To become a global influencer in the next 10 years, India needs to rise as a confident nation, willing to deal with the outside world, according to Ram Madhav, national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the MintAsia-Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Singapore on Friday, 13 April.

Madhav was among the panellists discussing the topic “Becoming a Global Influencer-What India Needs to do in the Next 10 Years", along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, member of Parliament, Indian National Congress, and Pavan Varma, national general secretary of the Janata Dal (United).

“India has to rise as a confident nation. Not just political leadership, but the entire spectrum of leadership must be confident leaders. We have to create a nation that is willing to deal with the world outside, Madhav said.

Additionally, he said, India also has to move towards less government, more governance and allow different levels of governments to become more independent by providing them with power.

“We should not only give money to lower units, we must also give power to the lower units. I think that is a very important reform that we need in the country and although we’ve talked about it, we are still not able to do it in a big way," he added.

For Scindia, sustainable growth will be one of the major challenges that India will have to face in the next decade. He also called for a robust foreign policy based on international relations “where you make nations believe that their progress is part of your goal".

In reaction to Madhav’s statement, Scindia said it is also important for the government to practice what they preach and respect other people’s views. “It is important for us in the government to listen to other people’s views because we are not the repository of all answers. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and to be able to take that wealth of knowledge and make it part of our progress is one true challenge," he said.

Scindia also expressed confidence in India’s emergence as a global super power. “We will be the third largest economy by 2030," he said.

India is already a global influence and the challenge in the next 10 years would be how the government can promote not just sustainable economic growth but also social justice, according to Varma.

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