In this theme article, we summarize the broad characteristics of Vision 2020 (a document which outlines the transformation process related to evolution of India as a developed nation by 2020) as envisaged by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. We discuss the enabling role of our discipline related to this critical national (social) transformation process.
This theme article is organized in three segments. The first segment, which is drawn heavily based on the published work by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam introduces the salient features of Vision 2020 and a road map related to realizing this national dream. The second segment sketches the evolution of operations research as a scientific discipline in the international and Indian context. The third and final segment of the article relate OR tools and techniques that can facilitate the planning and implementation of several projects / activities / policies in the overall context of Vision 2020.
Vision 2020: Goals: In the developed India, every Indian citizen would have an enhanced quality of life. Developed India would have a 4% global GDP share from
1.67% (as of 2002). The population growth rate in developed India would reduce to 1.5% from 1.9% (as of 2002).
Pre-requisites: Achieving Vision 2020 would require unshakable commitment from the political leadership. It would require the active involvement and strong commitment of the general public, at a level compared to what was exhibited to achieve our independence. Vision 2020, planning and implementation should be integrated as a part
of the national agenda and should be de-linked from the narrow political party objectives and considerations.
Enablers: Transformation of India to a developed country would require appropriate state of art technology interventions in all areas of Indian economy. The transformation process should create sustainable economic and social systems. It is possible to develop such systems only when social equity issues related to education, health and empowering rural India are completely and fully addressed. Developed India is possible only when the benefits of the development process percolate to all in India and in particular to the lower strata of the society.
Operational Guidelines: Rapid development of internal technological expertise, awakening the Indian psyche to stretch and motivate to achieve the development agenda, and a tenacious adherence to policy objectives are the key operational routes which would support this transformation.
Over a period of time, Indians have developed a mindset which inhibit them to accept new ideas (anywhere from the world), modify and/or develop them to suit our local requirements. This has evolved as a major handicap. Consequently Indians have
developed a defeatist mindset. Anything foreign (product and services) is accepted as superior. This needs to change. If nations like USA, Europe, China, South Korea, Israel, Malaysia and Singapore can transform themselves as developed nations, why not India? What can we possibly learn from the experience of these countries?
We have abundant quantity of natural minerals and rich material. However, we lack the technology to convert them to value added products. We are dependent on international research and development to access innovative and / or new technology and its usage. The best solution to overcome this constraint is to connect industry, academia and the research laboratories. There is an urgent need to develop a funding framework which would generate funds, deploy them in this cooperative framework and monitor utilization with a focus on tangible outputs.
Resources and Opportunities: We have an appropriate mix and variety of chemical industries. We are endowed with a rich bio-diversity context. We need to take...