Time to vote for inclusive growth

Development should not be for a select few who are able to pay for it, say experts at summit on sustainable development

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | February 2, 2013


For a better world: Nitin Desai — former under-secretary general UN and Fellow, TERI, at present — with Thomas Friedman at Friday`s session.
For a better world: Nitin Desai — former under-secretary general UN and Fellow, TERI, at present — with Thomas Friedman at Friday`s session.

That the water table is going down is not news; that it impacts the poorest woman first is.

While there is a deep connection between poverty and the environment, most urban middle class and above, who do not depend directly on natural resources for a livelihood, never realise its full potent. Or the way renowned American journalist-writer Thomas Friedman puts it, “The world is full of people who just did not get the word.”

At the ongoing Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, organised by TERI, several experts put their heads together on Friday to discuss issues of sustainable resources and how to deal with growth in future. The critics and the non-believers aside, climate change is a problem — it may be not on the scale that governments and conspiracy theorists want us to believe, but it nevertheless is a problem.

More than “climate change”, which general people might perceive to be about the weather, environmental problems at present are about resources and they should be available to the last person on the planet.

It is not an irony that most of the poorest people in India, and across the world, come from the most resource-rich areas. Be it Jharkhand in India, Africa or South America, the story repeats everywhere. This is because growth in terms of GDP does not understand growth in terms of holistic development of the society, according to the experts.

Another aspect to be understood about mindlessly using natural resources for development is that these resources would not be present forever. It is, thus, very important for these resources to be used effectively and carefully so that they are available to a larger number of people over a longer period of time.
Such a development is the only way the world can move forward — or as Bittu Sehgal, editor of ‘Sanctuary’ magazine and renowned environmentalist, said, “We need to connect resource-efficiency with growth.”

The conference debated about several such issues, besides discussing new paradigms of development that include rather than exclude a large section of the population. As Ali Tauquer Sheikh of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network said, “We need to reach out to those who have been marginalised. Millions of people have been excluded from development and the trickle-down effect has not worked.”

Of course, not everyone who needs clean drinking should be expected to buy it; or be expected to be able to buy it. Clean drinking water and air are the first casualties of growth that is not resource-efficient. If the current scenario in Beijing tells the world something, it is that industrial development has to take into account people who will eventually use these clean resources. Otherwise there is isn’t any need for growth at all.

The summit also had a brilliant session with Thomas Friedman, the author of “The Earth is Hot, Flat and Crowded”, about the need for energy efficiency in future. Read our report of the session (More Indians behaving like middle class: Friedman)

(Governance Now is a media partner for the event)

Comments

 

Other News

Government divests 12% stakes in RITES; IPO opens on June 20

The railway infrastructure consulting PSU, RITES Limited is coming up with its IPO on June 20, 2018, as the government of India is selling its 24 million equity shares (12%) stake in the Mini Ratna PSU. As an initial public offering 25,200,000 equity shares are offered in which employee reservation portion

“This initiative is for future generations”

Speaking to Governance Now, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani elaborates on the Sujalam Sufalam scheme to rejuvenate talavdis and desilt reservoirs and lakes. He also speaks on water, politics, and cons

Water by the pondful

It’s 10 am and in Dhandhuka town of Ahmedabad district, the sun is already scorching. A dry lake, which was desilted and deepened a few weeks back, has been turned into a venue for a fete. Shamianas have been erected, women in bright sarees and men and children in their best clothes flock the venue,

Thugs of Hindustan

This story may sound apocryphal but it was recounted by LK Advani in one of his casual conversations. Talking about Morarji Desai, he said that despite his idiosyncrasies, he was a man of impeccable integrity. To buttress his point Advani recalled this incident: After the Janata Party formed the government

IRCTC listing still lingering despite clearance in 2017

Ministry of railways’ decision of holding the listing of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has exposed its seriousness in listing its public enterprises in stock exchanges. Although the decision was taken one year back, the national transporter does not have a com

Delhi crisis shows failure of governance, says ex Delhi chief secy

The tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and lieutenant governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has entered into its fourth day on Thursday. With no immediate solution to the ongoing ego-tussle, citizens are the mute sufferers.  Umesh Sehgal, former chief secretary of Delhi, feels that instead of

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter