PM’s start-up plans: Fix a few things first

IIT Mumbai, for example, already has professors working on plans to make people entrepreneurs.

Start-Up India and Stand-Up India are set for a boost on January 16 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils his action plan — he wants the young in IITs, IIMs, universities and elsewhere to benefit, and not just in urban areas. He plans to ensure all institutes are connected live: if delivered as promised, it will be a great opportunity for India’s young to become entrepreneurs.

IIT Mumbai, for example, already has professors working on plans to make people entrepreneurs, not depend solely on public and private sector jobs. With 10 million students graduating annually, there will never be enough jobs for all of them, so entrepreneurship is the only alternative. A radical change in thinking is needed, and one hopes the Prime Minister, who is known for his out-of-the-box solutions to the nation’s problems, and for being more down to earth than many of his contemporaries, has the real answer in encourgaing start-ups. He should even connect with those start-ups and e-commerce enterprises that are in the business of helping entrepreneurs set up new enterprises.

For Mr Modi, who indicated some of this in this monthly Mann ki Baat radio address Sunday, it may be advisable to remember that he can move forward successfully with his plans only through cooperation and collaboration, not by taking all the decisions himself. Unlike in political campaigns, he doesn’t have a cadre of party faithful who can take his vision to fruition. He can succeed only by reaching out to the people, just like his surprise stopover in Lahore recently at the invitation of Pakistan’s PM might change the dynamics of diplomacy in the region.

A lot depends on the state governments, and the way they respond to the PM’s appeal to help the young take the start-ups forward. In this context, Mr Modi could do well to prod his BJP chief minister in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, to tackle the corruption in local self-government bodies head on and act diligently to curb it, particularly in Mumbai, the nation’s commercial capital. Statistics that were released recently in Maharashtra indicate that the corruption in these bodies is huge, which should cause a lot of worry to Mr Modi, given that he sought a mandate pledging to wipe it out. A year and a half later, he is yet to deliver on this.

Mr Modi has done well to reiterate the need for IITs and others to find solutions to lighten the burden of those doing hard manual labour. Technology is mainly being used to make life easier for the white-collared and elite. Perhaps the PM could announce cash incentives or offer a lunch/dinner date with him to those who come up with viable schemes.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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