Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for improving the quality and timely delivery of services to citizens, in addition to ensuring access.
Naidu was speaking after releasing a book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ at function organised at his official residence here on Monday evening.
The Vice President called for a review of the existing models of service delivery and replicating good practices from the best performing districts.
Highlighting the importance of inclusivity, Naidu emphasised that the benefits of developmental programmes must reach all segments of society, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.
In this context, he referred to schemes such as aspirational districts programme to accelerate development in areas which lagged behind. He also lauded the government for setting an ambitious target of providing tapped water connections to nearly 20 crore households by 2024. “As India celebrates 75 years of independence, it is also the time to evaluate the progress of the constitutional promise of a ‘dignified life’ to the common man. The right to a dignified life, without discrimination against any individual or community is a pledge we have given to ourselves at the beginning of our Republic, to be upheld at all times,” Naidu said.
Highlighting the importance of skills and opportunities in improving living standards of people, the Vice President suggested that along with good education, we need to equip our youth with the requisite skill set for them to achieve success. Naidu also underscored the importance of improving infrastructure, creating a conducive business environment and adopting the latest technology to fully tap the inherent skills and talent among people.
Talking about agriculture, he said that even though our farmers toil day and night to feed the country, they have only had subsistence incomes over the years. “With the right inputs through programmes like soil health card, market opportunities like e-NAM, irrigation projects through ‘Krishi Sinchayi Yojana’ and better value addition to crops through food processing, our farmers have been working miracles, through record food-grain production over the years,” Naidu said.
He called for further diversification and scientific production of crops, apart from ensuring remunerative prices to farmers.
Observing that more than 10 crore toilets were built for the poor through the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a personal initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the programme saved millions of children from diarrheal deaths and brought dignity and safety to women.
Terming the National Education Policy as a ‘visionary document’, Naidu said it has the promise to ‘make education in India a holistic, value-based and a happy learning experience’.
“Similarly, the emphasis on the mother tongue as the medium of instruction at primary level and initiative to offer professional courses in mother tongue are welcome moves,” he said.
Naidu underscored that progress in a federal polity like ours was only possible through a dialogue between the Union and state governments. “The concept of Team India, underscored by Prime Minister Modi ji so often, is the only way out”, he said.
The Vice President appreciated the efforts of the 28 eminent authors who contributed 25 essays in the book on various sectors of Indian governance. He also commended the editor of the book, former union minister and Rajya Sabha member K.J. Alphons and the publishers.
The Vice President hoped the book will serve as a guide for policymakers to reflect and identify key elements of the unfinished agenda of our development.