India can become economically developed by 2020 if its gross domestic product (GDP) can grow at nine per cent from current level of 6.5 per cent and by achieving industrial growth of about 25 per cent from current level of 15-16 per cent, former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
"Our GDP is limbing 6.5 per cent now it should go to minimum nine per cent GDP, with our 600 million youth population and if our small scale industry, farmers and IT are doing very well, with these backgrounds there is a possibility of India becoming economically developed by 2020," said Dr Kalam.
"Today, 30 per cent people live below poverty line, we can lift them up, our industrial growth is only 15-16 per cent and we have to go to 25 per cent," said Dr Kalam.
He also said that manufacturing industry has to be empowered to achieve 25 per cent GDP contribution by 2020 from 16 per cent as on 2015 by increasing the depth in manufacturing focusing on the level of domestic value addition, enhanced global competitiveness through appropriate policy support and sustainability of growth particularly with regard to the environment.
Dr Kalam emphasised upon the need to have a long-term defence strategy and vision for defence industry growth, involving large private industries as production partners.
"Establishment of MIC envisage not only the industrial development but also create a number of job opportunities," said Dr Kalam.
"This will change world's perception towards India from an importer country to an exporting giant," he added.
He also said that the Government should allocate more funds for research and development (R&D).
"More thrust has to be given for Government funding for R&D even to private companies to strengthen the indigenous R&D capability."
Dr Kalam further said that regulations and control procedures are to be implemented in managing private industries for manufacturing of defence systems.
"Encouraging high technology tie-ups and joint ventures between Indian and other global defence industries will achieve not only competitiveness but also envisage the product for export, India cannot afford to lose anymore time in pondering the issue," said the former President of India.
Talking about his experience of promoting technological innovations, Dr Kalam said, "Our policy ecosystems do not keep in pace with possibilities and potentials presented by technologies and engineering.
Also, bigger Indian businesses do not generally look for many such new opportunities."
Sharing his thoughts on ‘Growth with Innovation is imperative to an economically developed India 2020,' Dr Kalam also rued at India's 64th rank in the Global Innovation Index.
"We should at least aim for coming the first 10," he said.