New Delhi: Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, today stressed the need for improving the quality and timely delivery of services to citizens, in addition to ensuring access. He called for a review of the existing models of service delivery and replicating good practices from the best performing districts. Underscoring ‘delivery is the key’ to government programmes, Shri Naidu said ‘there is no meaning to reform unless delivery of services without delay and dilution is ensured’. He referred to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) as the defining moment in the transformative journey of governance in India.
Highlighting the importance of inclusivity, Shri Naidu emphasised that the benefits of developmental programmes must reach all segments of society, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. In this context, he referred to path-breaking schemes such as Aspirational Districts programme to accelerate development in areas which lagged behind. He also lauded the government for setting an ambitious target of providing tapped water connections to nearly 20 crore households by 2024.
Releasing the book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said that as India celebrates 75 years of independence, it is also the time to evaluate the progress of the constitutional promise of a ‘dignified life’ to the common man. The right to a dignified life, without discrimination against any individual or community “is a pledge we have given to ourselves at the beginning of our Republic, to be upheld at all times”, he said.
Highlighting the importance of skills and opportunities in improving living standards of people, the Vice President suggested that along with good education, we need to equip our youth with the requisite skill set for them to achieve success. He called upon the private sector to complement the government’s efforts in skilling the youth and making them conversant with the latest technologies to improve their employability.
Lauding the government for creating a dedicated Skill Development Ministry, Shri Naidu expressed happiness that industry leaders through CSR funds and non-government organizations are contributing to skill development. He advised that every industry must have a ‘skill development centre’ to upskill trainees and employees.
Shri Naidu also underscored the importance of improving infrastructure, creating a conducive business environment and adopting the latest technology to fully tap the inherent skills and talent among people. Giving the instance of agriculture, he said that even though our farmers toil day and night to feed the country, they have only had subsistence incomes over the years. “With the right inputs through programmes like Soil Health Card, market opportunities like e-NAM, irrigation projects through Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, easy crop insurance through Fasal Bima Yojana and better value addition to crops through food processing, our farmers have been working miracles, through record food-grain production over the years”, he said. He called for further diversification and scientific production of crops, apart from ensuring remunerative prices to farmers.
Referring to various people-centric initiatives in health and education, Shri Naidu complimented the government for ‘thinking outside the box and seeking to transform governance’ in the country. Observing that more than 10 crore toilets were built for the poor through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a personal initiative of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he said the programme saved millions of children from diarrheal deaths and brought dignity and safety to women.
Terming the National Education Policy as a ‘visionary document’, Shri Naidu said it has the promise to “make education in India a holistic, value-based and a happy learning experience”. Similarly, the emphasis on the mother tongue as the medium of instruction at primary level and initiative to offer professional courses in mother tongue are welcome moves, he added.
Shri Naidu underscored that progress in a federal polity like ours was only possible through a dialogue between the Union and state governments. “The concept of Team India, underscored by Prime Minister Modi ji so often, is the only way out”, he said. He called upon centre and states to cooperate and to be in a continuous dialogue for the progress of the nation.
The Vice President appreciated the efforts of the 28 eminent authors who contributed 25 essays in the book on various sectors of Indian governance. He also commended the editor of the book, Shri K.J. Alphons, Member of Rajya Sabha and the publishers. He hoped the book will serve as a guide for policymakers to reflect and identify key elements of the unfinished agenda of our development.
Hon’ble Governor of Kerala, Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology, Shri Rajeev Chandra Sekhar, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, Member of Parliament, Shri K J Alphons, Director, OakBridge Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Shri Vikesh Dhyani and others were present during the event.