The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that development and welfare must go hand-in-hand and emphasized that environmental sustainability and development are not mutually exclusive. Speaking at an ‘International Conference on Development Discourse` co-hosted by the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Research for Resurgence Foundation (RFRF) and other organizations, in Hyderabad today, he said that development should be people-centric and nature-centric.Pointing out that about 18-20 per cent of the population were still living below the poverty line, the Vice President said that eradicating poverty must remain the top priority of the government, NGOs and the private sector. “We have to be sensitive and accommodative to the needs of the poorest of the poor in our efforts”, he added.Affirming that the Indian way of life traditionally adopted an integrative approach where human beings lived in harmony with nature, Shri Naidu said our education system must promote the concept of sustainable development which keeps nature at the centre of mankind’s progress.Observing that every development project must be considered in a holistic manner, the Vice President pointed out that the latest global formulation of Sustainable Development Goals lays emphasis on five Ps: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. It recognizes the need to adopt a holistic, integrated perspective on line and development, he said.
Stating that the concept of development was associated with many words like GDP, consumption, human development, income levels, poverty reduction, social development and westernization, he said that inclusive economic growth should be central to our development. Making people living in rural areas an integral part in developmental process should be the aim of the policy makers and planners.The Vice President called for making agriculture viable, improving farm income, bridging the Urban Rural Divide, eradicating poverty, tackling climate change, harnessing technology, empowering women and creating jobs to sustain the growth momentum. ‘For a developing nation like India, the need of the hour is to sustain the momentum of economic growth and dovetail its efforts for increasing prosperity and wellbeing of the people”, Shri Naidu added.He said that promoting investments in modernizing agriculture, mainstreaming of rural livelihoods and creating market avenues for rural population will help in ensuring equitable development. The country can achieve rapid progress and bring about a transformation in the lives of both urban and rural people only when we collectively strive to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, caste and gender discrimination as also the twin menaces of black money and terrorism.Earlier, the Vice President unveiled Pylon and Plaque to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.The Chairperson, Research for Resurgence Foundation, Dr. Sachidananda Joshi, Eminent Educationist, Shri Aniruddha Deshpande, the Vice Chancellor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, Prof. E. Suresh Kumar, the Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, Prof. P. Appa Rao, the Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Dr. Hemalatha, the Secretary, Research for Resurgence Foundation, Dr. Aravind Josh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.