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Azadi journey so far. Achievements and the way ahead

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SULOGNA MEHTA
Published Aug 15, 2021, 12:38 pm IST
Updated Aug 15, 2021, 12:44 pm IST
Indian National Flag, used for representational purposes only (Image source: AP)
 Indian National Flag, used for representational purposes only (Image source: AP)

From India’s first communication satellite Apple being carried on a bullock cart to launching several satellites into space, undertaking Mars and Moon missions, becoming a nuclear power, from playing gully games to winning the Cricket World Cup and Olympic medals, India’s journey from 1947 to 2021 has been nothing short of impressive, given the challenges of overpopulation and a low GDP.  

Strong, inside and out

V K NamballaSince Independence, India, the world’s largest democracy, has built social, educational, scientific and health institutions of international repute, became self-sufficient in food production, an established nuclear and space power, built industries, developed efficient and effective military and para military forces, built up the defence industry and managed internal and external threats to our nation.We need to develop health, education and physical infrastructure, facilitate social inclusion of rural India and create employment opportunities to ensure a sustainable future. We also need to develop a strong military force to deter foreign aggression and concentrate on national development.
 — Vice-Admiral (Retd) V K Namballa, former director general, Naval Projects, Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Visakhapatnam

Ayushman Bhava!

Dr Sunil KapoorIndia has achieved tremendous success since Independence, when medical facilities were poor. Now we have fantastic hospitals of international standard, world-class diagnostic infrastructure the best treatment facilities in the world. The average life span of Indians has gone up considerably. By the 100th year of Independence, it is my wish to see that the cost of treatment comes down and more people are able to afford the best treatment and live a long and healthy life.
— Dr Sunil Kapoor, Consultant cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad

Pushing the boundaries of learning
Prof V Ramgopal RaoWe have come a long way from just 16 universities at the time of Independence to over 1,000 Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), including over 150 institutes of national importance such as IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, IISERs, IIITs and NITs. India also ranks third globally in terms of total research output.
However, India is lacking in innovation. Multi-disciplinary schools, international programmes and academia-industry collaborations are the need of the hour. The new National Education Policy aims to make our institutions multi-disciplinary and research-intensive. We also hope to see Indian institutions reaching global standards, by focusing on interdisciplinary research, industry connect and internationalisation.  
— Prof V Ramgopal Rao, director, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Towards a healthier India
Dr P P Lal KrishnaIndia has made noteworthy progress in the health and pharmaceutical industry, from importing medicines some decades ago to now manufacturing and supplying drugs and vaccines to several other countries. Life expectancy of citizens has also gone up from the age bracket of early 30s in 1947 to late 60s now.
Research and development shortfalls are a concern. More support from the government is required for building infrastructure and for cluster-development programmes. More theme-based industrial parks and medical devices manufacturing parks are needed, as well as a separate policy for bulk drugs. We have the technical talent and potential. With a little push, India can witness good growth in the industrial and healthcare sector by 2047.  
— Dr P P Lal Krishna, CEO and MD, Ramky Pharma City India Limited  

Progress, prosperity and integrity
Sara Yusufi SabuwalaAccording to me, India’s most remarkable achievement is introducing the mid-day meal scheme for children. Around 12 crore school students in the country are being served meals under Government schemes. However, we are still struggling economically as a country. Corruption and poverty need to be tackled. Education needs to be more widespread. By 2047, it is my wish to see India on the list of developed countries, free from corruption and poverty.
— Sara Yusufi Sabuwala, student Masters in Computer application, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai  

Aiming for scien-tific pre-eminence