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What are the Key Challenges to Development and Growth in India?

Gateway of India - Photo by Rhaessner

Gateway of India – Photo by Rhaessner 

How does one go about getting diagnostic services out of the large, swanky labs that are the mainstay of big, urban cities, and into the hands of the rural population, that constitutes almost 60% of India’s population? Ask any first year Harvard Business School student and they might propose the Aravind Eye Hospital model. Set up a rural camp, create fanfare, transport equipment and medically trained personnel to the camp, bring back patients who need surgery and there you have it. But if it were that straightforward, why are articles such as this still talking about it? Perhaps because it’s not. Finding doctors who are willing to travel to remote areas for the purely altruistic motive of diagnosing and testing patients, is quite sadly, hard to do. Then there’s the issue of making diagnostic equipment work in the field, under weather and handling conditions that might not even nearly resemble manufacturer specifications.

Suppose we did find the right doctors, and suppose we did find the right type of equipment, who should bear the responsibility of treating India’s rural patients? The private sector www.replicabestsale.co.uk? Non profits? Shouldn’t the responsibility of making healthcare accessible to India’s rural patients be the responsibility of the government? Why should this be any different from some of the other responsibilities the government has towards the rural population, such as constructing roads and ensuring a safe supply of drinking water?

Moving to similar large questions in the financial sector, although India has one of the largest banking networks in the world, less than half the country’s population has access to banking services. Financial inclusion in India is thus a matter of granting hundreds of millions of people access to the basic financial infrastructure that developed countries and many better-off Indians take for granted. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been studying this issue since at least 2004; in 2006, the RBI allowed commercial banks to work together with civil society organizations and microfinance groups to expand banking in rural India.

Today, a handful of Indian states can lay claim to complete financial inclusion. In most of the country, though, financial inclusion remains a complex, even controversial, challenge–news reports tying microcredit to farmer suicides, for example, have engendered a political backlash against certain recent efforts toward financial inclusion cartier roadster replica. How can we bring in innovation in the financial sector to ensure its presence reaches the masses, considering that we still have a large agricultural sector? Where are the opportunities and who are the big players? What can we learn from other countries that are trying to solve similar problems?

While India is and will continue to be a driver of global growth, that growth is divided, as a large portion of the society is left behind in this progress. The ability to harness the large and growing youth population of India and provide them with the skills to participate in the global economy will be key to India’s ability to continue to progress. How do we engender these skills in the youth of India? What exactly are these critical skills? What is the role that business should play in this area? What about government?

We unfortunately don’t have an answer to these questions, but perhaps the panelists on our healthcare and financial inclusion at the India conference will. Through the conversation, we will address emerging challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in building out the required skills in the youth of India. Slated to take place on the 24th and 25th of March 2012, India: The Next Frontier, aims to bring forth not only the country’s challenges, but also some practical solutions that are well positioned to contribute to India’s growth story going forward.

Keynotes are being delivered by Mr. Hardeep Puri – Chairperson of the Security Council Committee on Counter Terrorism & the Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Prof. Sugata Bose – Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs Harvard University and Bharat Desai – Chairman, Syntel. The conference also features panel discussions on Indian Urbanization, Policy, Education, Political accountability, Investing, Entrepreneurship cartier santos 100 replica, Agribusiness, Media, Cleantech, Finance, Healthcare, Technology, and entertainment. For more information and to register, visit www.harvardindiaconference.com

March 22, 2012
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