Ashoka Reflections_MARCH 2024

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Ashoka Reflections | Page 04

Delivering the keynote address at the ‘Viksit Bharat’ debate held at Ashoka University, India’s G20 Sherpa and

former CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant said that “India needs to accelerate and grow by 9-10% for the next

three decades to become a USD 35 trillion economy by 2047.” He stated that the country needs constant

innovation and disruption to realise this vision, focus on digital and manufacturing-led growth and maximise

the potential of sunrise sectors such as CleanTech and ClimateTech.

The event was jointly organised by New India Junction and Orator’s Club at Ashoka University with

Amitabh Kant as the keynote speaker. New India Junction (NIJ) is an online knowledge platform that

facilitates conversations on issues of national importance among students and change-makers, such as union

ministers, parliamentarians and entrepreneurs. The Orator’s Club at Ashoka University is a student-led body

that fosters public speaking skills among students by providing them with a safe space to practice and learn

through feedback.

Talking about India’s growth story in the last decade, Amitabh Kant stated that the new government in 2014

faced many economic challenges. The reforms undertaken, such as the introduction of Goods & Services Tax,

digitisation of the economy, reduction of corporate tax, and new bankruptcy and insolvency code, have been

the big drivers for achieving “macroeconomic stabilisation.”

Speaking on financial inclusion and transformation, he mentioned that between 2015-17, the government

managed to open 550 million bank accounts, linking them with Aadhaar and mobile phones, which gave birth

to the fast payment infrastructure. It made India a global leader in the category, and enabled access to

services such as “insurance in less than a minute.”

Highlighting the achievements of the incumbent government, he further stated that it enabled “growth with

equity,” provided 40 million houses, 110 million toilets, pipe water connection to 243 million Indians,

electricity to 30 million households, and built 77 thousand kilometres of roads.

A lively Q&A session ensued with students inquiring about EV technology, vision-oriented policies,

manufacturing, digitalisation, and women empowerment. When asked about a perceived lack of overarching

vision in policymaking, he countered the notion of overall incompetence, citing the achievements of NITI

Aayog's aspirational district program and highlighting the importance of competition for increased efficiency.

He further addressed a new plan being worked upon across sectors, which will lay down a clear vision and

action plan for Vision 2047.

While emphasising the role of EV technology, he warned that India could lose its market share if it doesn't

adopt electric vehicles by 2030. Speaking on women-led development and bridging the digital divide, he

underlined the importance of ensuring greater access to digital education for women and enabling them to

take the lead in every area of growth.

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