Varun Gandhi’s book released at Dolphin Institute
DEHRADUN, 6 Dec: “A Rural Manifesto: Realizing India’s Future through her Villages”, authored by MP Varun Gandhi was launched in Dolphin Institute, here, in association with Himalayan Unity Mission (HUM), Dehradun. The contents of the book are based on anecdotes, facts and figures, success stories and information obtained through RTI on different issues. Varun Gandhi shared his views incorporated in the book with the students, faculty, students and others present on the occasion.
“This book is about the 67 per cent rural population that lives in villages. This book is about solutions to problems, people in villages are facing. Now villages are not viable economic units any more – they are collapsing almost into nothing. They are sucked into the expanding cities. Through this book I want to make people understand how we can make villages a viable interdependent economic structure,” he said.
Citing an example, Gandhi said, “Our country about 500 years ago had the highest GDP in the world. It was higher because we were the leaders in the textile industry, which was 44 per cent of GDP. At present, the textile industry contributes under two percent to the GDP. For every one percent increase in textiles as a percentage of GDP, 27 million jobs will be generated.
He pointed out that the inequality among people could be assessed through the use of water. Three districts, namely Mumbai, Pune and Thane in Maharashtra, used 60 per cent of the water meant for 36 districts; 40 percent of the water was used in the remaining 33 districts.
The water consumption of the top 10 per cent of the rich people in the village is 30 times more than the 10 per cent of the poorest people in the village. He further said there should be equal access to the resources.
Varun said 84 percent of students who passed IIT entrance exams were from CBSE, ICSE and other premium institutions. Government should take adequate steps to improve quality of education and available infrastructure in the state board affiliated schools where education can be provided to the needy at affordable cost.
According to him, India’s main problem was shortage of teachers and added that it would be resolved if 20 percent of unemployed PG students take up teaching as a profession. Farmers were reeling under distress as 57 percent of fresh fruits were rotting in 96 hours due to bad transportation and storage system. He emphasised creating local cold storage facilities for proper preservation of fruits and other agriculture produce.
Varun said he preferred using the term ‘brain in the drain’ rather than ‘brain drain’. He said students were moving abroad for better employment opportunities. PhDs in Science & Technology in India were less than one thousand, whereas the number was a lot higher in the USA. Replying to a question on the less number of innovations in India, Varun blamed the system, as it takes five years for a person to get patent rights.
Speaking about the on-going elections, Gandhi said, “Nothing will change in our country unless the politics changes. The one reason there is corruption in our country is so that people can use that money to win elections and I want a system where that does not happen.”
He said it was not enough to say a law would curb how much money was spent, because probably no one obeys that law. “We don’t have to put a limit on how much amount of money is spent, but there is a need to control the market for that money. That can be done by restricting the election period for less than a week. If you curb timing of elections, you will automatically curb the amount of money spent during that time,” he said.
Gandhi further said that only privilege perpetuated privilege in our country and to change that, the petition system should come into force.
“There are over 60 countries in the world today where there is a petition system. Most of you cannot voice your opinion today because your voice does not reach the top. Petition system means that when a certain amount of people put a signature on a certain issue, parliament is bound by law to discuss that issue for one hour in the next session and I want that to be there in India,” said Gandhi.
The programme concluded with the planting of Chandan saplings by Varun Gandhi. Head Department of Forestry, Dr Sas Biswas presented him a folder containing detailed information about the history and the properties of the plant.
On this occasion, Founder of HESCO and HUM Dr Anil Prakash Joshi, Chairman, Dolphin PG Institute Arvind Gupta, Principal Dr Shailja Pant, Director Dr Arun Kumar along with local representatives, social workers, educationists, faculty and students of the Institute participated.