Raksha Mantri exhorts youth to ideate, innovate & set up new companies to transform India into one of the most powerful nations

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has called upon the youth to ideate, innovate and set up new companies and R&D establishments to help realise the Government’s vision of transforming India into one of the most powerful nations in the coming times. He was delivering the Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw memorial lecture at Symbiosis International (Deemed) University in Pune, Maharashtra on March 28, 2023. The Raksha Mantri pointed out that, as the country has entered ‘Amrit Kaal’, Government has laid the groundwork for a strong and self-reliant ‘New India’ by rolling out a number of policies and steps to promote use of latest technology & ease of doing business, which have given the youth an opportunity to realise their dreams.

Describing technology as the most important component for business set-up, Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that reforms have been made on a large scale in R&D establishments, such as Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). He added that the Government has established the link between academia and the industry, wherein now researches being carried out by universities reach the industry for development of state-of-the-art technologies and products.

The Raksha Mantri asserted that the nation, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, is moving forward with a new resolve, wherein the role of the young ignited minds is pivotal. He urged the youth to take advantage of the Government’s policies, bring about a revolution in the economic sector and contribute to the growth story by becoming wealth creators.

Shri Rajnath Singh likened the unparalleled energy of India’s youth to the characteristics of nuclear energy, emphasising on the vital importance of ‘direction’ for its effective utilisation. He supported his statement by saying that “India is today home to over 90,000 start-ups, of which more than 100 are unicorns and this has been made possible due to the zeal and energy of the youth”. He stated that just like nuclear energy requires direction for its best use, the energy of youths needs to be directed towards nation-building and social welfare. This energy can be moderated through values, cultures and traditions, he said.

While the Raksha Mantri exuded confidence that new business entities and factories will soon be established in the country and specialised people will play an important role, he told the students that they have the same responsibility towards the nation as they have for their firms. He urged them to take care of the interests of all stakeholders and at the same time ensure that the nation gets the best and affordable products & services. He called for timely payment of MSMEs & vendors in the supply chain of the respective organisation and use of clean technologies for a safer future. He also urged them to discharge their Corporate Social Responsibilities as an Enlightened Corporate Citizen.

Citing surveys of various agencies, Shri Rajnath Singh stated that India, the fifth largest economy, is continuously surging ahead at an unprecedented pace and is on course to find itself among the top three economies in the world by 2047. He asserted that India’s image has transformed on the international stage under the Prime Minister’s leadership and New Delhi’s views are keenly listened to by the world. He added that India has emerged as a preferred and trusted investment destination for the world. “Be it exports or inflow of FDI, income tax or record collection of GST, our country is doing much better on almost every front,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri also touched upon a number of reforms undertaken by the government to encourage ease of doing business, which includes scrapping of old irrelevant rules and regulations. “Many rules and laws were being followed for decades, which had become obstacles in the path of the youth. We scrapped those rules & regulations and introduced new ones to help the youth realise their dreams,” he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted a series of reforms undertaken by the Government in the banking sector. “In 2014, many banks were buried under the burden of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and losses. They were not in a position to give new loans far and wide. Through privatisation of some banks, we are trying to give them a new life. We revived the public sector banks by capitalising them. We revived the banks, which till now were running in losses due to NPA or other reasons, and today they are doing well in the market and are in a position to provide loans,” he added.

Shri Rajnath Singh also shed light on the steps taken for retail investors. “We curbed insider trading, promoted technology and digital architecture in the trading process and made the trading process transparent. Now even people living in villages and remote areas with a mobile, understanding the risks, are ready to invest in the market. In this way, due to the large number of retail investors coming into the market, the depth and resilience of the market has increased,” he said.

The Raksha stressed that as the country will be completing 100 years of its independence in 2047, the youth needs to prepare a roadmap of goals and strive to achieve them to make India a strong and prosperous nation. He underscored the importance of management in the progress of a nation, terming it as the most important factor in socio-economic development. Management helps in making the functioning of an organisation more effective, and in shaping the culture there. In modern organisations, management works like a backbone. Whether it is the efficient use of human, physical or financial resources, right from doing the right thing to doing the right thing is a part of management.

The Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw memorial lecture was held as part of G-20 festival of Thinkers Lecture Series.