- Rajani Nagesh Tadimalla
Bottom to Top Development Approach through Better Use of the Federal Structure
India is fourth largest economy in the world and is poised to overtake Japan in the near future. However, the benefits of developments has not reached every Indian. Indian economy has performed well even during the periods of recession over the last decade. The world is facing a similar scenario again. Therefore, it is imperative for the government to strengthen the fundamentals of the Indian economy. The country has a federal system of governance, but we still face problems in implementation of welfare schemes and development programs. Issues and disputes remain unresolved for years and decades. The time has come to leverage the federal structure and make efficient use of the Panchayats, municipal bodies and district administration to implement welfare programs, and introduce new development schemes at the village and district level. State governments can create a district development model. To begin with, they can develop a pilot scheme for the development of each village or town based upon their unique strengths such as tourism potential, agricultural growth and potential to establish industry among others. The finance for the projects could be incentivized based on the progress made on the existing projects. The development scheme could be reviewed on a quarterly basis by a group comprising of representatives of government, experts, and villagers. IT education could be promoted and the Internet could be leveraged to disseminate information, facilitate people to seek clarifications, report discrepancies and fraud, and provide suggestions on the development projects. The government may organize seminars and facilitate interaction between representatives from different districts to share their experiences and gain insights on different projects and schemes being implemented and resolve inter-district conflicts. The top to bottom development model has to be complemented by a bottom to top development strategy to create a more stronger and resilient economy, facilitate inclusive growth and enhance the competitiveness of the Indian economy.