Vision 2020: Dr A P J Abdul Kalam
India Vision 2020 was initially a document prepared by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council of India’s Department of Science and Technology under the chairmanship of Dr. Kalam and a team of 500 experts. The same plan is further detailed and discussed elaborately in the book India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, which Dr. Kalam coauthored with Dr. YS Rajan.
In Dr. Kalam’s own words, the plan is about “transforming the nation into a developed country, five areas in combination have been identified based on India’s core competence, natural resources and talented manpower for integrated action to double the growth rate of GDP and realize the Vision of Developed India.”
The document not only recognizes five distinct areas which will enable us to become a developed country but also creates a distinctive profile for a developed India.
The distinctive profile of a developed India is a nation wherein the rural-urban divide is reduced as much as possible, a nation where there is equitable distribution of and adequate access to energy and quality water, and a nation where the three sectors of the economy work in symphony with each other. The profile envisions a nation where education with a good value system is not denied to meritorious candidates due to societal or economic discrimination and one which is a hub for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors from around the world. Developed India is a nation where the best of healthcare is available to all, poverty has been eradicated, and illiteracy removed, crimes against women or children absent and one where no individual feels alienated. It is a nation where governance is responsive, transparent and corruption-free, a nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy, and continues on a sustainable growth path one which is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.
The areas recognized that require focus for the successful fulfillment of this vision are:
1. Agriculture and food processing: Aimed at doubling the present production of agricultural and food processing.
2. Infrastructure with reliable electric power: Providing urban amenities to rural areas, and increasing solar power operations.
3. Education and Healthcare: Directed towards illiteracy, social security, and overall health for the population.
4. Information and Communication Technology: For increased e-governance to promote education in remote areas, telecommunication, and telemedicine.
5. Critical technologies and strategic industries: The growth of nuclear technology, space technology and defense technology.
With four years to go for the benchmark that was set by Dr Kalam, Vision 2020 seems like another plan which looked good on paper but could not be implemented in our country. The government’s focus has also shifted, from Vision 2020 to Vision 2035, which was also created by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council of India’s Department of Science and Technology.
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