India has a challenging task ahead. The ground realities have to be looked into. Poverty, illiteracy, hunger, poor human resources, water scarcity, massing dropouts from school and corruption have eaten away the vitals of this great civilizational nation.
The country is the sixth largest industrial country in the world. We have progressed a lot in Information Technology and Bio-Technology. But so far as application of the knowledge is concerned we are lagging behind.
A major challenge is the growing communalism and parochial culture replacing the values based on universal brotherhood, toleration and duty.
Hence to face the challenges of the 21st century a national consensus is required on five major areas to evolve a national agenda.
A national code of conduct for the political, educational, industrial, cooperative and social behavior with a view to preserving high traditions, moral values and eradicating corruption. Specific changes in the election laws so that our democratic institutions, from Gram Panchayats to parliament, work effectively as instruments for socio-economic transformation.
Relevant changes in the constitution of further participatory democracy at the grassroot level to fulfill the desire of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. This must develop healthy relationship between the centre and the states National Programme of action to be implemented by all on a priority basis irrespective of party considerations for social justice and sustainable development.
A continuous review programme on impact of the Globalization Policy on poor and weaker sections of the society and to search for alternatives to New Economic Policy of 1991 in the interest of the country and special measures to introduce advanced science and technology in all areas of production and communication services.
India cannot insulate itself from the global trends. But at the same time we cannot sing western songs always. We must accept those which are beneficial to our vast majority. We must take our civil society into confidence and examine suggestions given by them. Outright rejection of civil society opinion on political considerations may harm our society and polity.
Lastly, India is blessed by nature. Our natural resources such as land, water, ever-shining sun sea-shore of 7000 Kilometre, Livestock and manpower are our great strength, provided we develop them or make them productive in a scientific manner, without doing any damage to their sustainability.
Thus, to meet the manifold challenges of the 21st century what is needed.