India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar virtually addressed a session on ‘Role of the Diaspora in Atmanirbhar Bharat’ during the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event. Dr. Jaishankar said, the theme highlights the global implications of the Atmanirbhar approach. It also helps create new avenues for stronger connections with the Pravasis.
The External Affairs Minister said the objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat is to build greater national capacities so that we can make a stronger contribution globally. Even otherwise, this was a laudable goal. But the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has driven home the need for more trusted, resilient, reliable and redundant supply chains. Involving the diaspora in that endeavour is natural. The Indian diaspora has always been enthusiastic contributors to nation-building. Secondly, as high achievers in their own societies, they can bring to bear resources, technology, best practices and Innovations to the task. Third, they help in giving this ambitious exercise a truly global footprint. The Minister hoped that the exchange of views could serve as an inspiration to make this a larger shared enterprise.
The initial steps for Atmanirbharta were taken even during the course of the pandemic. The Prime Minster has spoken about the steps needed to make India self-reliant. Whether it was the production of PPEs and masks, or indeed of ventilators and testing kits, India demonstrated an ability to rise to the challenge. That determination is now becoming visible as a larger approach to our national capabilities and prospects. A bold scheme of production-linked incentives in 13 key sectors offers the potential of transforming manufacturing in the country. Equally important, it would have direct consequences for employment and inclusiveness. These are all steps in the making of the New India and it is only appropriate that our diaspora is a full participant in that effort.
Prime Minster Modi, speaking on Atmanirbhar Bharat had declared: “When India speaks of becoming self-reliant, it does not advocate a self-centred system. In India’s self-reliance, there is a concern for the whole world’s happiness, cooperation and peace.” Dr. Jaishankar underline this message because it is important that the world be fully aware of the global nature of India’s objectives.
Engagement with the world is fundamental to our beliefs and traditions. After all, during the pandemic, India not only met its own medicine requirements but supplied the rest of the world. Similarly, we not only brought our own people back home, but those of neighbours as well. And as we now look at the supply of vaccines, Prime Minister has assured that we will live up fully to our international responsibilities.
Certainly, it is India’s ambition to build the capacities and strengths commensurate to one of the leading economies of the world. To do that, we recognize the need to think, plan and act more strategically. What is underway may be a national endeavour; but it is one very much based on global partnerships. Let us note that India is consistently making it easier to do business today, both for domestic and global players. Our objective may be to increase our own trade, investments and services; but they will surely contribute to a larger global rebalancing. An India with greater capacities can be an additional engine of growth for the global economy. It will also be a trusted partner and a reliable supplier, in line with global norms and practices.
The External affairs Minister said, indigenous development of Indian Covid-19 vaccines is one of the biggest examples of Atmanirbharta (self-reliance). With the rolling out of the first phase of vaccination drive, India would join a select few countries, where vaccination against Covid-19 has started. Dr Jaishankar said, India’s Pravasis have been intrinsic partners to our national growth and modernization. He expressed the hope that their vantage point will bring a greater richness into the Atmanirbharta campaign of India.
Script: Padam Singh, AIR: News Analyst