We have come a long way in the past 25 years. When Business Today was launched in January 1992, the first generation of India's economic reforms were just being conceptualised and implemented. Now as we enter 2017, a new generation of reforms are being tried out and we are trying to leapfrog into a new era leaning heavily on technology and a host of policy initiatives and programmes. Since it came to power in 2014, the Narendra Modi led NDA government has been pushing a range of programmes and policies - from Swacch Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities, tax reforms and others. To be fair, some of the programmes now being accelerated were initiated by the previous government - the second UPA government led by Manmohan Singh. For example, the Aadhar project was started under Manmohan and his government also tried out some direct subsidy payments using Aadhaar as the crucial link in a few pilot projects. But it was really Narendra Modi's government which pushed for it on a large scale to cut out corruption among middlemen and also become more efficient in disbursing subsidy payments. Similarly, the manufacturing policy of the Manmohan government was polished and reworked and launched as the Make in India. All of these programmes and policies have the scope to transform India if implemented well. But there is a lot more to be done.
In our 25th anniversary issue, we look at ideas that will make India a smarter country over the next 25 years. We approached some of the best experts in governance, infrastructure planning, transportation, agriculture, water management, banking and finance, healthcare, manufacturing and workplace to write columns on how to go about making a smarter India. We backed it up with stories of experiments that are being tried out in many of these areas, and which show the promise of being scaled up to solve some of the biggest problems that we face currently. Most of the ideas proposed are not utopian or too futuristic. They are grounded in the Indian reality, and are eminently practical. And some of them are being tried out on the ground in different parts of the country as well. What we will need is only coherent policies and a concerted push to completely transform the country.