Choices today have strategic implications and Atmanirbhar Bharat is the need of the hour: Jaishankar

Jaishankar, delivering inaugural keynote address, said, “Choices today have more deeper strategic implications and in this context Atmanirbhar Bharat is critical perspective for India. We must build capabilities to effectively realize the fruits o...

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External affairs minister S. Jaishankar.
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Choices today have more deeper strategic implications and Atmanirbhar Bharat is the need of the hour, emphasised Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in his address on Monday to the third edition of Deccan Dialogue amid the Modi government’s focus on Make in India.

The Dialogue was organised by Indian School of Business (ISB) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs deliberated on the theme of ‘Crisis and Cooperation: Imperative in the times of Pandemic’. This dialogue was organised on a digital platform.

Jaishankar, delivering inaugural keynote address, said, “Choices today have more deeper strategic implications and in this context Atmanirbhar Bharat is critical perspective for India. We must build capabilities to effectively realize the fruits of globalization and the current openness is not giving the full picture.”


Pointing out that the outlook of Atmanirbhar Bharat is so crucial, the Minister suggested, “This approach, instead of allowing others to decide our future prospects, is a case for building strong national capabilities and deep strengths. It is far from turning our back on the world; in fact, it is to enter the global arena with cards to play, not just to provide a market for others. This is really about seriously building comprehensive national power.”

“In the name of openness, we have allowed subsidized products and unfair production advantages from abroad to prevail. And all the while, this was justified by the mantra of an open and globalized economy,” the Minister rued.

“It was quite extraordinary that an economy as attractive as India allowed the framework to be set by others. With the passage of time, our predicament became increasingly serious. The choice was to double down on an approach whose damaging consequences were already apparent; or to have the courage to think through the problem for ourselves. We chose the latter.”
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“Each nation has the ability to assess its interests, frame its policies and modulate its engagement. But there are the more existential aspects of globalization as well, one where the elements of choice are much less. The three most vivid examples of them today are climate change, terrorism and pandemics. None of them are a choice of an impacted society, yet all of them – as we are currently experiencing – affect us profoundly. A serious discussion on our engagement with the world must, therefore, make a distinction between the two,” the Minister pointed out.

Expressing similar sentiments Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs (I/C); Civil Aviation (I/C); & Minister of State, Commerce & Industry, said, “Atmanirbhar Bharat is not an inward looking trade policy but a thought after strategy that would enable and lead us towards a stronger self-reliant India. Technology will play an important role in Atmanirbhar Bharat and COVID-19 came when technology was receiving quantum boost. We are now amplifying the use of technology due to COVID-19.”

Referring about the Aviation sector, the Minister emphasized that there are massive opportunities for investment in the aviation sector and we will soon be able to reposition our-self as global economic player with natural advantages in multiple sectors”.
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