As election frenzy grips India, with state elections followed by the Lok Sabha elections, it is crucial for political parties to address key issues in their manifestos. With this in mind, here are three significant areas that should command the attention of all parties - water management, education reform, and capital formation.
Firstly, the looming water crisis demands urgent action. All parties should agree to introduce measures such as charging for water and power usage in agriculture, as the current system leads to inefficiency and mismanagement. Cleaning up rivers by curbing effluent discharge and investing in sewage treatment plants should be another priority. Encouraging industry to share water usage and making water conservation a part of the school curriculum are essential steps towards creating awareness and ensuring sustainable use of water resources. Lastly, addressing the issues of unplanned urbanization and revitalizing lakes around cities will help manage floods and droughts more effectively.
Secondly, India's education system is in dire need of a revamp. With millions of children not receiving quality education, it is crucial to incorporate technology and data to transform the current model. Consolidating schools and providing live broadcasts of high-quality teaching by regional language centers can significantly improve learning outcomes. Reimagining the role of teachers as tutors and monitors, emphasizing individualized learning, and issuing citizen vouchers to parents for choosing schools based on learning outcomes can further enhance the education system and prepare students for the future.
Thirdly, there is a need to focus on domestic capital formation for India's economic growth. Evaluating the number and efficiency of banks in the country is crucial, along with exploring the possibility of a government holding company for central public sector enterprises. Establishing a sovereign wealth fund with foreign inward remittances can attract foreign investment while allowing profits and dividends to be remitted back into foreign currency. Additionally, increasing the tax base and digitizing land records are essential for building robust bond and capital markets.
By addressing these three key issues in their manifestos, political parties can contribute to a brighter future for India. With water management, education reform, and capital formation as the focal points, India can overcome its challenges and unlock its true potential. It is time for parties to prioritize the development of "Paani, Punji, and Manav Punji" – the slogan for a developed India – in their election agendas.