(Since your blog wouldn’t let me post a reply, hence copying it here)
I agree with the principle argument — that don’t go the lowest hanging fruit, that is setting up labour shops (factories) and produce low end goods in India, which will return at 10x their cost for sale in India.
Here are my humble 2 cents regarding the suggestions you propose:
1. Agreed. The population explosion needs to stop.
2. Agreed. But in short term, low end jobs is the only possibility, given that <10% population is ‘skilled’. It’ll take years of massive skill upgradation to fructify your proposal. But it should still be the long term goal.
3. Strongly disagree. You’ll be abetting to the process of mass churning of engineers and accountants who’ll fly abroad at the first opportunity. Because they can’t find an appropriate job here in India (present reality)
4. Constitutionally not possible. Military service can’t be forced in a democracy. Article 14, 19, 21 stand violated.
6. Agreed. But the reason I gave in point #2 is valid here as well. Brand creation is definitely something we should work on. Say something like Khadi, or the ’n’ types of silk sarees woven across India. There’s no need to create an Indian version of Louis Vuitton. Luxury goods are as much based on perception as their true worth. And a ‘poor’ country selling luxury brands doesn’t ring the same bell.
8. Agreed. Shift focus from quantity to quality (of education) at all levels. Improve Indian R&D ecosystem by paying the PhDs their true worth. Call it shallow, but money is a great motivator.
9. Strongly Agree. But easier said than done.
A couple of pointers from my side:
1. Reform the Legislative System of India. Put minimum qualifications for election to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
2. Specialization and lateral hiring in bureaucracy. A ‘generalist’ IAS being the head of NHAI doesn’t cut it. You need an industry leader in that position.
3. Incentive based salary structure in government jobs.
4. Single point tax system like GST. Everything is paid by the consumer because even a businessman is a consumer and hence can’t evade the tax
5. PPP projects with clear role demarcation. Government gets you the clearances, you get the real work done. Penalty for any delay.
6. Education — Only 8% people are graduate in India. To be able to read and write is meaningless when push comes to shove. People need to be educated in the real sense. Again, incentive based schemes like Mid Day Scheme or scholarship based on merit and not purely on caste or gender.
7. Adopt the public health model of the US, where everyone pays health insurance and gets the best service in return. Operate health insurance as a business and not charity.
“ Don’t give people food directly, train them to earn it “