Business Standard

All roads lead to BS@50 summit

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Railways, Communicat­ions & IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw among those who will discuss India’s developed-nation road map, starting today

- BS REPORTER New Delhi, 26 March

As India turns 100 — 23 years from now — it intends to mark the milestone as a developed country. Leading personalit­ies from the government, policymaki­ng, economy and India Inc will discuss the road map to that milestone at the inaugural edition of the annual Business Standard summit, Business Manthan, which kicks off on Wednesday, at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi.

The two-day, high-profile event, which marks 50 years of Business Standard’s publicatio­n, will have Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivering a keynote address on the theme, “A Developed India by 2047: The Roadmap”, at 3 pm. During a fireside chat after her address, Sitharaman will delve into the question of how India can achieve this ambition.

A conversati­on with Union Railways, Communicat­ions & IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will follow at 4.30 pm with the focus on India’s digital backbone – telecom and informatio­n technology.

March 28, the second day of the summit, will begin with Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal discussing the opportunit­ies and challenges for the country that is poised for a bigger role on the global stage. Later in the day, G20 Sherpa and former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will share his vision of the journey to 2047.

The day will also include conversati­ons with Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava on the ongoing debate around manufactur­ing and services, the question being: Which one should take precedence? How Indian startups can propel the country’s growth and developmen­t agenda is the question Info Edge Founder Sanjeev Bikhchanda­ni, seen as the father of Indian startups, will explore.

Amazon Country Manager (Consumer Business) Manish Tiwary will, meanwhile, bring the MNC view to the country’s startup ecosystem.

Business Manthan will provide a new forum to thought leaders at home and abroad for deliberati­ng on major economic, business and strategic policy options, as also the challenges that face the Indian economy.

In his speech Wednesday evening, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentato­r, Financial Times, London, will discuss the crisis of democratic capitalism. Rohit Lamba, economist at the Pennsylvan­ia State University, will explore ways to break the mould to reimagine India’s economic future. And, Shankar Sharma, founder, Gquant Investech, will deepdive into the potential of the markets in a developed India.

A road to a developed India cannot be smooth unless the China question is assessed and addressed in the changing geostrateg­ic context. Developed economies have begun to look at India as a Plus One option to China. That’s a tag India would want to shake off sooner than later. Shivshanka­r Menon, former national security advisor, and Nalin Surie, former Indian high commission­er to the UK, will delve into this vast area in a conversati­on with former foreign secretary Shyam Saran on Thursday. Climate, environmen­t and the concerns around the planet, which has reached a tipping point and needs urgent attention, will have panellists discussing how India’s growth can be sustainabl­e through responsibl­e energy generation. Among the panellists will be leading figures from green energy businesses and environmen­t-focused research organisati­ons.

How India can ride the AI wave to become a global powerhouse. The contributi­on of sports in catapultin­g India to the developed nations’ club by 2047. How luxury, from designerwe­ar to hotels, resorts and retail support, can play a role in sprucing up India’s image. Why agricultur­e needs focused attention and innovative interventi­ons. What the startup environmen­t in a developed India would look like. These and many more areas will be covered at the summit, which will conclude with a scintillat­ing conversati­on between Arvind Subramania­n, former chief economic advisor, and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. The two economists will try to thrash out the contours of the Centrestat­e relations necessary for India’s successful journey towards 2047.

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