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Role of Innovative PPP Models in India’s Development

Atul Satija, Founder and CEO of The/Nudge Institute and Sudha Srinivasan, CEO of The/Nudge Centre for Social InnovationPremium
Atul Satija, Founder and CEO of The/Nudge Institute and Sudha Srinivasan, CEO of The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation

  • Innovative PPP models that infuse technological innovation and senior private sector entrepreneurial talent in the government administration, can catalyze the transformation of public policy, systems and service delivery, towards achieving the goal of a poverty free India in our lifetime.

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Although India has made great developmental progress and is emerging as the fastest-growing major economy in the world, there are still some persistent development challenges that exist. From poor learning outcomes to the employability of youth, there is a need to address these issues through the design, implementation, and monitoring of multi-year public service delivery programs, and innovation in data-driven governance and public policies. India also has the fewest number of bureaucrats per capita when compared to its G20 peers. Vijay Kelkar and Amit Shah in their book “In Service of the Republic" note that strengthening state capacity and public institutions will be crucial in ensuring socioeconomic welfare and economic growth of the nation.

Ranked 120 on the 17 SDGs adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 192 United Nations member states in 2015, India lags behind most of the South Asian countries in attaining several SDGs. This includes zero hunger, gender equality, good health and wellbeing, and sustainable cities and communities. India, along with the rest of the world, also saw the impact of the pandemic on economic growth. It has taken a toll on livelihoods with a resultant increase in poverty, hunger, and displacement. Dealing with the pandemic and its aftermath has required the government to collaborate with civil society, community-based organizations, and private players. It has become increasingly clear that achieving the twin goals of SDGs and economic growth will depend on unlocking the joint potential of governments and markets through public-private partnerships.

While the central government is at the helm of some of the largest development programs across the world such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra schemes for micro-enterprises, MGNREGA, and the Public Distribution System, regional governments play a pivotal role in ensuring the last mile operations. Both the union and various state governments have innovated in recent years to strengthen state capacity and have invited a diverse range of talents such as consultants, subject matter experts, and young professionals. They have provided government administrators with technical, innovation, and executive competencies along with new energy and drive, to deliver public services effectively.

Designed to serve a latent need for collaborative governance through a robust public-private partnership, the Indian Administrative Fellowship program has been designed to attract high-performance senior private-sector talent to get trained by knowledge partners like NITI Aayog and work inside the state government system. A unique 18-month program that aims to augment the capacity of government institutions, the Fellowship provides a strategic platform for leaders across government and corporate ecosystems to co-create impactful and sustainable change through focused design and delivery of government project(s).

The Fellows (senior corporate executives with 20+ years of experience) bring strategic acumen, technological innovation, large scale multi-stakeholder program management, and entrepreneurial skills to accelerate the adoption of innovations and systems change in public policy and projects, and help states achieve their SDG ambitions. The Fellowship is governed by the Chief Secretary of the state to ensure strategic goal setting and governance of the program at the highest level of state administration.

The inaugural cohort was launched in Karnataka in June 2021 with Fellows and supporting development sector analysts, placed across ten state departments, ranging from Agriculture and Administrative Reforms to Panchayati Raj and Education. Ravi Trivedi, a fellow in the Agriculture Department, with a background in technology entrepreneurship and venture capital, designed the AI Innovation Cell with the mandate to pilot and roll out AI technology solutions across the Agri value chain with the goal of augmenting farmer's income. The Fellow's work includes building public-private partnerships with several Agri tech start-up companies in the focus areas of carbon sequestering, seed traceability, and farmer credit platform. Another transformational impact story is that of Balasubramanya Ramaswamy who previously headed Fidelity Investments as the CFO and is now working along with the Chairperson KARC-2, former Chief Secretary, Govt of Karnataka Shri T M Vijay Bhaskar, to recommend a variety of administrative reforms. These include optimizing resource efficiency through a Good Governance structure prioritizing ease of doing business, citizen services reforms, and establishing shared services corporations. The impact potential of the engagement involves strengthening welfare access and service delivery for more than 60 million citizens of rural and urban Karnataka, while also enabling fund mobilization and cost-savings of ~INR 10,000 cr.

The Indian Administrative Fellowship program, having established its credibility and value proposition, is now expanding its footprint across multiple states and is emerging as a powerful model for collaboration and partnership of government, corporate sponsors, and civil society institutions.

 

LINKS/SOURCES

https://www.ibef.org/economy/indian-economy-overview#:~:text=India%20has%20emerged%20as%20the,robust%20democracy%20and%20strong%20partnerships.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/quality-of-bureaucracy-rated-as-weakest-in-india-s-biz-milieu-survey-118111901437_1.html

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-slips-3-spots-to-rank-120-on-17-sdg-goals-adopted-as-2030-agenda-report/articleshow/89924013.cms

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/development-chaupal/india-moves-up-domestically-on-sdgs-needs-to-catch-up-globally/

 

Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of the brand by the HTBS team.

 

 

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