Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, highlights the need for champions akin to Verghese Kurien, Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Bhabha, and more recently, Nandan Nilekani, who can power through the powerful ideas suggested in the recent budget.
He believes this budget is a sincere, albeit limited attempt at dismantling old shibboleths, but whether these can be powerful instruments of transformation depends on the government finding champions to articulate its vision for the agriculture sector, MSMEs etc.
"Lest we forget, history is littered with ideas that flailed without champions. The struggle to deliver drinking water, the many programmes to reduce malnutrition and underfive mortality, the broken state of education (http://bit.ly/2bIEH52), the Gothamisation of urbanisation (http://bit.ly/2jJZMjn), the miserable progress of skills development initiative, are visible illustrations. Yes, a big reason for the failures is systemic—the multi-layering of decision-making between Centre and states. And this is precisely why ideas must be championed across political and geographical boundaries"
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