New Delhi [India], August 9 (ANI): Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday stressed the need for improving quality and timely delivery of services to citizens in addition to ensuring access.
He called for a review of the existing models of service delivery and replicating good practices from the best performing districts.
Releasing the book 'Accelerating India: Seven Years of Modi Government' here, he said 'delivery is the key' to government programmes.
"There is no meaning to reform unless the delivery of services without delay and dilution is ensured," he said.
The Vice President referred to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) as the defining moment in the transformative journey of governance in India.
Highlighting the importance of inclusivity, he emphasised that the benefits of developmental programmes must reach all segments of society, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.
In this context, he referred to path-breaking schemes such as aspirational districts programme to accelerate development in areas that lagged behind.
He also lauded the government for setting an ambitious target of providing tapped water connections to nearly 20 crore households by 2024.
Naidu said that as India celebrates 75 years of independence, it is also the time to evaluate the progress of the constitutional promise of a 'dignified life' to the common man.
The right to a dignified life, without discrimination against any individual or community "is a pledge we have given to ourselves at the beginning of our Republic, to be upheld at all times," he said.
Highlighting the importance of skills and opportunities in improving living standards of people, the Vice President suggested that along with good education, there is need to equip youth with the requisite skill sets.
He called upon the private sector to complement the government's efforts in skilling the youth and making them conversant with the latest technologies to improve their employability.
Lauding the government for creating a dedicated Skill Development Ministry, the Vice President expressed happiness that industry leaders through CSR funds and non-government organizations are contributing to skill development.
He advised that every industry must have a "skill development centre" to improve skills of trainees and employees.
The Vice President appreciated the efforts of the 28 eminent authors who contributed 25 essays in the book on various sectors of Indian governance.
He also commended the editor of the book K.J. Alphons, Member of Rajya Sabha and the publishers.
He hoped the book will serve as a guide for policymakers to reflect and identify key elements of the unfinished agenda of our development.
Kerala Governor Kerala Arif Mohammad Khan, who was present on the occasion, said the government has put an end "to the obnoxious practice of triple talaq which, according to the Supreme Court, was not only not in consonance of scriptures but being arbitrary it violated the constitution of India".
He said the practice had continued before a law was brought. "I had an experience of triple talaq atrocities with one of my acquaintances, tried to help but failed. I wrote to PM," he said.
"The government has to look after those who are being oppressed. In this matter of triple talaq, the government has created history. There is a decline of 80 per cent in the divorce rate due to this law," he added.
Alphons said seven years is a long time for people to judge the government.
"I needed to find the best people to write about these years. Who are these people -- completely apolitical and have the best of domain knowledge," he said.
Alphons said the authors include two former Chief secretaries and former bureaucrats.
"Every citizen must read this book if they want to know what government has done," he said.
Naidu also underscored the importance of improving infrastructure, creating a conducive business environment and adopting the latest technology to fully tap the inherent skills and talent among people.
Giving the instance of agriculture, he said that even though farmers toil day and night to feed the country, they have only had subsistence incomes over the years.
"With the right inputs through programmes like Soil Health Card, market opportunities like e-NAM, irrigation projects through Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, easy crop insurance through Fasal Bima Yojana and better value addition to crops through food processing, our farmers have been working miracles, through record food-grain production over the years," he said.
He called for further diversification and scientific production of crops, apart from ensuring remunerative prices to farmers.
Referring to various people-centric initiatives in health and education, Naidu complimented the government for 'thinking outside the box and seeking to transform governance' in the country.
Noting that more than 10 crore toilets were built for the poor through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the programme saved millions of children from diarrheal deaths and brought dignity and safety to women.
Terming the National Education Policy as a "visionary document," Naidu said it has the promise to "make education in India a holistic, value-based and a happy learning experience".
"Similarly the emphasis on the mother tongue as the medium of instruction at primary level and initiative to offer professional courses in mother tongue are welcome moves," he said.
Naidu underscored that progress in a federal polity like was only possible through a dialogue between the Union and state governments. "The concept of Team India, underscored by Prime Minister Modiji so often, is the only way out," he said.
He called upon the Centre and states to cooperate and to be in a continuous dialogue for the progress of the nation.