Developing countries see India as a global leader: PM Modi
Speaking at the seventh meeting of the ECB Council (GC) of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said, “Each state, according to its strength, played a crucial role and contributed to India’s fight against Covid-19. This led to India becoming a global leader as an example for developing countries.”
The first physical meeting after the pandemic
This was the first physical meeting of the ECB Governing Council since the outbreak of the pandemic, and the 2021 meeting was held via video conference. The meeting was attended by 23 prime ministers, 3 lieutenant governors and 2 administrative officers and union ministers. Defense Minister Shri Rajnath Singh moderated the meeting.
In his inaugural speech, the Prime Minister said that India’s federal structure and cooperative federalism emerged as a model for the world during the Covid-19 crisis. He said that India had sent a strong message to the developing countries of the world – that challenges can be overcome despite resource constraints. The chief minister said the credit for this goes to the state governments who focused on delivering grassroots public services to the people through political cooperation.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the seventh meeting was the culmination of months of rigorous brainstorming and talks between the Center and the states to define national priorities. “For the first time in India’s 75 years of independence, all the Chief Secretaries of India met in one place and deliberated on matters of national importance for three days. This collective process led to the development of the agenda for this meeting, the Prime Minister said.
The ECB Council’s four main agendas
This year, the Governing Council of the ECB dealt with four key agendas:
i) crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds and other agricultural commodities;
(ii) implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) in school education;
(iii) implementation of the national education policy in higher education; and
iv) city administration.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of all the above, especially the need for India to focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry and food processing to become self-sufficient and a global leader in agriculture. He said that rapid urbanization can become India’s strength instead of weakness by leveraging technology to ensure ease of living, transparent service delivery and improved quality of life for every citizen of urban India.
A team dedicated to the G20
The Prime Minister also talked about India’s chairmanship of the G20 in 2023, calling it a unique opportunity to show the world that India is not just Delhi – it is every state and union territory of the country. The prime minister said that we should develop a mass movement around the G20 group. This way we can identify the country’s best talents. He also said that states should have a dedicated group for the G20 to maximize the benefits of this initiative. Speaking on this, Union Minister of External Affairs Shri S. Jaishankar said, “Chairmanship of G20 is a great opportunity and a great responsibility. For the first time in the history of G20, India will host G20 meetings in a year, not only in Delhi, but in every state and union territory.
Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan highlighted several initiatives aimed at improving learning outcomes, teacher capacity building and skill enhancement, but appreciated and requested additional support from states for successful implementation of the National Education Policy.
Vice Chairman NITI Aayog Shri Suman Bery reiterated that India’s transformation must happen in its states. He affirmed the need for joint efforts of the Center and the states to realize the vision of a resurgent India after the pandemic.
The Prime Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor talked about the agendas
Each Chief Minister and Lt. Governor present at the meeting addressed the meeting highlighting the priorities, achievements and challenges of their states and Union Territories, focusing in particular on four key items on the agenda.
In his closing remarks, the Prime Minister said that every state should focus on promoting the 3Ts – trade, tourism, technology – in every Indian mission across the world. He said states must focus on reducing imports, increasing exports and the same to identify opportunities in each state. “We should encourage people to use local products whenever possible,” he said. He said that “a voice for local people” is not the agenda of a single political party, but a common goal.
Economic empowerment to become a $5 trillion economy
The Prime Minister said that though the GST collection has improved, our potential is much more. “Increasing GST collection requires joint action by the Center and the states. It is crucial to strengthen our economic position and become a $5 trillion economy, he said. Talking about the National Education Policy, the Prime Minister said that the NEP has been formulated after much deliberation. According to him, we should take all involve stakeholders in its implementation and draw up a clear, time-bound roadmap for it.