M-Venkaiah-Naidu-Challenger

Lifetime Achievement: Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, Hon'ble Urban Development Minister

Investment in infrastructure has its direct correlation with reduction in poverty. This has been succinctly proven by Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which is the only functional scheme that has led to a significant reduction in rural poverty. Breaking the mold, PMGSY was conceived and funded by the Centre and implemented by the states.

Credit goes to M Venkaiah Naidu, who was the Rural Development Minister during 2000, who courageously proposed and incessantly worked to see it through the Cabinet. He single-handedly mustered support from his colleagues.

Investment in infrastructure has its direct correlation with reduction in poverty. This has been succinctly proven by Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which is the only functional scheme that has led to a significant reduction in rural poverty. Breaking the mold, PMGSY was conceived and funded by the Centre and implemented by the states.

Credit goes to M Venkaiah Naidu, who was the Rural Development Minister during 2000, who courageously proposed and incessantly worked to see it through the Cabinet. He single-handedly mustered support from his colleagues and states in the face of still opposition from naysayers who said: roads are a state subject and Centre should stay away. This did not deter Naidu and his determination grew only stronger. The results are there for everyone to see: the poorer states have benefitted from PMGSY proving that a capital-intensive programme like PMGSY had a better shot at reducing rural poverty. The infrastructure creation over last decade has proven that the money is well spent. Connectivity has brought additional benefits: access to markets, education and healthcare facilities. For instance, Bihar’s increased spending on PMGSY in recent years has led to increase in its agricultural production. This may soon lead Bihar to shed its BIMARU tag.

Assets, thus created under PMGSY, are sustainable and closely but independently monitored—something that other schemes need to emulate.

Dr_Ajay_Kumar-Challenger

Make in India: Dr Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Deity

The Electronics manufacturing industry in the country historically saw little investments into domestic production due to the inherent advantages of importing electronics into India.

However, over the last two years, due to the policy actions under the Make in India programme – India has seen investment proposals worth Rs. 1,20,000 crore in the Electronics Manufacturing sector. Not only is Ajay Kumar to be credited with helping create innovative solutions such as the development of an Indigenous Conditional Access System for Set Top Boxes - a project undertaken in PPP mode which has yielded a product which will roll out in the national and international markets.

His efforts have also helped in the creation of an Electronics Development Fund which is largely focused on developing technology start-ups. This fund is dedicated to innovation, R&D, and supporting start-ups in the Electronics and IT sector. This promotion of innovation is an important fillip to electronics manufacturing in India.

Mr_Vivek_Aggarwal-Challenger

Infrastructure: Mr Vivek Aggarwal, Secretary - Urban Administration & Development Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Infrastructure development has played a pivotal role in Madhya Pradesh that has helped to shed its BIMARU tag. At a time when PPP projects in infrastructure sector had taken a back seat, government’s focus on it revived the private sector interest in infrastructure projects. That has led the state to emerge as a pioneer in creating a proper institutional framework for PPPs, under the guidance of Vivek Aggarwal, opting for sector-specific specialised agencies. Out of 222 projects undertaken under PPP, 178 have been in the area of roads, urban administration and development valued at nearly 26,500 crore rupees. Whether it is proposed Singrauli airport; Accident Response System; Logistics Park at Powarkheda; Steel Silo’s at ten locations across the state with 50,000 metric tons each; electricity transmission line between Satpura and Ashta; Ventura – India’s first dedicated intra-state Airline operation; and, City Bus Service, Indore, all have imprint of Vivek Aggarwal and are the first of its kind in the country.

Mr_K_T_Ramarao-Challenger

Start up: Mr K T Rama Rao, Hon'ble Minister of IT, Government of Telangana

Not only does T-Hub allow entrepreneurs the benefits of expanding into new markets due to its network and reach, but also provides them with initial seed funding for R&D and Business Development. KTR has exceeded the expectations from India’s youngest State in terms of Information Technology and Entrepreneurship by bringing his learnings and experience in the Information Technology sector to bear and creating this avant-garde initiative.

This young leader’s visionary leadership and dynamism has given birth to a concept which can only be termed as the Silicon Valley of the East. The T-Hub is a one-of-its-kind initiative to bridge the education-practitioner divide and foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the hearts of the youth.

T-Hub provides a transformational, adaptive, and evolutionary platform for the promotion, mentorship and incubation of Start-Ups in the State of Telangana. It combines the benefits of world-class infrastructural facilities, with a world-class education to create an enriching eco-system for aspiring entrepreneurs to test their ideas and create successful businesses.

Mr_Jayesh_Ranjan-Challenger

Social Inclusion: Mr Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary - IT, E&C, Government of Telangana & Mr Pradeep Chandra

The youngest state—Telangana, is well on its way to becoming a hub for Dalit entrepreneurship—first of its kind that will attract Dalit entrepreneurs from all across the country. While others are still talking of reservations, Telangana has moved a notch ahead with Dalit Empowerment through Entrepreneurship. What is available is an investment subsidy of upto Rs 75 lakh; upto Rs 5 crore margin money to enable a Dalit entrepreneur to secure a bank loan without collateral—first of its kind in the country. What’s more—22 per cent of all the industrial land will be reserved for the SC and ST entrepreneurs, in addition to an incubation centre for Dalit entrepreneurs to be set up in Hyderabad. Telangana’s effort is an epoch-making stride to move away from the clichéd ‘Single Window’ approach to clearing of licenses and permissions.