A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the inaugural ceremony of the World Culture Festival (WCF), the central government came under criticism from entrepreneurs and activists at the Global Youth Leadership Forum (GYLF), held on the sidelines of the WCF Saturday. Some of the speakers at the event talked about the problems of starting a business in India and others pointed out shortcomings in infrastructural projects.
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With nearly 300 delegates from across the world, the GYLF, being held in Mayur Vihar, a few hundred metres from the venue of the WCF, is focusing on issues such as sustainable development, social change, gender-based violence and the role of youth in bringing change.
One of the speakers, Justdial founder V S S Mani, exhorted the delegates to work “honestly” and follow their aspirations.
Responding to a question on the effectiveness of the ‘Make in India’ campaign, Mani said such “entrepreneurial attention” was already “there in India” and so far, it “had been given a name to attract attention to it.” He added that things could be better and cited the example of Singapore and US as countries where “you can go and start a business without harassment.” “True ‘Make in India’ is when you attract talent from all over the world and let them start a business without problems,” he said.
Deepak Sharma, who heads the Rural Development Programme Trust of the Art of Living, and social activist Himanshu Kalra, who runs various rural development projects in the country, said “young people need to become entrepreneurs to bridge the gaps in the ecosystem”.
Kalra said there were times when the government had failed to construct much-needed reservoirs and channels and the work was done by local residents instead.
On the rural electrification project, Sharma said though electric poles and wires had been installed in many villages, often, there was “no electricity running” through them.
The event also featured speakers and panelists from various countries including US, Canada, Cambodia and France.