N K Singh
N K Singh
Jakob Polacsek

India needs to grow much faster over the next 10 years with the use of technology and reforms in order to become an important global player, 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh said on Sunday.

To achieve the potential growth rate of 7-8 per cent, India has to improve factor productivity and reduce incremental capital output ratio, he said.

Singh said technology, coupled with significant reforms in areas like health, education and maintenance of infrastructure, can make a decisive difference.

"If we wish to become important global player, we have to obviously grow much faster over the next 10 years than we did in the past decade," he said at IIT Jodhpur Foundation Day event.

Only technology solutions can enable the realisation of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', he added.

Singh said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed several fault lines in the country's public health care system.

In 2018-19, public health expenditure in India was 0.96 per cent of GDP. This is one of the lowest among peer group countries. Out of this, about 70 per cent of the expenditure on health is undertaken by the states, while only 30 per cent is spent by the union government.

"It has become evidently clear with the current pandemic that investment on health is not just social sector spending, but a great investment in India's economic growth and development. Investment in technology can ameliorate these issues in the health sector," he said.

Singh suggested use of e-learning, electronic medical records, electronic systems for disease surveillance, radiological assessments and readings, and laboratory and pharmacy information systems to significantly reduce inefficiencies and lack of resources for affordable access to healthcare.

Talking about use of technology in education sector, he said that in the coming years there would be need for a creative mix or a hybrid between online and offline education.

"Technology must determine the optimum mix of this hybrid," he added.

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Free Press Journal