Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and BCCI Joint Secretary
‘Govt., Civil Society and Industry Should Work In Sync’
After the formation of the new Government in May 2014, India has been increasingly viewed as a bellwether nation on the global map. Hopes are high on revival of various marred sectors with the launch of several path-breaking schemes in the past few months. Anurag Thakur, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and BCCI Joint Secretary shares his views with Bachan Singh on various dimensions of growth and development happening in the nation along with efforts being put in social space.
What is your take on the CSR Act 2013 and the work done under the Actsince it came into effect in April this year? How significant is the Act for India?
According to me, the Act is a welcome step in the right direction. However, there is definitely scope for improvement and our government is deliberating on it. For example, while the CSR law lists the activities that can be considered under CSR, it leaves out certain activities that companies have been carrying out using their CSR funds even before the Act was introduced. The eligible activities should be expanded beyond its current scope. One of the suggestions I would like to make to be considered, is aligning our CSR activities with the larger post 2015 development agenda.
What is you focus area currently, when it comes to joining hands with various NGOs and implementing agencies for work in social space in your constituency Hamirpur?
In my view, NGOs play a very critical role in taking the development process forward. In fact, I am supporting various NGOs in my constituency Hamirpur. Several commendable programmes are being undertaken in areas such as skill development, education and women empowerment. I believe that real development and prosperity will be possible only when all stakeholders – Government, Civil Society and Industry will join hands and work in sync.
With the formation of new government in May this year, most of the countries out there have been looking upto India as the next leading nation on the global map. In order to make the anticipation a reality, what according to you should be the thrust areas?
Our government believes that the manufacturing sector will be a key driver of economic growth and employment in the times to come. We also believe that the effective use of technology can help meet challenges in various sectors such as health, agriculture, education and infrastructure. I feel elated to share that we have already initiated a few steps in this direction through the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ mission.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has become talk of the town. You also unveiled the world’s largest poster on the drive. Where can we take India through this initiative and what have we achieved so far in that respect?
Looking at the scenario around, I must say that we Indians certainly lack civic sense. While walking on the road or driving we carelessly litter around but we are extra cautious while travelling in foreign countries about not littering for the fear of local laws. So, the PM has embarked on this very important mission to clean up, so that we can ensure hygienic surroundings which will further ensure a disease-free India.
Kindly share your views on ‘Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’. Under the scheme, which 3 villages do you plan to develop? Has there any work been done in that respect?
I have adopted village Dehlan in district Una in my constituency for the development under SAGY. According to the guidelines of the scheme, one model village has to be developed by 2016 and other two by 2019. At present, I have adopted Dehlan village and have plans to adopt the other two after the development in Dehlan village is completed. Albeit the guidelines stipulate to develop three villages by 2019, we have plans to expand it beyond. In association with private sector, we plan to develop at least 6 villages till 2019.
Prime Minster Narendra Modi makes an immense use of social media. Are you also following suit by being proactive on Twitter? What is your take on the usage of social media and its role in nation building?
Social media is a means to directly reach out to people who are miles away. It’s a simple, quick and direct way of connecting with people. The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has effectively used it for its membership campaign as well as during the general elections this year. Social media empowers the people to share experiences, suggestions and grievances on matters both local as well as national. I have been using social media for over four years now and in my experience, it is an effective and efficient way for both the ends to communicate and gather ideas and opinions.
Over the last few years, many formats of different sports have emerged like IPL, Kabaddi League, Hockey League, Badminton league et al, where do you think is India heading? Are we on the right track?
Yes, we are certainly on the right track to promote non cricket sports. I am a strong supporter of different formats of games and enjoy watching Olympics. These leagues have generated viewership which will encourage popularity of these games and more youngsters to take up the sports.
Would you like to talk about your “Youth Knowledge Centers” initiative? What impact do you anticipate through this initiative?
The plan is to set up 17 Youth Knowledge Centers (YKCs) in Hamirpur. These centers will be equipped with latest technology with facility of library and provisions for various skill building, development programmes and career counseling workshops. Besides extending IT support to local schools for educating children, YKCs will also provide basic computer skills to the local population. The libraries in these centers will provide free access of books on a wide range of subjects to the residents. These centers will act as portals to create awareness on government policies and schemes. In the times to come, YKCs will be instrumental in yielding high benefits for people from various walks of life. Businessmen, shopkeepers, farmers, agriculturists et al could be empowered immensely on various aspects by the facility in the future.
As India is one of the most youthful nations in the world, would you like to give any message to the youth as to what steps should they take for nation building?
I believe in 3 Es model of development that focuses on Education, Employment leading to Empowerment of our young population. In my personal opinion, the young populace of our nation should take up social development activities in their neighbourhood, always participate in the democratic process and reach out to their elected representatives with solutions to challenges.