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
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
Prof Sunil Kumar SinghSince independence, starting almost from scratch, India has made a huge progress in the research sector, in both basic and applied, from space research and atomic energy to oceanic science. We established CSIR, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), several national laboratories and institutes for medical, geological, physical, chemical and ocean research. We are now sending satellites to space, launching rockets, quite advanced in the field of biotechnology, weather prediction or in carrying out undersea exploration. However, more talent is required and lack of innovation is a major challenge. Science can be global but technology has to be local to suit the local needs, climate and culture. By 2047, I would like to see India as a leading nation in science.
— Prof Sunil Kumar Singh, director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanog-raphy (NIO), Goa HQ
Where talent is supreme