Big Ideas for India Contest: Overview

India needs big ideas if we are to create a rich, developed nation in the next 20-30 years. We are not getting these at the national level. In the political skirmishes between the various parties and their leaders, what has been left behind is an agenda of transformation.

In every sector of India’s economy, there is a need for big, bold and imaginative ideas to fast-track economic growth and development. We cannot have another generation hobbled by illiteracy, malnourishment, poverty and a limited education.

For the most part, we in Middle India have stayed away from the discourse of policy-making, leaving it to the so-called experts, politicians and bureaucrats. It cannot stay that way – for the future that is impacted is ours and that of our children. We need to participate in the process if we are to contribute towards changing the course of India’s future.

Over the course of the next couple weeks or so, we will take 10-odd areas where India needs big ideas, and open it up to contributions by all. Each weekday, I will outline one area and put forth a brief backgrounder on the need for change. You can then put forth your ideas on what needs to be done.

The 10 best ideas overall will receive a free copy of Atanu Dey’s forthcoming book, “Transforming India: The Road to India’s Development.” The judging will be done by me, along with Atanu Dey. To participate, you can simply leave your ideas as a comment on the blog post page or the Facebook page with the question or email me at

I will announce the winners in the last week of April.

All the best! We will start the contest tomorrow with a few questions on the governance model and then move to specific sectors.

PS: These ideas will be valued. So don’t be skeptical. While good ideas are what we want all political parties to make use of, I will ensure that the best ideas are shared within the highest levels of the BJP.

Tomorrow: Question 1

14 thoughts on “Big Ideas for India Contest: Overview

  1. What are the parameters on which the ideas would be judged? How big a factor is “innovative” going to be versus, say practical?

  2. ” Get Big idea’s.. “outsourced.. by bjp to rajesh… and by Rajesh to the people who visit his blog….

    people will share… get a book…

    Rajesh will share.. n get close to” the highest level of the bjp”….

    bjp will share… n sell the same ideas to same the people to gain votes… same old political skirming….

    this is “opportunistic outsourcing ” at its best

    wish Rajesh had kept his political colors out of.

    hope good sense prevails and people keep their ideas out of politics…

  3. The role of the government is to serve the citizens of a nation. The goal that it should try to achieve is that the populace, at large, should be happy and contented. In my opinion, any government has to take care of following things

    – Human development
    These days we hear in the corporate world that people are their most important resource and they spend so much resources on it. So is the case with a nation. But the most important sphere which needs to be taken care of is spiritual development. Once a person becomes a good human being, he can become a good doctor, engineer, lawyer, government official etc. What good is a highly educated doctor who indulges in malpractices, like stealing of organs. The problem in India is that the values and morals have degraded so much that we see exploitation, loot everywhere. As Swami Vivekananda said “We need reformers who can reform themselves”. Similarly, if we can have such people in leadership roles, everything else will be taken care of.

    – Peace and Harmony within the country
    Our country has lost so much because of riots, militancy etc. that its cost cannot ever be estimated. How can one estimate the loss because of lost lives ? Human life has become so cheap that one or two lost people mean nothing today. The government gets into action mode when the body count is much more. The government has to ensure that people of all religions, castes, regions, sex can live with peace anywhere. Again, this is possible only if we have a spiritually awakened populace and such people are in the government too. This also requires that people who disturb peace should be strongly dealt with.

    – Security of the borders
    Their should be good relations with the outside world but our borders should be protected too. We should, however, remember that if a nation is internally strong and peaceful and thus the importance of first two points, it would not have to face aggression from outside usually. But it should in a state of readiness to face any such actions of hostility.

  4. China is the world leader in manufacturing today because of government tax breaks and encouragement from the government. Today if a person wants to be an entrepreneur in India, he needs to face so many hurdles – getting a loan from a bank without security (bank people are such difficult people), getting permissions without bribing government officials etc. The govt should make it easy for people to become entrepreneurs.

  5. “The 10 best ideas overall will receive a free copy of Atanu Dey’s forthcoming book, “Transforming India: The Road to India’s Development.”

    Ha, ha, ha….need i say more?

  6. mm – you must be a bureaucrat. i happened upon this contest page via a tweet sent by friend. and the 2nd comment i read is your rant. speak of a downer.
    i am guessing you are employed with the government of india and just can’t fathom the idea of aam janta generating “good and innovative” policy prescriptions for our nation’s economy – the non-existent lord knows we need some fresh and bold ideas.
    and what’s wrong with sourcing public policy solutions from the average jai. hey, if an idea is good, it’s good, it’s good – pedigree is irrelevant, no?
    good ideas should be implemented, pronto, by the party in power, don’t you think?
    heck, you can even take the credit, if that’s what is bothering you

  7. Privatize Air India, Coal India and Indian Railways. Expanding private sector in banking and reducing clout of nationalized banks.

    Labour law reforms.

    Tax reforms that help expand the taxpayer base and do not distort investment by favouring or disfavouring particular industries.

  8. An economy transitions from agriculture to large-scale manufacturing, and finally to services and innovation. There has been no other way, nor can there be. To facilitate smooth navigation on this trajectory, we need the basics:

    1) Property rights – Make them secure thru Constitutional Amendment – on par with free speech and assembly.
    Corollary: Farmers must be given full title to their land, and allowed to sell to any and all concerns (No State Agricultural Committees)

    2) Labor Laws – Liberalize labor law – abolish the steep effective marginal tax that steps in @ 100 employees. Allow hiring and firing at will. No compulsory unions or dues collection.

    3) Judicial Reforms – Re-jig the judicial system – create thousands of district courts, and tens of thousands of municipal courts. Digitize court records, and introduce IT. Abolish and repeal all unnecessary criminal and civil statutes that give discretionary power to law enforcement.

    4) Educational reforms – Allow open foreign investment in education, and allow for profit education.

    5) Financial reforms – liberalize the financial sector – allow easy IPOs, focus SEBI on being a fair watchdog, not a constant meddler or approver of private decisions. Allow foreign investment and enlistment on indian exchanges.

  9. This is one of the funniest posts i have read in a while. The blind and dumb leading the blind joker party – bjp. How appropriate! And the book – hey Ram!

  10. Rajesh – instead of just asking for ideas why dont you DO SOMETHING….

    Sitting on a pile of cash and asking for ideas is not going to cut it. Since you have the reach and the dough, why don’t you just “walk the talk”. Stop blogging and DO SOMETHING yourself.

  11. Only 1 idea is enough actually.

    Change the tax structure and tax administration.

    Let local communities receive 70 % of tax collected and use it for the community’s benefit (village/town/city). From their 70%, they can earmark some for State and Union govts.

    Among the remaining 30%, let State govt get 20% and Union govt get the remaining 10% of tax money.

    So, Union govt funds = their 10% share+ the prescribed amounts from local govts that they get.

    Btw, this is how Indian political economy worked and thrived for thousands of years. This is nothing new. Even during Mughal times, this was the primary model. It is only the British who have changed our taxation from decentralised to centralised.And we are still implementing the same old British model.

  12. Intention of blogger is doubtful. He is just representing bjp to get ideas. what happened during the period of BJP? they are also playing same political games like other parties. Now we need another Gandhi to demolish existing practises in indian politics. The current leading parties – BJP and Congress are useless. A new party from indian youth must take over the place of all old folks. 10 QUESTIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY ONLY ONE ANSWER IS ENOUGH “GIVE VRS FOR ALL ABOVE 60 POLITICIANS. LET THEM TAKE REST.”

  13. 1. Repeal the 52nd and 91st constitutional amendments. That will turn India into a parliamentary democracy. Thanks to those amendments, it has become very easy for money to influence legislation: there’s no need to bribe 51% of all MPs, just bribe the bosses of two major parties! It’s disgusting.

    2. Get rid of all subsidies.

    3. RBI should increase RR and CRR rates significantly. Any value less than 100% is inherently inflationary. This inflation might be hidden using short-term measures, but eventually it will only cause big bubbles.

    4. Cancel/get out of most international treaties related to Intellectual Property. Such treaties are unfair where the standards for granting a patent are lenient in one country and strict in another.

    5. Reservations should not be mandatory in the private sector. One should be free to do or not do business with other people according to whatever criteria one many choose.

    6. There should be no reservations in govt. sector jobs. Repeal any constitutional mandates, if needed.

    7. In educational institutions run by the government, reservations should be on the basis of financial background, not religion or caste.

    8. Repeal AFSPA. Just because a girl happened to be born in a problematic region and just because her alleged molester happened to be employed in a patriotic job, does not mean the girl should be stripped of legal rights. To claim that AFSPA helps army to be more efficient is to say that our courts are biased against defendants. I think our courts are fair enough.

    9. As a general rule, wherever there is government regulation, attempt to reframe it as a rights issue and let courts decide. For example, you can stop people from taking a crap in neighbour’s lawn, in two ways: either have a big bureaucratic agency that monitors peoples’ lawns at all times or let people sue the offending neighbours. The latter approach is more elegant, gives freedom from pointless regulation and reduces scope for governmental partiality/corruption.

    10. Recognize property rights. Communists rejoiced when Indira Gandhi took them away. They hoped that it would pave way for equitable redistribution of wealth. But what actually happened? Government forcibly (in some cases, violently) took away land from tribal people. History should teach us that power doesn’t solve problems; it only worsens them.