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, 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.