Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on India’s defense preparedness and his exhortation for efforts to make the country self-reliant in the defense sector have borne fruit and that’s the crux of our Cover Story this week. Taking an overall look at the country’s defense requirements, its production capabilities, and misplaced priorities of the previous governments, the story explains how a revolutionary turnaround has been brought about after PM Modi assumed power about eight years ago. It cites facts and figures to establish how the long road to self-reliance has been traversed substantially over the past few years. A somewhat-related report on PM stressing the importance of an integrated system for security education in the country also forms part of this edition.
As the newly-elected players get busy in the government-formation process in five states, Blitz India takes a closer look at the poll results with two analytical pieces. In the first, we explain how riding on the crest of various welfare schemes, the BJP regained power in four states, including the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
The choice of the Aam Adami Party in Punjab also reflects the voter’s trust in the party’s good governance record in Delhi. As emphasized earlier, the poll outcome clearly demonstrates that the electorate transcended political barriers and voted for development. While crediting the UP win to BJP’s targeted outreach to the poorest of the poor with a bouquet of social security schemes, the second write-up refers to the state’s ranking in NITI Aayog’s MPI report to bring home the point that Yogi 2.0 must lead the way on SDGs.
Continuing our Ukraine-related coverage, we devote this week’s Centerspread to Operation Ganga, the Government’s mission to evacuate stranded Indians from the war-torn nation. Holding the command, PM Modi adopted a multipronged approach, deputed four senior ministers, and ensured that every organ of the Government worked round-the-clock to make the Herculean task a great success. No doubt, it was a commendable achievement against the backdrop of a massive war in which all manner of arms and armaments are being used. Poland, as the focus country for our weekly Globetrotting, is also a strategic choice as the East European country has not only ensured the safe evacuation of thousands of Indian medical students from Ukraine; but also offered them a chance to continue their studies uninterrupted. Poland shares a long-standing friendly relationship with India and it is our largest trade partner and export destination today in the Central European region, with bilateral trade growing almost seven-fold over the last ten years. An accompanying piece on this page deals with how the country is bearing the brunt of the fast-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Over to you!
NATION BUILDER Dr. Rajiv Kumar
Foresightedness and hard work exemplified
Blitzindiamedia by Blitzindiamedia April 1, 2022 in march_third
NATION BUILDER Dr. Rajiv Kumar
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Five years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a famous statement that “hard work is more powerful than Harvard.” He was emphasising the importance of not just assiduousness but also the virtue of being grounded in reality. This was in sharp contrast with the rise of some deracinated grandees whose sole qualification is some fancy foreign degree. Dr. Rajiv Kumar is one scholar who, while holding an Oxford degree, is hard-working.
Perhaps this is the reason that he is the Vice-Chairman, National Institution for Transformation of India or NITI Aayog, in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. The Prime Minister is the Chairman, NITI Aayog. Dr. Kumar also serves as the Chancellor of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow.
Dr. Kumar holds a Ph.D. from Lucknow University, which he received in 1978, and a D.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University which he received in 1981. He has Bachelor’s Degree from St. Stephen college, Delhi University. This makes him come up with sound politico-economic analysis.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a famous statement that “hard work is more powerful than Harvard.” He was emphasising the importance of not just assiduousness but also the virtue of being grounded in reality. This was in sharp contrast with the rise of some deracinated grandees whose sole qualification is some fancy foreign degree. Dr. Rajiv Kumar is one scholar who, while holding an Oxford degree, is hard-working
Commenting on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s impressive victory in the recently held state elections, he said, “The results have shown that the Prime Minister’s stand of not being a populist but doing what is good for the economy has been endorsed by the people. The political narrative will change from populist to good economics also being good politics.”
Dr. Kumar could say that because he has wide experience of having worked in academia, government, industry, and in multilateral institutions. After completing his D.Phil at Oxford, Dr. Kumar started his academic career in the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Delhi, as a Program Coordinator from 1982-to 1987.
He was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, (1987-89). He later became the Director & CEO of ICRIER between 2006 and 2011. He served as Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (2013-16), Delhi. He founded the Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit making research think tank in 2013, which he also headed until 2017.
His earlier stints in the Government were as Senior Consultant at the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices, Ministry of Industry (1989-1991), and as Economic Advisor with the Department of Economic Affairs, ministry of Finance (1991-94). His experience in multilateral financial institutions was with Asian Development Bank, Manila, where he spent 10 years before returning to India in 2004. He also worked as a Consultant to Unctad, Unido, and the World Bank.
He was the Chief Economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) during 2004-2006 and the Secretary-General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) during 2011-2013. Dr. Kumar has served on the Central Boards of State Bank of India for two terms and on the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India.
He is the writer of several books on India’s economy and national security. He is an economic columnist for major Indian publications and is a speaker on the Indian political economy.
His knowledge and experience make him a perfect bridge between the Modi regime, which is committed to reforms, and India Inc. The NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman some time ago interacted with over 65 think tanks on the “macroeconomic perspective” of the economy and the Union Budget 2022-23. The think tanks included the National Council of Applied Economic Research and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and ICRIER.