Dr. Azad Moopen
This year marks 74 years of celebrating India‘s Republic Day, a historical day which commemorates the country’s constitution. India, which is home to nearly 1/6th of the world’s population, has achieved significant milestones in all sectors since its independence. The last few years saw the country leading by examples in many fields like science, technology and data, food security, literacy, climate and environment, etc. The Indian economy has made tremendous progress over the last 8 decades, especially in the 21st century and is now the 6th largest economy in the world. This year, India has attained the responsibility of G-20 chairmanship. ‘Women led development’ is also a major topic among other topics of G-20. It is heartening that Smt. Droupadi Murmu, a women President from the tribal region of India is the first citizen of the country now during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, signifying the 75th year of independence with inclusive growth across gender. Interestingly, Nari Shakti is one of the proposed themes for the Republic day parade this year.
The government’s focus and funding on sustainable economic growth led by IT, innovation and digital transformation are seeing exponential advancements. Over the last few years, a series of government initiatives like Start-up India, Make in India, Skill India and Stand up India have helped in promoting entrepreneurship with the motto of “Be a Job-Giver instead of being a Job-Seeker”. . India has been declared the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China, which has been possible due to the central government’s constant investment in young people led under the supervision of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. With the demographic dividend of a huge working youth population, the country is slated to outpace other countries in GDP growth in the next decade.
Apart from managing COVID 19 in a commendable way with least mortality and rolling out vaccination for the mammoth population efficiently, India also supplied vaccines to many third world countries. However, the health sector requires more focus as the health of the people is the wealth of the nation. India spends 3% of GDP only on healthcare out of which more than half is out-of-pocket. I suggest that the finance minister should increase government budget on healthcare to 3% so that the total national spend goes up to 5% of GDP in near term, which is 3.16 now. The focus should be on primary and preventive care along with capacity building of doctors and nurses.
Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare