Land of a bil­lion op­por­tu­ni­ties

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For the first time in its 27 year his­tory, the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s In­dia Sum­mit moved from the cap­i­tal, Delhi to Mum­bai. In part­ner­ship with Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII), the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF) held its an­nual In­dia Eco­nomic Sum­mit, un­der the work­ing theme of ‘Link­ing Lead­er­ship with Liveli­hood’, host­ing over 800 par­tic­i­pants from 40 coun­tries.

In part­ner­ship with the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII), the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s An­nual Sum­mit was held un­der the work­ing theme of ‘Link­ing Lead­er­ship with Liveli­hood’. It hosted over 800 par­tic­i­pants from 40 coun­tries.

The Sum­mit fo­cused on is­sues of in­clu­sive growth, the de­vel­op­ment of ru­ral economies and in­ter­nal is­sues of in­fla­tion and cor­rup­tion and there was also a level of in­ter­est in how In­dia deals with these is­sues.

The first day of the Sum­mit de­clared that a ‘New In­dia’ has emerged af­ter 20 years of re­forms, where ful­fill­ing the huge as­pi­ra­tions among the young is the coun­try’s next chal­lenge. The open­ing ple­nary ses­sion struck an op­ti­mistic note when Mukesh D. Am­bani, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Re­liance In­dus­tries, In­dia, said: “The re­al­ity is that we have brought 150 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty, and the re­al­ity is that In­dia is a land of a bil­lion op­por­tu­ni­ties and not a bil­lion prob­lems.”

The Sum­mit fo­cused at find­ing a sus­tain­able bal­ance be­tween growth and nat­u­ral re­sources for the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion that is con­sum­ing more each day. A panel of in­dus­try and govern­ment lead­ers pointed out that In­dia’s rapid eco­nomic growth over the last decade has come with a hid­den en­vi­ron­men­tal cost, but the coun­try has an op­por­tu­nity to take the lead in cre­at­ing the in­fra­struc­ture of sus­tain­able growth.

A panel on the role of states in In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment high­lighted the col­lab­o­ra­tion of states and the cen­tral govern­ment for keep­ing the coun­try on a sta­ble and sus­tain­able growth path. The chief min­is­ters of three In­dian states were present in the panel and wel­comed a pro­posal from a par­tic­i­pant that a think tank or non-par­ti­san pol­icy unit be es­tab­lished to help states de­velop poli­cies and avoid re­peat­ing re­search, anal­y­sis and prepara­tory work.

Along with en­cour­ag­ing the New Man­u­fac­tur­ing Pol­icy of In­dia, the WEF In­dia Sum­mit also an­nounced the cre­ation of the Global Shapers Com­mu­nity in In­dia. The Global Shapers Com­mu­nity is a world­wide net­work of Hubs led by se­lect 20- to 30-year-olds who are ex­cep­tional in their po­ten­tial, achieve­ments and drive to make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to their com­mu­ni­ties. They rep­re­sent all walks of life and share a spirit of en­trepreneur­ship in the pub­lic in­ter­est. They are cho­sen and men­tored by Young Global Lead­ers, and stand out as in­di­vid­u­als who have al­ready de­liv­ered ma­jor projects, founded com­pa­nies or or­ga­ni­za­tions, or con­trib­uted to serv­ing so­ci­ety.

The ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Global Shapers in the Sum­mit is part of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s goal to pro­vide this unique group with ac­cess to the Fo­rum’s Mem­bers and con­stituents, in­clud­ing top lead­ers from pol­i­tics, busi­ness, civil so­ci­ety, me­dia, sci­ence, arts and cul­ture, faith and academia, with the ob­jec­tive of pro­vid­ing max­i­mum pos­si­bil­i­ties for in­ter­ac­tion and cross­men­tor­ing.

The Sum­mit also en­cour­aged en­trepreneur­ship by award­ing the sev­enth an­nual “So­cial En­tre­pre­neur of the Year” award. The Schwab Foun­da­tion for So­cial En­trepreneur­ship, a sis­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, in part­ner­ship with the Ju­bi­lant Bhar­tia Foun­da­tion de­clared Nee­lam Ch­hiber, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, In­dus Tree Crafts Foun­da­tion (ICF), as the win­ner of the 2011 In­dia So­cial En­tre­pre­neur of the Year award

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