Rapid transformation, not gradual evolution, is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants for India. The transformation of India cannot happen without that of governance, which in turn needs transformation in mindset. For this, the country needs transformative ideas, said Modi. It is categoric that India abandons the administrative system of the 19 century in order to march through the 21 century, he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the 'Transforming India Lecture Series' wherein Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, delivered the first of the lectures. The visiting leader spoke on India in the global economy. The lecture was organised by NITI Aayog, the government think tank intended to guide India's transformation.
Conceding that fundamental changes in administrative mindset usually occur through sudden shocks or crisis, the Prime Minister mentioned that in a democracy, special efforts were needed to force ourselves to make transformative changes. "What we need is a collective opening of our minds, to let in new, global perspectives. To do this, we have to absorb new ideas collectively rather than individually. It requires a concerted effort," he elaborated. He referred to his own participation in structured brainstorming sessions with bankers, police officers, secretaries to government, among others. He said ideas coming from those sessions were being incorporated into policy.
In an age where change is constant, and we are the variables, the PM said, change is necessary for both external and internal reasons. Every country has to benchmark its activities to global standards or fall behind, because countries are inter-dependent and inter-connected.
Internally, Modi elaborated, the thoughts and aspirations of the younger generation are vastly different from the older, and with the spread of technology, the young may know more than the older. "This increases the challenge for government in communicating and in meeting rising expectations," he said by way of explaining why "incremental progress is not enough, a metamorphosis is needed".