Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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14-12-2004 : Anand

I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of the Silver Jubilee Symposium on Governance in Development: Issues, Challenges and Strategies. I greet the organizers, participants, scientists and technologists, development managers and distinguished guests.

I am not going to discuss governance in development, what I am going to discuss is about the specific development profile of India and its dimensions. As you are aware, India has six hundred thousand villages and seven hundred million people living in the rural sector. Hence, I propose a programme called PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in the Rural Areas) as a development solution for rural sector. For the over all sustainable development of the nation we need approximately 7000 PURA complexes, each PURA having a maximum of hundred thousand people consisting of 20 to 100 villages. I would like to discuss with you all present here thoughts on the effective governance needed for time bound national development programmes such as PURA or networking of rivers.

During the last two and half years I have come across number of models of rural development piloted by individuals, NGOs and institutions. I would like to discuss some of these models and bring out the reasons for their successful operation. I would also like to bring out how the government has acted as a facilitator. These are some of the islands of successes. When we are looking for implementing them in six hundred thousand villages spread in more than 500 districts, we need certain institutional mechanism for governance. These institutional mechanism should be proactive, region specific and amenable to change towards innovation. Towards this I would like to first discuss about the models in the present ambience.

Ambience in the Nation

In the Indian history, very rarely we have come across a situation, all at a time, an ascending economic trajectory, continuously rising foreign exchange reserve, global recognition of technological competence, energy of 540 million youth, umbilical connectivities of 20 million people of Indian origin in various parts of the planet, and the interest shown by many developed countries to invest in our engineers and scientists including setting up of new R&D centers. Priority of government is on economic development by ensuring growth rate of 7% to 8% annually, enhancing the welfare of the farmers and workers and unleashing the creativity of the entrepreneurs, business persons, scientists, engineers and other productive forces of the society.


Rural Prosperity through connectivities

Providing connectivity to village complexes is an urgent need to bridge the rural-urban divide, generate employment and enhance rural prosperity. Repeating what we did before for several decades with more of the same may not be the way to proceed further. We need to innovate to increase connectivities to the villages making clusters out of them even while retaining their individualities.


Essential Connectivities

The integrated methods which will bring prosperity to rural India are: the physical connectivity of the village clusters through quality roads and transport; electronic connectivity through tele-communication with high bandwidth fiber optic cables reaching the rural areas and also through broadband wireless; knowledge connectivity through education, skill training for farmers, artisans and craftsmen and entrepreneurship programmes. These three connectivities will lead to economic connectivity through starting of enterprises with the help of banks, micro credits and marketing of the products. The integrated method envisages a mission mode empowered management structure with executive powers at the local implementation levels and by reducing the transactional costs through simplification of procedures of governance. Hence, the important element of rural development happens to be PURA that is Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas.


PURA Enterprise

The Small Scale Industrial sector in the country has experience in managing the small scale industries of different types in various regions. This sector is widespread in the country and is a promising candidate for becoming the chief and managing the PURA complexes in an integrated way. PURA enterprises can undertake management of schools, health care units, vocational training centres, chilling plants, silos and building a market, banking system and the regional business or industrial units. A new management style has to emerge for managing such type of PURA enterprises. This new PURA enterprise needs partnership from the bank, from the Government and also from the private entrepreneurs.

Structural Support for PURA: Government, NGOs and Corporate sector can be a facilitator for creating this entrepreneurship scheme through the support of the banking system and the marketing system under the cooperative development model. Entrepreneurs and the corporate sector should identify the PURA complexes in their areas and adopt them right now, so that they can be developed in an integrated way. They should create an integrated plan of entrepreneurship development, skill development, product development and establishing market. Determination of products should be done on the basis of the core competence of the region and the availability of raw materials and infrastructure. Once the product is determined it will also involve infusion of new technologies for making it attractive for both national and international market and also productivity enhancement. After establishing the process and methods a vocational training package needs to be established for improving the skill sets of the local population. This is also the time for developing entrepreneurs with leadership qualities who will then create and nurture the enterprise. The selection of entrepreneurs should be preferably done from the higher educational institutions in the region. This will enable creation of the village level industries simultaneously with the establishment of connectivities in the region.

Each PURA depending upon the region will cost between Rs.100-200 crores. It has also to provide direct employment opportunity for 3000 people. If we create a smallscale sector this will mean creation of approximately 10-20 enterprises per PURA complexes. This will also generate employment opportunities in service and support sector for about 10000 people. This is one way of reducing the employment gap leading to upliftment of the 260 million people living below the poverty line.

Now, I would like to discuss some of the operational PURA complexes. I will also discuss the management systems needed for implementing these schemes in our rural cluster in partnership with private and public industries, NGO?s, R&D organisations, academic institutions and other management institutions. How the government can play a proactive role in facilitating these efforts towards sustainable development.


Amul Co-operative model

The cooperative model of Amul is one of the leading example for the successful co-operative model in 20th century in the country. The effort of Dr. V. Kurien the pioneer of this movement has led India to become a leading producer of milk and thus creating white revolution in the country through the comprehensive dairy development project undertaken in the country with an outlay of over seventeen hundred crores in three phases. This project was financed through community aid programme and loans from World Bank and was implemented during the period 1970-1996. This programme has enriched over eleven million farmer members. It has covered over one lakh village cooperative societies setup under the umbrella of 170 district co-operative milk unions, resulting in the production of over hundred and ten lakh kg of milk per day. This has resulted in self-sufficiency of milk and milk products in the country, enriching the farmers and giving a new dimension to this sector. The project is continuously growing. One of the important feature of the project is that the increase in productivity of milk has not resulted in the reduction in the per kg price of milk. This is due to conversion of milk into innovative dairy products needed to meet the growing demand of the nation. If one commodity namely the milk can lead to change in life of 40 million rural people, I am sure we can definitely benefit by extending this concept to some of the following commodities in which India has core competence. In my view, these commodities are seed cotton, jatropha, wheat, rice, maize, vanilla beans and herbal plants. This can easily bring remunerative employment avenues and prosperity to over 280 million people. Only factor is that we have to ensure that these programmes are implemented with speed so that its benefit can reach all the members of the rural community within a definite time frame of ten years. With our experience in the co-operative sector, this is definitely possible. As you are aware a bio-fuel mission is being launched by the Ministry of Agriculture in Jan 2005. Similar missions in other areas can be planned and launched within the next two years.

I have recently visited some tribal villages in South Gujarat. There I have witnessed another model of PURA, which has succeeded through the efforts of BAIF (Bharatiya Agro Industrial Foundation) in collaboration with the state government, which I would like to discuss now.


A typical PURA for Tribal Rehabilitation & Semi-Arid Regions (BAIF)

Food security and self-employment with good income is crucial in tribal and semi-arid regions. I would like to share with you an integrated village cluster development model. In these regions every summer the tribal people migrate to nearby towns. BAIF - (Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation) has introduced a model in two villages with peoples? co-operation and the participation of state authorities. Firstly water harvesting was undertaken to get water for every individual. Every home was provided with livestock and also a market for milk. Simultaneously, fruit orchards were established with various fruit crops such as cashew and mangoes, which are tolerant to drought. When I visited, these villages, there was a connecting road and water ponds. The tribal population, with radiant smiles on their faces, was harvesting crops, packaging and carrying milk to different supply points. I happened to see the economic growth and prosperity of the tribal people, which has been facilitated by BAIF with people?s participation. I understand that this model ? Vadi (Orchard) has now been replicated in many places by the state governments in the Deccan and Desert regions. If such actions are multiplied in a reasonably synchronized manner, then locally generated wealth will increase and create new economic opportunities, thus creating greater income and prosperity levels.


Periyar PURA

Recently I had visited Periyar Maniammai college of technology for women and inaugurated a PURA Complex. I thought of sharing with you the developmental concept of a cluster of over 60 villages near Vallam, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu which involves a population of 3 lakhs. This PURA complex has all the three connectivities - physical, electronic and knowledge - leading to economic connectivity. The centre of activity emanates from the women engineering college that provides the electronic and knowledge connectivity. Periyar PURA has health care centres, primary to post graduate level education and vocational training centres. This has resulted in large scale employment generation and creation of number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 850 self-help groups. Two hundreds acres of waste land has been developed into a cultivable land with innovative water management schemes such as contour ponds and water sheds for storing and irrigating the fields. All the villagers are busy in either cultivation, planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using bio-mass, food processing and above all running marketing centres. This model has emanated independent of any government initiative. The committed leadership has been provided by the Engineering institution. This gives me the confidence that PURA is a realizable proposition and this movement can be multiplied by thousands of entrepreneurs, educational administrators and philanthropic institutions with the support of the government agencies.

The models what I have discussed so far gives the confidence that the rural prosperity is certainly possible if we empower the people, empower the institution and empower the organisation and facilitate them by removing the bottlenecks towards the goal of development for the societal transformation.

Now I would like to suggest a management structure for governance in the newly changed global scenario towards giving a new facet of transformation in the agricultural, production, processing, manufacturing and marketing sector.


Co-operative Structure for Agri-Production-Processing-Marketing

I would now like to discuss a co-operative structure, which can be created for promoting the interest of the farmers.

The essential features would be:

a) Create a co-operative in major centers involving Government, NGOs, Consultancy Services, R&D Organisations and people as partners.

b) Farmers will provide land and labour and will be partners in profit.

c) The NGOs and Consultants will identify the opportunity, draw the business plan, organize value addition and marketing.

d) R&D Organisations will provide knowledge inputs for quality agricultural products and technology transfer including training.

e) The co-operative will provide finance, critical inputs, critical infrastructure, crop insurance and technical guidance such as arrival of monsoon, combating drought etc. to the farmers.

f) The co-operative will be responsible for preservation, diversification, quality assurance, transportation, marketing and profitable operation of the overall business.

g) The Government will provide policy framework for the smooth transparent operation of the co-operative for safeguarding the interest of the farmers and other stakeholders. There is also a need to avoid the problems faced by many cooperatives due to non-professional management.


Co-operative for promoting micro enterprises in non-farm sector

Similar co-operative model can be set up in the non-farm sector to provide constructive and viable solution to the unemployed youth and the women:

i. Set up a co-operative for household manufacturing of consumer products.

ii. Identify domestic and international market for consumer goods, toys, electronic goods, handicrafts, gift items.

iii. Acquire know-how for production from anywhere in the world.

iv. Bring state-of-the art technologies and machineries for production, assembly and integration.

v. Train the unemployed youth and women in the required skill to produce the goods through micro enterprises.

vi. Provide a hassle free banking and financial support by financial institutions.

vii. Ensure strict quality control and timely delivery.

viii. Provide direct market connectivity eliminating the middle trade.

ix. Government to provide a flexible policy frame work, tax structure and connected infrastructure for its export growth.

The above two models will definitely bring a change and transformation in the rural ambience which provides a platform for the people to have a direct participation towards the development of rural economy in the form of rural enterprises.


Multi-pronged Approach ? a Road map for PURA

Now I would like to discuss about a management structure for governance with respect to the Panchayat Raj institutions linked with the rural development missions such as PURA which will provide a sustainable development in the rural area and bring prosperity across the nation.

Rural Development Model for PURA - a three tier Scheme: This rural development model is based on providing connectivities in three different layers in an integrated way with perspective planning and an implementation plan.

In Layer 1: Panchayat Raj institutions at the village level may be empowered to plan and execute by themselves the following facilities such as:

1. Basic Amenities and Sanitary and health center.

2. Support for Primary School education.

3. Self-employment for group of people through self-help groups and micro credit.

4. Desilting of water ponds.

Village panchayats may be provided with direct funding for the execution of these kind of tasks.

In Layer 2: Village Cluster/Complex (20-100 villages) oriented connectivity (Inter-Panchayat Unions) may be established.

These schemes should be planned considering the overall plan and requirement in tune with State and Central planning which would provide sustainable development and proper linkages and connectivity between the schemes which are to be implemented in a group of villages (Village Cluster/ Complex). The essential features would be:-

� Road Network and transportation to connect the cluster of villages and to provide connectivity.

� Electronic connectivity to the groups of villages through broadband, satellite and wireless for last mile connectivity leading to knowledge connectivity through tele-education, tele-medicine and e-governance.

� Health Care Services through Primary Health Centers with adequate facilities, in a few villages among the village cluster, Health Network via tele-medicine through Urban and District hospitals and also with corporate hospitals.

� Education Network for schools as well as farmers, artisans etc., via tele-education network connected to Educational institutions, R&D institutions and industry.

� A Counseling Centre on which farmers can depend on at times of stress and despair. It would be a centre that would make the farmer understand the realities and the fact that one?s life is God?s gift and is more precious than anything else.

In Layer 3: District/Intra district level Projects to be planned and taken up with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Employment, Economic growth and Marketing (Local vs global):

� Identifying the core competence of village clusters

� Identifying market demands ? local, national and international demands

� Entrepreneurship training, skill Upgradation to unemployed youth, farmers, artisans and creation of incubation centers in tie ups with Educational institutions, industry and R&D Organisations

� Establishment of enterprises with the state-of-the-art technologies.

� Creation of marketing centers or complexes which have direct linkages with the current market

� Energy requirement through community based electricity through non-conventional energy resources for a group of villages ? municipal waste, agricultural waste, bio waste ? to ? power generation. This would be viable for implementation with groups of villages rather than planned for single villages or single cities.

� Water requirement through water recycling plants, desilting ponds and cleaning inlets and exits, Check dams, Mega sea water desalination using solar energy, brackish water and drip irrigation.


Transparent and pro-active Governance

In order to ensure the development reaches the people and brings prosperity to their home life and thereby increasing the purchasing power thus enriching village economy, it is essential to provide a proactive and transparent governance. It is possible through the implementation of e-governance by means of Information and Communication Technology.

I visualize the e-Governance which may be defined as follows:

"A transparent smart e-governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the inter-departmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to all the citizens."

I have always been in my life an advocate of using technology for the betterment of our society. e-Governance is one such opportunity. I want all of you to remember, the technology is a double edged sword. If we don?t have an implementation plan from concept to completion, in less than one or two years, shelf life of technology will be over and we will not be able to reap the benefits. It is essential to implement the e-governance process in a mission mode. Implementation of the e-Governance will become successful only by ?bringing change in thinking and in doing so? by democratizing the information with proper administrative reforms eliminating the procedural bottlenecks. This will certainly bring the necessary platform for growth oriented development and thus ensuring the benefits reach the target population without any dilution.


Conclusion: Creative Leadership

Perhaps there has to be one question dominating the minds of the audience. This question is: What can I do for the prosperity and growth of the nation. There are 540 million youth below 25 years in the population of a billion people. The nation needs young leaders who can command the change for transformation of India into a developed nation embedded with knowledge society. The leaders are the creators of new organizations of excellence. Quality leaders are like magnets that will attract the best of persons to build the team for the organization and give inspiring leadership even during failures of missions as they are not afraid of risks. This is true, because, I have personally seen and worked with creators of visions and missions.

One of the very important ingredients for success of the vision of transforming India into a developed nation by 2020 is the evolution of creative leaders. I am giving a connectivity between developed India, economic prosperity, technology, production, productivity, employee role and management quality, all of which linked to the creative leader. Who is that creative leader? What are the qualities of a creative leader? The creative leadership, is exercising the task to change the traditional role from commander to coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self respect. The higher the proportion of creative leaders, the higher the potential of success of visions like "developed India" .

Mission of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand is to build capability of creative leadership among students which will generate many young entrepreneurs for participating in the transformation of India into a prosperous, happy and strong nation. I wish all the students very bright future.

My best wishes to all the participants of the Silver Jubilee Symposium for productive deliberations and promotion of efficient governance towards national development.

May God bless you.




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