Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu delivers 21st ASSOCHAM JRD Tata Memorial Lecture


New Delhi: Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said today that in the global arena, India is rising up to assume a leadership position whether it is the issue of climate change, multilateral trade liberalisation or in geo-political affairs. India is being recognized as a strong power not only in terms of its rising economic and market potential but also for its soft power. There is enthusiasm across the globe about India, he said.

Shri Naidu made these remarks while delivering the 21st ASSOCHAM JRD Tata Memorial Lecture, in New Delhi instituted in the name of Shri JRD Tata.

He said that Shri JRD Tata was not only a doyen of the Indian industry but also a visionary leader who foresaw a rising India. “He has been synonymous with high ethical standards and the pioneering spirit of entrepreneurship”, the VP said.

Talking of current economic situation, Shri Naidu said that the fundamentals of Indian economy are strong and with the Government pursuing various reforms, India has potential to emerge as one of the leading economies in the next 10 years. He also exuded confidence that the recent measures taken by the Government will simulate investments, attract capital flows and give a push to GDP growth in the coming months.

Expressing pride at India being the world’s largest and the most vibrant democracy of 130 crore aspirational Indians, the Vice President said that our nation is rising in stature in various fields – be it economic, geo-political influence, defence, sports, science, IT and space technology.

Saying that the right kind of environment has been created for doing business, the Vice President called upon the industry leaders to make best use of the opportunities. He also said that ‘Rising India’ should mean the rise in the living standards of every Indian. Not only should there be greater ease of doing business but there should be greater “ease of living” as well.

Talking of various people centric programs such as Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojana and Swachh Bharat, Shri Naidu said that the extensive use of digital technology has reduced corruption and improved transparency.

Digital India is transforming the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy and Jan Dhan Yojana created a world record in opening the largest number of bank accounts in the shortest time. ‘It has made financial inclusion a reality’, VP said.

Laying vision for future, the Vice President said that now our focus must be on financial literacy and called upon the private sector to work with the Governments, financial institutions and NGOs to bring financial literacy to the masses.

Appreciating that the cutting edge back-end solutions of scores of Fortune 500 companies are being developed in Indian cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, Shri Naidu said that we must use the cutting edge technologies to come up with new products and processes and become the digital hub of the world. “I would like the private sector to create the right ecosystem for young Indian talent flourish by according greater importance to research and innovation”, he added.

Calling Infrastructure is a key pillar for national development, the Vice President said that tremendous progress has been made in this regard in recent years. With an average of 27 kms of national highways and 134 kms of roads being built every day, our villages are better connected and this will improve their overall economic activities, he said.

On the need of realising India’s demographic dividend, the VP emphasised on providing it the right kind of skills and opportunities. Quoting the World Economic Forum’s report “The Future of Jobs 2018”, Shri Naidu said that more than half of Indian workers will require reskilling by 2022 to meet the talent demands of the future and called upon the industry to join hands with the government to create a workforce that has the 21st century skills.

He also stressed upon the need to ensure equal opportunities for women and asked for creation of an eco-system that gives them equal opportunities to grow and contribute to national development.

Highlighting that India wants peace good neighbourly relations, the Vice President said that terror is enemy of humanity and peace is prerequisite of progress.

Shri Balkrishan Goenka, President, ASSOCHAM; Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Senior Vice President, Shri Vineet Agarwal, Vice President and Shri Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM were among the dignitaries present at the occasion which was attended by the diplomats, senior government officials and captains of Indian industry.