India is poised to become the entrepreneurial engine of the world and lead in innovation and economic development thanks to the factors like its frugal development model and advantage of demographic dividend, Union minister Jayant Sinha said. He said the India made optimum use of resources and was extremely energy efficient. “India has a unique frugal development model that can be exemplary in the world. Also, we have 50 crore of young population, which is also the largest in the world. These two factors give us an advantage to lead the world in innovation and economic development,” the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation said. He was speaking on ‘It’s India’s turn now’ as part of the lecture series ‘Reinventing India’ initiated by Pune International Centre (PIC) at MCCIA. Presenting the statistics about India’s growing economy, Sinha said, “India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is currently growing at 7 to 8 per cent. If it is looked at in the context of purchasing power parity (PPP) India’s economy is worth 9.5 trillion dollars. In the next decade, it will contribute 11 trillion dollars to the world economy,” he said.
According to Sinha, these statistics put India on par with many leading countries in the world, including the USA and China. “While achieving this development rate, we are using 25 per cent of the steel and cement of China’s total usage. We are using 78 per cent less carbon per unit and our debt to GDP is only 135 per cent as compared to China’s 282 per cent. This makes India the most frugal economy in the world. We make optimum use of resources and are extremely energy efficient. This unique development model helps us stand out in the world,” he said. He also said the Modi government was introducing reforms and have left behind the feudal dynastic nature of the Nehruvian government. “We have brought in the model of minimum government and maximum governance. This model has fostered a partnership between people and government. This will lead to broader, deeper and structured reforms,” Sinha said.
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Meanwhile talking about the proposed international airport near Purandar, Sinha said that whole process is going to take at least 5-6 years. “The land acquisition is complicated, then there is settlement. We have to build infrastructure, runways, logistics, terminals etc,” he said. He said that it would create a new growth area for the city. Talking about the Navi Mumbai airport, he said that the situation in Mumbai was very challenging because it was already at peak capacity. “It will take at least 3-4 years. One is resettlement, site preparation, because it is marshy land and connecting the trans-harbour link. Therefore, it is a very complex project to execute. Till then, Mumbai is going to remain congested for the next four-five years,” he said. While on his way to the event venue, Sinha’s car met with a minor accident, but he escaped unhurt in the incident, the organisers of the event said.
Dr Mashelkar, president of PIC, who chaired the session, said India has struck a valuable combination of aspiration and scarcity. “This combination has led to affordable and frugal innovation. Our democracy, diversity and the young demographic has given us a competitive advantage,” he said. Pramod Chaudhari, president of MCCIA and Prashant Girbane, honorary director of PIC were present on the dais. A policy paper titled ‘Make in India, Success Stories: Lessons Learnt’ was also released during the programme.