India has itself to blame for the low ranking in the Human Development Index (HDI) as it is not proactive even when solution to the problem is evident, Infosys Chairman and mentor NR Narayana Murthy said here today.
"The reason why India still ranks low in HDI [country ranks 119th as per a recent ranking] is our unwillingness to take proactive action even when the solution to our problem is staring us in the face for a long time," Murthy said while speaking at a convocation ceremony of Ahmedabad University.
"We escape from our responsibility to solve our problems by blaming destiny," he said.
"We have political freedom but we still do not have freedom from hunger, illiteracy and diseases," Murthy said.
In a nation of 1.2 billion, only 62% are literate. About 420 million poor live in only eight states. Almost 250 million people do not have access to basic medical care. Around 350 million do not have access to safe drinking water, he observed.
"A whopping 53% of our children are under-nourished and sadly, 52% of our primary schools have only one teacher for every two classes," Murthy said.
Advocating inclusive and equitable growth, Murthy said, "Our urban economic progress comes to zero if we do not take steps to achieve inclusive and equitable growth, as our Prime Minister has warned us repeatedly."
"The only way to solve poverty in this country is to create more jobs and more wealth. This requires entrepreneurship," he said.
"We are far from achieving the dreams of Mahatama Gandhi, Vallabhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, of creating an India where every Indian will be provided with the wherewithal to develop and rise to his/her full stature," Murthy said.
He advised the youth in the country to follow examples of high aspirations set by Mahatama Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Vikram Sarabhai.
"In our journey we have to shun any thoughts, ideas that take us towards communalism, jingoism, chauvinism and parochialism," Murthy said.
"In these days of an interconnected global village, no nation desiring economic progress should isolate herself from outside," he said.
"If you become a politician, become one who is honest, responsive to peoples need and progressive, one who understands the global economic trends, one who is able to relate to the people, and one whose only dogma is to make this a better country," Murthy said.