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GRIIT – Lecture 2, Address and Interaction with the Students of IIM Ahmadabad participants of GRIIT
Ahmadabad, Sep 13 2008
Updated on Sep 13 2008
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Vision into Mission

Small aim is a crime

Dear friends, in my first lecture I discussed the "Evolution of vision for the nation" followed by interactions with you. Now I am going to share with you, how I further progressed the vision by presenting to state legislatures "Missions for Prosperity" before 2015 by studying the details of development indicators and analyzing the core competence of the state in tune with the Vision 2020 objectives and evolving a road map for its implementation.

Out of 12 states addressed, I would like to present certain key mission objectives given to the state of Kerala which will enable us to understand the approach suggested for promoting overall prosperity in the state leading to national prosperity.

Missions for Prosperity

Now let us see what is the mission objective? There cannot be any other mission, other than removing the poverty of the people and bringing prosperity to the State in a time bound manner. I would like to congratulate the people of Kerala for their unique achievements in two areas: (i) Unity of Minds among the people and (ii) Kerala leading the nation as number one in the National Human Development Index. I consider these two characteristics as essential base for transforming Kerala into an economically developed state, which will assist India as a whole to become a developed nation. With the mature political and administrative will this foundation could be used to launch useful programmes for transforming Kerala into a developed state and become a role model for others state to emulate. Let us study the core competencies of Kerala that will assist Kerala to become a developed state.

A study of development radar prepared by Planning Commission indicates good performance of Kerala for the achievements in literacy, life expectancy, pucca house and to some extent formal education. Kerala has got potential to remove the poverty altogether and also give impetus to growth potential to the society as a whole, so that by 2015 Kerala can become a developed state with economic growth and prosperity for all citizens.

Focus Kerala: My presentation to Kerala Legislative Assembly focused on, how the percapita income of Kerala can be increased from the existing Rs. 23,000 to Rs. 50,000 (at 2004-2005) in a time bound manner and also to create investment friendly climate leading to employment avenues for the 3.7 million educated unemployed particularly the three lakh graduates and post-graduates of the State and several others who do not have such qualifications. This will help in removing the poverty of 4.1 million people and make Kerala competitive for investment, efficiency, productivity and quality.

Missions for Kerala: Let us study what are the missions which Kerala can undertake using the core competence of the state. The following are the missions for Kerala?s Prosperity by the year 2015.

1.Tourism including General, Spiritual, Health, Science.
Kerala with its unique "tourist selling propositions" can definitely increase the domestic tourist arrival to 12 million from the existing six million and the international tourists to one million from the existing 3.5 lakhs. This increase in international tourist arrival alone will provide additional employment to approximately twenty lakh people in various sectors of the tourism industry as per international norm of 3.5 jobs for one tourist. It will also generate business of over Rs. 3000 crore in foreign exchange. Similarly health tourism will generate additional employment for medical personal. Number of private and public institutions are required to work together to realize the goals of this mission.

2.Development of smart waterways.
The inland water transport system of Kerala has navigable rivers, backwaters and manmade cross canals. What Kerala needs, as visualized, is major water way extending from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod. A smart waterway will have the characteristics such as: sufficient navigable depth and width; conditions will permit navigation throughout the year; have smooth bends and minimum siltation; be able to navigate at least 18 hours per day; cater for efficient loading and unloading points; and the waterway should be adequately lighted and equipped with modern navigational and communication aids. Presently the waterway navigation is used between Vembanad lake to Thrissur. The development of west coast canal from Kottappuram to Kollam and Udyogmandal to Champakara Canal as National Waterway No.3 is in progress. The other areas have to be taken on priority to establish cost-effective transportation system for the industry and backwater tourism in State. This facility will enable the State to take advantage of the energy efficiency of transportation through waterways which is double of railways and eight times the road transportation system for a given load. This will also reduce the congestion on the road, and improve the environmental conditions through afforestation. Hence, there is a need to embark on a mission mode programme to make the total waterways length operational by improving the maintenance, dredging and creating water transport facilities through public - private partnership. This has to be a joint effort between the State and Central Government. Also, wherever the land acquisition and resettlement problems are coming in the way a special dispensation has to be found for removing the bottlenecks.

I have seen waterways in many countries leading to the progress of the economy and tourist attraction. The Government must undertake to provide policy and legal framework for facilitating private operators to function without bottlenecks. Development of smart waterways to the length of 650 kms will require detailed planning taking into account of additional irrigation potential, drinking water to population, flood control, additional power generation, tourist traffic potential and employment potential. The detailed project report had to be prepared and Govt. had entrusted the task to professional bodies. Kerala government has considered this mission and the mission is progressing satisfactorily during the last three years. The smart waterways what I have proposed is yet to find place in the implementation programmes.

3.Development and marketing of Knowledge Products
A task team can be formed by the State Government with experts drawn from different IT areas for formulating and implementing a plan to develop, produce and market at least $2 billion worth of IT products and IT enabled services including BPOs by 2008 in the domestic and international market. This will generate employment for at least one lakh graduates and post-graduates of this State, apart from the school educated. Kerala has to generate entrepreneurs particularly for running small enterprises. Positive progressive actions are in place that gives a competitive advantage to Kerala among other states.

4.Pharmaceutical products through herbs (molecule to Drug) as well as Ayurveda.
Knowledge of ancient medicine is a unique resource of India. It has the treasure of a minimum of 5000 years of civilization. I am also delighted to note that many institutions have opened a number of Centers across Kerala and have a range of about 500 classical medicinal products which are manufactured according to the traditional Ayurvedic prescriptions under the supervision of qualified and quality-driven Ayurvedic physicians.

Kerala is rich in herbs, germ plasm and micro organisms. Industrially developed countries are importing these bio-resources in the raw forms and adding value to them for export to developing countries including India as special seeds, medicines and bio-materials, fully protecting patents of these products. Instead of allowing export of such resources and importing value added products at high cost, we must add our own technology through R & D efforts for conversion of such resources to value added products for domestic requirements and also for export. As you are aware, today the total drug market of the world is around $ 550 billion of which $ 61 billion pertains to Herbal drugs. India has a share of about 300 million dollar of traditional medicine. Kerala has the potential to enter into a big way in the traditional medicine markets and increase the business to two billion dollars within the next 3 years. This has to be done in a mission mode by creating investment friendly environment, standardization of drugs, improvement of quality of drugs, good agricultural and collection practices and promotion of Indian brand name.

This contribution of providing effective remedies for various kinds of ailments such as chronic arthritis, paralysis, ulcers, discogenic diseases, degenerative diseases of central nervous system, neuro-muscular disorders. Allergic diseases, eye diseases, psoriasis, psychiatric ailments, geriatric ailments etc., are indeed noteworthy and have achieved international recognition, which is evident from the fact that large number of foreign patients come to India for treatment. These medicines are being sold through authorized distributors in countries like UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Singapore and Malaysia. Ayurvedic products have not yet captured the large Pharma market in the western world. It is essential, just like modern medicine (allopathic) from molecule to drug development; it goes through the cycles of laboratory evaluation, stages of ethical clearance, animal test, multi-centric test and human test. In Kerala it can initiate action with good Pharma companies jointly working with Ayurveda institutions ? both will benefit. We must also incorporate necessary measures for protecting the Intellectual Property Rights of the innovator. I have visited number of Healthcare and Ayurvedic institutions in Kerala and I found lot of innovations leading to R&D missions. Kerala institutions are also working to convert the nutraceutical products into Pharmaceutical products. What we need to do is to focus on molecule to drug missions. And also series of laboratories to analyze, standardize and certify the traditional medicine and linking to Depart of Ayush, Ministry of Health and family welfare.

5.Quality training to Nurses and other paramedics.
Nursing is a core competence of Kerala. India is in the process of improving the healthcare services which will need additional 5 lakh nurses. As per the latest report, worldwide requirement for nurses are estimated to be around one million from now to 2012. Presently, in India about 50,000 nurses qualify every year. There is a need to increase this capacity to 2 lakhs within the next five years in the country. The present contribution of 4,000 Nurses from Kerala State should also increase at least 20,000 Nurses per year. In addition there must be a special drive to equip the nurses with training at various healthcare centers and super specialty environments and equip them with language skills and proficiencies that can match the required international standards. Kerala can definitely cater to at least 50% of the total demand i.e. provision of one million nurses from now to the year 2012. The Department of Health in Kerala should draw up a scheme and embark on an intensive nursing training scheme in collaboration with the Central Government which will enable generation of quality health care professionals at the rate of 2 lakh nurses per year. Recently Health Minister of Kerala has met me and told me that they have strengthened the training of nurses and we are targeting doubling this year and subsequently we will raise it to 2 lakhs nurses per year.

6.Creation of Exclusive Economic Zone to attract NRI and other investors. .
There is a unique environment in Kerala there is a foreign remittance to the tune of Rs. 60000 Crores. I suggest the Kerala legislative assembly to consider forming 5 Exclusive Economic Zones in the state depending upon the core competence of the districts in the three sectors particularly in knowledge products production in IT and BT, precision manufacturing and agro food processing industries.

What can be the unique ambience of the 5 Economic Zones.

a. Kerala government will provide land in a particular area, power, and water, physical and electronic connectivity.
b. Fast single window clearance for attracting the investment.
c. Kerala?s legislative assembly?s assurance for proactive policies for ensuring the uninterrupted work culture in the economic zone.
d. Employees have to be partners in these enterprises.

When I am reminded of SEZ, I would like to share with you how we can give dignity to voice less rural citizens and then bring economic prosperity through SEZ.

Nowadays we have been witnessing the turbulent situation in the country, emerging out of SEZ and farmers land acquisition issues leading to human rights violation when the affected farmers raise their voices and the farmers and the small land holders are becoming orphans in our own land. Let me now address this issue through this human rights conference. While SEZ are essential for the country?s economic growth, handling land acquisition for SEZ has brought many issues and put the entire growth potential in that intended region in to back track. I do not want to see any farmer landless. I know what it means. I come from a farming family. Thereby I propose a viable solution to this issue:

1. SEZ is an economic proposition leading to number of projects for economic growth and employment generation.
2. Government/Industry instead of acquiring the fertile land from the farmers in government rate may make the famers as their partners in the SEZ projects and give them equity share holding with reference to the overall project cost, according to their land ownership in the market value of today.
3. Farmers who are partners in the SEZ and their children who have completed their education can be trained in value addition tasks connected with SEZ projects.

We are in the mission of uplifting 220 million people who are living below poverty line. The entire development effort should focus towards uplifting them and enable them with capacity to lead a good quality of life. Hence all our development efforts should make them partners. Then only we can bring an inclusive development in the nation. That is why we need leaders with compassion to bring dignity to human life to the entire one billion plus population of India. Since we are looking for inclusive growth for our one billion people, we need a comprehensive measure of our growth thereby ensuring equitable growth in the society there by enriching the human dignity of one billion people.

For example, the successful project of Magarpatta City in Pune can be referred to as a model project where the interest of farmers has been protected by giving them equity in the project and training their children for participation in the project execution. Pune has set an example on how to make farmers prosperous when mega infrastructure projects are considered. The independent efforts of 120 farmers from Pune have created Rs. 4000 crore magarpatta city project. It is a solid example the SEZ has to follow. I appreciate the courage and the business acumen of the Pune farmers and their business associates, corporate who helped them to start a role model project in our country. Let us take it forward and give reverence to the human life to the farmers.

At present, Kerala gets fish yield of about 7 lakh tonnes (2004). I understand ISRO is helping through satellite imagery of the fish population in certain zones. We believe Kerala can increase the fishing yield to one million tons by 2008 by helping fishermen folk with proper communication facilities for the safe return, satellite imagery at right time, boat and fishing net repair facilities.

7.Deep Sea Fishing, fish processing, and marketing of sea food products
At present, Kerala gets fish yield of about 7 lakh tonnes (2004). I understand ISRO is helping through satellite imagery of the fish population in certain zones. We believe Kerala can increase the fishing yield to one million tons by 2008 by helping fishermen folk with proper communication facilities for the safe return, satellite imagery at right time, boat and fishing net repair facilities.

IIM should bring out a study on how fishing and fishing industry can become exclusive ministry in the centre and state. It comes under agriculture, since the growth is stagnant and the fisherman life is in miserable condition. Hence your study has to bring out how we can use the 7000 km coastal area to use it for deep sea fishing, processing and packaging. The Indian satellite remote sensing picture gives where large school of fish is available. Nationally all the fishermen folk should be given this facility. Like Gujarat Cooperative movement for milk, we should have the movement for fish and fishermen.

8.Establishment of PURAs at the coastal regions to bring prosperity equally to the Urban and Rural population.
I have studied about Kerala?s terrain and the number of districts, towns and villages. Kerala and its regions require a unique Coastal PURA (Provision Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) due to the existence of 580 km long coastline. I would recommend establishment of 200 PURA units for Kerala. This will provide four critical connectivities between villages located in different geographic locations enabling accelerated economic growth: physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity, leading to economic connectivity. Kerala Rural Development Department has taken initiatives in establishing PURA complexes.

9.Value addition to tea, coffee, spices, coconut and fruits
Kerala has been traditionally producing rubber, tea, coffee, spices, coconut and fruits for several years. But over the years many other countries are also producing these commodities and intense competition is being faced by the growers. There is a need to inject technology and innovation to have continuous growth in productivity. Also there is a need to find value added diversified products from the various produce suiting the needs of the customers. For example the average yield of rubber is around 1700 kg per hectare. In the competitive environment this yield will provide just around one lakh rupees to the grower. R&D institutions located in Kerala such as Rubber Research Institute in partnership with other global sources and rubber growers and rubber users should develop new varieties of rubber which can provide double the yield in a prescribed time frame. Also the research institutions can suggest certain types of shade tolerant crops which can grow in the rubber gardens leading to generation of additional revenue to the farmers. Bee keeping is another area which can be done as part of the rubber growing activity. Similarly innovative uses of tea, coffee, coconut and value added fruits and its by-products should be developed by respective research institutions and the growers which will enable the farmers to face the international competition and generate higher level of wealth for the state.

I have seen Thodupuza village, they have gone for organic farming with high success rate with its yield, particularly fruits and vegetable cultivation.

10.Space technology is well established in Kerala. This has to be used for connectivity of Kerala and also enriching the small scale industries, skill training. Starting Joint-Venture between Kerala government industries and ISRO.
The establishment of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is indeed a technological achievement, impacting the life pattern of Kerala and having tremendous potential to transform the lives of the people of Kerala, particularly by providing education, health care and international connectivity. The investment in space technology during the last four decades would be over Rs. 10,000 crore. Also, over seven thousand people are directly employed in VSSC and one lakh people will be contributing indirectly to the space programmes. I am discussing all these aspects with the Hon?ble Members of the Kerala Legislative Assembly to highlight how this high technology complex in Kerala can be effectively used for catalyzing the development of the State. I would suggest the establishment of following space technology driven missions for the benefit of Kerala in consultations with ISRO:-

a. As large number of Keralites lives outside Kerala, they need education, they need health care consultations, they need tele-investment and tele-transfer of funds to their homes. An exclusive connectivity using satellite, fiber optics and wireless can be established between Kerala Government and ISRO to start tele-education programme to the Keralities living in the middle-east and elsewhere. This will enhance the employment potential, economic prosperity and also provide family connectivity.
b. ISRO has a plan to build large number of rocket systems, spacecraft systems ? there may be many accessories that can be built in small scale industries and definitely ISRO can technologically enrich the existing small scale industries and encourage setting up of new small and medium scale industries to support these programmes.
c. VSSC will need lot of electronic sub-systems and devise for ground segment and the rocket systems. They can participate in the establishment of IT/electronic parks for both hardware/software.

d. VSSC with its high-tech facilities can be requested to train five hundred skilled workers per year for deployment in various industrial complexes in the country and abroad.
e. ISRO can assist KERALA through the CARTOSAT-1 satellite by mapping all the Kerala River Sources and estimate the water resources and its management to connect the river sources for optimal utilization.
f. Titanium alloy is one of the preferred materials in the space and aircraft industry. Kerala has large deposits of Titanium Oxide. Kerala Minerals Limited (KMC) in collaboration with ISRO and other private sector joint venture partners can establish a plant for converting Titanium Oxide into Titanium Sponge. Incidentally, titanium is the metal of the 21st century as steel was in the earlier centuries.

Even though for space technology, Kerala is a cradle, it has not utilized its full potential. I have given in what way Kerala can take the benefit of Space technologies. You may like to study.

One important issue, I would like to discuss with you, as soon as the Government changes with different political party, any good development mission is collapsed. This how do you change? I would like to have a debate among the young minds.

Proactive Action by the Media and Government

After my address to the Kerala Legislative Assembly, there was a detailed discussion in the Kerala assembly with all the political parties. As you know, media in Kerala is very alert and dynamic. They took up the mission and extended the discussion in detail with the people and all the political leaders, inviting suggestion. I would like to share with you how Malayala Manorama responded to the document which I presented to the Kerala Assembly. Malayala Manoroma translated this document "Missions for kerala?s prosperity" and ensured that it reached all the readers and various active development groups. Also the media organized six workshops, in different places in all the ten missions and attempted to seek the operational problems and how those problems can be solved. In this workshop, ministers, political leaders, government functionaries and media personal participated. I also interacted with them during the concluding session through video conferencing. The media finally submitted the recommendations to the Government for implementation. This proactive step undertook by the media shows how media can be an effective partner in national development.

Dear friends, so far we have seen what is the mission proposed to Kerala Government, and how the stakeholders like Govt, political parties, media and the people have taken the initiatives and then progressed further. Certainly it needs much more focused implementation and periodic review mechanism. I have given the "Missions for Prosperity" to 12 states; you may refer my website for getting the details of my talks in these 12 State assemblies.

Integrated Planning for a Mission

When I visited Dubai ? UAE in 2003, I met the Ruler of Dubai. He said that Dubai is planning to increase the tourist arrival by five times. Once this decision was taken, I found, that the aviation minister was planning for a new airport and also addition of new types of aircraft needed for attracting the tourists. The surface transport minister was planning a number of additional road lanes required in the highways. The works ministry was planning for increase in the hotel accommodation for accommodating the tourists without disappointment. The health ministry had a road map for waste management and a plan for providing the additional clean water needed. This was the type of integrated response that I found in the whole government - a plan of action to fulfill the national objective from a single ministry?s vision. We have to take the message coming out of this experience and plan for the multiple requirements simultaneously for realizing the missions for various pillars of vision 2020.. Your interdisciplinary and inter pillar teams may have to study comprehensively various aspects with a single goal, "how to achieve the vision".

Collective Wisdom

I read a book in which a methodology is described for solving a complex problem pertaining to a lost submarine. The book describes how the management held a meeting with four experts who made certain suggestions. When the search was made using these suggestions no positive result was found. Then the top management decided to call a meeting of all the 40 people from multiple disciplines for working out a comprehensive search process. All the 40 members were asked to give one mutually exclusive suggestion for progressing towards the search. The resultant 40 suggestions gave five alternatives. Based on these five alternatives, parallel teams were deployed to carry out the search process. This finally led to the detection of the missing submarine. This type of problem solving technique is being followed in our Indian institutions like ISRO and DRDO, where the programme review meetings are attended by specialists in multi-disciplines leading to precise determination of the problem area and finding satisfactory solutions. The message for graduating students from this institution is that they have to keep their eyes and ears open and try to seek guidance from all possible avenues for solving organizational problems.

What you will be remembered for?

Dear students, all of you take one paper and write, "What I will be remembered for?" and then start writing answer within a page. You will certainly find it challenging to answer. If you find an answer and really work for it, you will achieve success in your life. I have given various missions to 12 states every one of the missions are having challenging tasks for all of you. You may like to go through the missions and come out with the business plan for the implementing the same as Special Purpose vehicle by the Government in a public private partnership mode. Each one of you or the group of the students can take one mission in any one of the state or from the state that you belong, and then prepare the Business Plan, it will be a unique experience to all of you. You can generate 120 business plans totally for the proposed 10 missions each from 12 states. Certainly we can bring out a report and submit to the concerned state governments and planning commission from IIM, Ahmadabad for further necessary action and early implementation of these missions by the respective governments.


I have presented the evolution of India Vision 2020, the present ambience in the country, 10 point distinctive profile, I visualize for the nation by the year 2020, the Islands of successes which I have come across during the last six years in different parts of the country in multiple areas and the need for a terrorism free peaceful state for progressing the tasks of development and transforming India into a peaceful, economically prosperous, happy and safe country.

I have seen three dreams which have taken shape as vision, mission and realization. Space programme of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), AGNI programme of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) and PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) becoming the National Mission. Of course, these three programmes succeeded in the midst of many challenges and problems. I have worked in all these three areas. I want to convey to you what I have learnt on leadership from these three programmes.

a.Leader must have a vision.
b.Leader must have a passion to transform the vision into action.
c.Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path.
d.Leader must know how to manage a success and failure.
e.Leader must have courage to take decisions.
f.Leader should have Nobility in management.
g.Every action of the leader should be transparent.
h.Leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity.

In order to achieve excellence in any area or in any institution, what we need is creative leadership. Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect.

With this focused missions, certainly we can achieve success in the process of national development and societal transformation. I am sure; IIMA will generate leaders with such a passion and commitment in generating the vision and execute the missions. My best wishes to all the participants of GRIIT project success in their mission of developing a policy frame work which will ignite all sections of the society for contributing towards implementation of Vision India 2020.

May God Bless you.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,

By, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam

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