NEW DELHI: India’s expectation is that the reforms undertaken by it in domains like labour, agriculture and education, when combined with making it easier to do business, create start-ups and promote skilling, will lead to much broader pathways for global collaboration, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.
Jaishankar said given the hit taken by virtually every economy in the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is apparent that recovery is the primary focus.
“Equally, looking at the uncertainty and volatility of this period, we are also naturally keen to promote more resilient global supply chains,” Jaishankar said in his remarks at the India-Nordic-Baltic CII conclave.
“However, this is not just a moment when we should concentrate only on recovering lost ground. It is also an occasion to do so – and more – in a different and better way. Therefore, to recovery and resilience, we must add reform,” he said.
Jaishankar also called for harnessing the lessons of the pandemic response to serve the cause of global welfare.
“Our growth must consequently be greener, be smarter and be more digital. And given the meshing of capabilities, outlook and ambition, I truly believe that the India-Nordic-Baltic partnership can make a real difference here,” he asserted.
“Naturally, with a greater digital focus, we also need to give more attention to its infrastructure as well as data and cyber security. Underlying all of this is, of course, a focus on engineering and innovation,” he said.
The learnings from the pandemic response, if applied creatively and imaginatively, can transform governance in many societies, he said.
“We, in India, have direct experience of providing direct financial and material support to our citizens in this period, perhaps on a scale unprecedented in history. Where public health was concerned, our ability to manufacture required items was only matched by the establishment of dedicated treatment facilities,” Jaishankar said.
He said all of this was underpinned by an amazing societal discipline and public awareness, which are the results of motivation and leadership.
The real takeaway from this experience is the importance and ability of responding to the rising expectations of an aspirational society, he said.
“This realization drives the thinking behind Atmanirbhar Bharat, a self-reliant India that would bring its greater capabilities to bear at the global level. This means policies that will promote entrepreneurship, employment, innovation and skill,” he said.
It signifies not only a Make in India, but a “make for the world”, Jaishankar said.
“Our expectation is that the reforms we have undertaken in domains like labour, agriculture and education, when combined with making it easier to do business, to create start-ups and to promote skilling, will lead to much broader and smoother pathways for international collaboration,” he said.
“And these avenues, as I said at the start, will be greener, smarter and more digital,” Jaishankar said.