[via Raj Waghray] Deccan Herald writes about President Abdul Kalam’s ideas for rural development:
President A P J Abdul Kalam in a historic address to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly delineated his vision of building a developed India through essential connectivities that will build physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity with rural areas and lead to economic connectivity. (These) integrated methods will bring prosperity to rural India, he said.
Explaining these connectivities, President Kalam said village clusters would be be provided with physical connectivity through quality roads and transport. Electronic connectivity would be provided through telecommunication with high bandwidth fibre optic cables reaching rural areas from urban cities and through Internet kiosks.
Knowledge connectivity would be achieved through education, vocational training for farmers, artisans and craftsmen and entrepreneurship programmes.
These three connectivities (would) lead to economic connectivity, through starting of enterprises with the help of banks, micro-credit and marketing of products, he said. President Kalam said he called this model of development Rural Prosperity through Connectivity or RUPCON.
Our nation is going through a major challenge to uplift the 260 million people who are below the poverty line. They need habitat, they need food, they need healthcare and they need the education and employment that will result in a good life. Our GDP is growing at more than 5 per cent per annum. Economists suggest that to lift people from below poverty line, our economy has to grow at the rate of 10 per cent per annum consistently for over a decade.
A mission of the people should be to transform India into a developed nation to meet the needs of one billion people by focussing on the five areas of core competence: agriculture and food processing; reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country; education and healthcare; information and communication technology, and strategic sectors.
If these areas are developed they would lead to national, food and economic security, he said. He listed out missions to bring prosperity to rural people by focussing attention on agriculture, energy, drinking water, healthcare, weather monitoring and education.