The book provides food for thought and action

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog has edited a book on thoughts into the future. Transformative ideas for Indian economy and society. A book that took a year into publishing, contributions coming from some of the best minds and domain experts. A look at the sectors that will form the cornerstones of India’s growth. Identifying the challenges and their best solutions, to take the India story forward. As Kant said, India would be the leading economy with 8 to 9 % GDP growth, an economy whose time had now come. It was a timely release of the book, from a person who has been among the most visible drivers of initiatives of this government. The book has looked at issues like industrial automation, education, agriculture, and healthcare, among others.

Releasing the book, India’s Finance Minister recalled his association with the editor, who had shown great passion, commitment and the ability to accomplish, as Kerala’s district collector, as the tourism ambassador across the world, and as DIPP secretary and now as CEO of NITI Aayog. Arun Jaitley pointed out that if one looked at the map of India, much of India’s growth had so far come from the western side. The East was yet to grow, which meant that half of India had yet to contribute and constituted a vast growth area in itself. The other area for optimism was the woman in the house, who has ventured out lately and would form a new workforce for the country. He also lamented that whenever there were critical reforms in the making, there was always a set of people eager to retard the India growth story.

This was his first public appearance, since resuming work after his recent hospitalization.  

The event saw a panel discussion on India’s growth story. It was anchored by Sanjeev Sanyal, the economic advisor in the Ministry of Finance, who has also contributed to the book. The other panelists included Naina Lal Kidwai, former country head of HSBC India; Rajeev Kumar, vice-chairman, NITI Aayog; and Hardeep Puri, MOS (IC) Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. They reflected on the promise of human capital, the road ahead. Overall, every speaker recognized the challenge and remained optimistic that India was poised for the next big leap in both economic and social advancement.

It was a true moment when milestones in Indian history were being recorded. Most importantly, in terms of the economy and the turnaround India story. The year was 1991 when the first doors opened to India’s liberalization. Since then, there has been no looking back. Another moment in Indian history is around now when the nation is on the cusp of some major breakthroughs. 

A cross-section of India’s intelligentsia, government servants both past and present, diplomats, industry and socialites, were present on the occasion, reflecting the immense popularity that Amitabh Kant enjoys in the capital, but also the seriousness with which the audience was considering this vital subject of the growth of the economy and the country.