New Delhi, Dec 1: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today said factors like lack of transparency are coming in the way of development reaching villages and cited as a model a programme being implemented by Gujarat government to ensure that the rural sector reaps the benefits of growth.
Under the programme implemented by the Narendra Modi administration, approximately 1 lakh government officials, from the Chief Minister to taluka-level staff, agricultural scientists and other stakeholders spend a month during April and May in rural areas demonstrating the best of technologies to farmers.
“Such initiatives indicate a strong administrative will to ensure development reaches the rural sector. Krushi Mahotsav tours all 18,600 villages of the state, providing information and counselling on soil health, organic farming, technology and inputs, irrigation, etc., besides infusing a new spirit of change and mass mobilisation,” he said, delivering the UPSC lecture on ‘Governance and Public Service'.
In addition, the Gujarat government has also instituted an e-governance system linking the panchayat level, district HQs, and the state govt leading to transparency and speed in the decision making process, he said.
Kalam mentioned the names of C Subramanian, M S Swaminathan and B Sivaraman, architects of the Green Revolution, space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan and several other visionaries to drive home his point that creative leadership can do a world of good to the country's development.
Lauding former Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee for their “excellent leadership”, he said both these leaders had the courage to take difficult decisions boldly even though their consequences had great national and international significance.
To make his point, Kalam referred to an incident in 1996 when the then PM P V Narasimha Rao asked him to brief Vajpayee about the details of nuclear programme, so that a smooth take-over of such a highly important programme can take place.
“This incident reveals the maturity and professional excellence of a patriotic statesman who believed that the nation is bigger than the political system,” he said.
After taking over as Prime Minister in 1998, the first task given by Vajpayee to him was to conduct the nuclear test at the earliest, Kalam said.
Contending that India has to transform into an economically developed nation by the year 2020, he said this means all citizens can live in a green, clean environment without pollution, having prosperity without poverty, peace without fear of war and general happiness.