic development and socio-cultural development can bring in sustainable approach. Developing a model on lines of Germany and South Korea is better model for India, which can create SMEs helping manufacturing and entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country, and engage larger populations without concentration in few cities of economic activities.

Summary of 21 Ideas sent by young Economic Experts from 21 Universities was presented by Dr. Pritish Kumar Sahu, Faculty Member, Birla Global University, Bhubaneshwar. This will be submitted to the Govt shortly.

Maj. Gen Dilawar Singh, Former DG, NCC and NYK, Founder Director, Global Chamber of Sports, Education & Culture, Delhi in his concluding thoughts stated that with majority of our population living in rural India, there is a need to create synergy in the numerous positive schemes initiated by the Govt and pursue a focused strategy for rural development and rural youth development through optimisation of available and emerging technologies. The pandemic has shifted the weight of imparting education on digital medium, In order to ensure our rural children do not lag behind the penetration and availability of internet, electricity, laptops/mobiles and adequately trained and tech oriented trainers/teachers needs to be ensured. Maj. Gen Dilawar Singh further emphasised on transparency, ease of access to resources and hand holding for rural entrepreneurs. Rural economic rejuvenation has the highest potential to contribute towards national economic growth and merits impetus.

 The session was moderated by Shiv Tripathi and the welcome address was delivered by Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey.

Prof. (Dr.) Shiv K. Tripathi, Professor and Dean (Training), IIHMR University and India Chapter Lead - Humanistic Management Network said, "Healthcare and education are two fundamental areas that help in improvement in sustainable quality of life. While progresses on all other economic, social and environmental indicators are important to ensure continuity in growth and development, access to high-quality and affordable education and healthcare are essential to drive India to path sustainable development. We expect our Govt and policy makers to be creative and innovative in setting priorities and allocating budget for these two areas. It is not only about resource allocation rather also include considerations for creating mechanisms that will drive need-based resource-optimization and making these sectors self-sustainable through cross-subsidy, public-private partnerships (PPP) and moreover, purpose-driven collective action, the true spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 17 (SDG 17)."

Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey, Editor in Chief of Indian Observer Post and organiser of this event while wWelcoming the guests in his opening remarks said, “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. And battles of this century will be fought and won on the “power of ideas. This unprecedented time needs unprecedented ideas for revival of our economy,” He stated that, “We need to suggest reforms and ideas for revival. We need policies that would enable India to optimise these emerging opportunities and would show us the way what we as a nation do in concert so that we turn out to be winners and not losers.” Quoting a report of UNCTAD that has pleaded “governments to do whatever it takes” to stop economic contraction becoming a recession or worse, a prolonged depression, and to protect the poorest, Mr. Pandey suggested that “instead of working hard to provide ease of doing business, the Government should reverse the policy and reach out to the doors of doers especially in the business class, who are able to give jobs to the people.”

Vote of Thanks was given by Chandran Iyer, Founder Editor and Publisher, Corporate Tycoons, Pune, Maharashtra. 


The event was organised by Indian Observer Post and its 4 knowledge networks - GLOBAL THOUGHT LEADERS WOMEN THOUGHT LEADERS  I WORLD WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP NETWORK INDIAN THOUGHT LEADERS  in association with Corporate Tycoons. Promoted by GOLDEN SIGNATURES (GOLDEN SIGNATURES RESEARCH AND CONSULTING) and established in 2018, GSRC has the roots in Rurban Media Pvt Ltd, which was found in 2015. Rurban Media owns Daily Newspapers titled – New Observer Post (English & Hindi) (RNI Registered).  Founded by Onkareshwar Pandey, a 9 time experienced Editor, noted journalist and Thought Leader, GOLDEN SIGNATURES is host of several reputed brands like Indian Observer Post, a niche online media portal in English and Hindi; Golden Signatures Awards; Elections Strategists; ITL – Indian Thought Leaders, WTL – Women Thought Leaders, GTL – Global Thought Leaders - digital networks of Indian Knowledge Leaders; Rurban Voice, a research, study and survey agency focussed on rural India; GIWA – The Great Indian Women Awards; and many other leadership series, programs and national level projects. The long surviving brands are now aggregated in GOLDEN SIGNATURES


INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email –






(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. Email - SMS- 9910150119)





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