Rajasthan : Rajasthan — 10 per cent of India, 75 million people, starved of water and with poor development indices — that is what the rest of the country saw us for. Today, the Rajasthan model of development, based on the triad of social justice, effective governance and job creation, is working to ensure continued growth and progress.
“Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji had remarked that, ‘Freedom is incomplete without social justice’. Education is the most potent catalyst of social justice. With this understanding we amended the Right to Education Act, so that we could grant our children the right to proper learning. We have rationalised our schools and every Gram Panchayat has a fully equipped and staffed Adarsh Vidyalaya. Our curricula are being recast with the aim of giving our children the tools to do well in the real world.
“What is education without skills? The higher education system in our country grants degrees which rarely if ever bring with them employability. Rajasthan has a vibrant industry-skill development linkage and the network of Skill Development Centres and ITIs creates skilled workforce who are in demand. In many cases, ITIs have been adopted by industry to produce human resources as per their own requirements.
“If our men and women do not have jobs, there is going to be little by way of development. For us in Rajasthan, a pillar of our model of development is generation of remunerative employment. We understand that industry and services are key areas that will create sustainable livelihoods, and hence our support to industrial resurgence.
“We asked ourselves that why should only Bangalore be the Mecca of start-ups. The youth of Rajasthan are talented and zealous. We went on to formulate our start-up policy and have set up incubators that will help transform Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer into start-up destinations of this country. To realize the dream of a knowledge-driven society, Digital Rajasthan becomes a powerful platform. We are committed to being a partner in Digital India through our efforts in Smart City, e-governance, Smart Grids and more.
“The industrial prowess of a nation depends on a healthy mix between large industry and small and medium enterprises. As a member of the Central Council of Ministers in charge of small-scale industry, I had experienced the potential and capabilities of SMEs in growth and employment generation. This learning was married to widespread consultations, leading to labour-sector reforms that aimed at ease of doing business by small units, without compromising the interests of labour. Today, our reforms are the benchmark for the rest of the country.
“Rajasthan, in a significant move, has recently introduced an online advanced single window clearance service — which allows time-bound issue of various clearances for project and investment proposals. A large number of clearances have been replaced with self-certification, making environment clearances easier and speedy.
“You will be happy to note that our unified tax form is in sync with online operations. Rationalization of tax systems has led to increased competitiveness. We have a new policy for allotting land to provide ‘plug and play’ facilities for non-polluting units. This pioneering EODB initiative has been welcomed by all. We have simplified procedure in different sectors. Our solar energy policy allows easy handshakes between landowners and investors.
“Tourism has been a strength of the state. Our multimodal, multi-narrative multi-year global campaign is underway and we are targeting 50 million tourist arrivals by 2020. Two hundred and twenty-one MoUs for setting up new Tourism Units have been signed and are being processed for implementation.
“Coming to Resurgent Rajasthan, our aim never was to achieve numbers. We engaged with our industry partners and presented them incentives that were attractive. Four hundred and seventy MoUs with an investment projection of $50.26 billion have been signed so far. A large proportion are in various stages of implementation.
Our vision is to improve livelihood of the people of Rajasthan.Today, our reforms are the benchmark for the rest of the country.
Note : These are the excerpts from the Business Standard Round Table Discussion with Honorable CM Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje