THE 68TH ANNIVERSARY of India’s Independence kindled hopes on the economy regaining momentum. Shunning bulletproof glass shields, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised hopes on social and economic development with an evocative speech. That said, there is a long way to travel from speech to outcome. Our column C-Box carries highlights of his talk.
This edition of the Industrial Economist looks closely at the ills afflicting the judiciary. For the first time, we talk about the elephant-in-the-room. In today’s India, we have age-old laws that cry for amendment and the legal system and its framework need revamping. Our cover story carries suggestions for judicial reforms to keep us in tune with changing times. Mounting number of cases, inadequate judges, out-dated systems and practices cry for speedy reforms, increased working hours and immediate marriage with technology. Top lawyers comment on these in this edition.
Food and Agriculture have always impacted governments. Modi’s stand in vetoing the Trade Facilitation Agreement with the WTO on terms of addressing food subsidies is proof of India’s concern to this raging issue. India has 25 per cent of the world’s hungry and they depend on government-subsidised programmes. By 2025, India must produce 300 MT of food-grains but shrinking land sizes and poor recourse to science and technology pose a threat to achieving this target. Industrial Economist has been stressing on effective use of technology and management to harness the big potential of agriculture. We believe GM crop technology can bring about huge productivity improvements. We spoke to a galaxy of scientists and experts on what GMT is really about and why it is necessary for Indian agriculture. We capture those in this issue.
Infrastructure is the backbone of any nation. Thanks to the ailing former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we today enjoy swift travel over national highways. The present government should now focus on the railways. With huge potential for development, the PPP model will help expand in quick time. While China has reached speeds of 400 km/h, India still trudges at around 100 km/h. Industrial Economist has been advocating the need for high-speed tracks and trains that would cover the distance between Chennai and Bengaluru in 60-minutes flat. Our Editor talks about the lost time of the Railways and how it could catch up.
Elsewhere we cover how BHEL, Maruti and SAIL in that order were beneficiaries of the remarkable stewardship of V Krishnamurthy, who has now written his memoirs on taking three large public sector corporations to great heights.
India now stands at the cusp of history. In more ways than one 2014 is what 1984 was to the earlier generation. At the end of that year, the nation voted with its feet to place Rajiv Gandhi at the helm. He flattered to deceive. Today, in 2014, another generation has lifted another man to the pedestal. He needs to accelerate economic reforms. He needs to walk the talk. And most importantly his government has to be transparent, creative and productive.
If the government can enable an environment that facilitates not just one chaiwala to become prime minister but energises a whole lot to achieve their high ambitions, the government would have achieved its mission.