When society gives big mandates to parties and social standpoints, it also expects magnanimity and inclusiveness in the same measure. I want to list some of the reforms that are crying for implementation in the larger institutional interest of an inclusive society.
For a long time, we have been trying to universalise the benefits of food security, employment guarantee to all regions and a very large number of communities. To eliminate absolute poverty in the next few years, we need structural changes. We should provide the benefit of employment guarantee for minim of 100 days or even more in drought or flood affected years. Not forgetting that average days are less than half at present. I have argued this many times earlier that let us focus on regions where market wage rates are lesser than minimum wage rates. These are the ares where market is not able to clear the labour supply and demand adequately. The food security should cover these regions much more vigorously. The present degree of coverage makes no sense from any perspective of social justice or efficient use of available resources. By no stretch of imagination, more than thirty to forty percent people need food subsidy. This kind of thin spreading of social security resources will never help alleviate poverty stress.
There must be special concession in tax policy to encourage high net worth individuals to invest in ventures/ startups located in these regions. We need a major thrust for generating jobs in regions from where labour has to migrate out the most. The social, employment, food security and other developmental policies must first converge on these regions to eliminate the hunger, extreme unemployment and other social stresses in next three to four years.
The innovation led entrepreneurship of course needs to be encouraged every where but not by drawing young people away from their home towns or villages unless market or technological reasons warrant that. The in-situ incubation model is being adopted by many states in our country. It was developed originally at GIAN and later replicated by NIF. Idea is to extend incubation support, mentoring, wherever possible fabrication facility, financial support and other learning opportunities at the place of the entrepreneur through online resources. Periodically such social and economic entrepreneurs can be brought together for face to face interactions and peer learning.
Open source high quality educational content must be delivered to every government school. In five years time, we should aim to convert government schools the place of first preference for majority of children. Online helpline run by bright teachers from all kinds of schools must be accessible to answer questions of disadvantaged children whose parents can’t afford tuition. We should stop producing two kinds of citizens. One who will rule this country generally from private schools and second to serve them from government schools.
There are many more changes that are needed and I will share them in coming weeks. Communal harmony, social and regional harmony are the fundamental tenets if an inclusive society. Let us not let a culture of hatred or disdain towards others ever take roots in our society. Fairness in distribution of resources and opportunities has been a hall mark of our society in the recent years. Let us take it to new level of excellence, inclusivity and harmony in our society. Amen!