Reimagine India: Special Address by Shri Suresh Prabhu


As India is on the trajectory to celebrate 75 years of its independence, it is an opportune time to enhance our engagement with various stakeholders including the government, industry, academia and multilateral institutions with the underlying objective of aligning all efforts to the highly significant national priorities. This exercise assumes even greater importance as we are facing critical changes, posed by an unprecedented health crisis which has profound and evident socio-economic implications. A synergized approach for fulfilling national objectives will help us to capitalize on India’s latent strengths. Therefore, to have a robust discussion on "Vision for India @75", the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the India Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) organized a virtual conversation with the keynote address being delivered by Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Indian Sherpa for G-20 as well as G-7 on September 17, 2020 on CISCO WEBEX platform.

Key Takeaways

- The COVID- 19 pandemic has tested the resolve of people, which had compelled India and other countries, to suspend economic activities in the first few months and focus on overcoming the pandemic. 

- The impact of this has been drastic on various sectors, especially the hospitality sector, which is the largest employer and the backbone of the service sector of India.

- India has seen a remarkable journey in the past years of post- Independence, especially in terms of the development of the democratic process and transformation of rural India.

- Due to the population explosion in the past, India’s natural resources have been stretched. India is a young country in terms of the demographic dividend, and its people are an asset yet managing large population can pose a challenge in the future due to the increase in population number as well as sharing of natural resources.

- In the coming years, the decision-makers and economists would need to balance between economic development and conservation of natural resources. 

- India is becoming a digital-first country creating an abundance of available information, but it is necessary to assess the authenticity and reliability of the information before being shared. 

- The two phenomena are simultaneously operating in the world, where on one hand, the countries are becoming inward and protectionist, on the other hand, globalisation has impacted the way the countries operate. While globalisation has created an interconnected world, it has also led to the downsides of interconnectedness. It has led to economic benefits which in turn has led to job creation.

- The global supply chains, a result of globalisation, have spread across sectors including manufacturing and agriculture. It is also a way of ensuring that consumers get the best products, at best available components, at competitive prices.

- There is a need to amalgamate the two aspects of global and local in our approach and Hon’ble PM’s idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat, encompasses complementarity in interests and capability.

- India needs to have a strong stand on multilateralism as a platform for global governance, which focuses on democracy, openness and rules-based order. 

- There is also the need for ensuring that while multilateralism focusses on global governance, democracy is adopted as a means of ensuring national/local governance.

- The Parliamentarians in India and the world, need to play an active role in governance. The civil society organisations, being non-governmental actors, can contribute towards the country’s growth.

- In terms of the industry, India’s growth is largely dependent upon the growth of the private sector, start-ups and service sector. The role of businesses is extremely important in ensuring overall development of the country as India can develop only when Indian businesses develop.

- In a new world order ensuing post the pandemic, the countries of the QUAD have the chance to work together and create a vision for a free Indo-Pacific and a multilateral world order. 

- India’s role on the international platform including G20 and G7 is crucial. India is set to host the G- 20 Summit in 2022, which also coincides with India’s 75th Independence Year, which will provide ample opportunities for India to not only engage with the world but also establish itself as a catalyst for the growth of Asian economy and the world. 


Peter Rimmele