Holla, dear readers,
Building on the foundation laid in the previous blog, we are set to dive deeper into the intricacies of policy perspectives and governance aspects within Madhya Pradesh. This instalment promises a revealing journey into the wealth of the state and sheds light on the untapped sectors of development. Without prolonging the anticipation, let’s embark on this exploration together.
In the ever-evolving landscape of governance, the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, stands at the threshold of a new era. The shifting tides of democratic choices have paved the way for a strategic examination of the state’s policy landscape. In this pivotal moment of transition and growth, the state grapples with the dual responsibility of preserving its commendable track record and charting a course for unprecedented policy commitments. This article, embarks on a journey to dissect the nuanced landscape of governance in Madhya Pradesh. By unraveling the complexities, challenges, and opportunities, the given arguments aim to shed light on the strategic vision that will guide the state in its pursuit of progress and development over the course of the next half-decade. A subsequent inquiry of this article analyses Madhya Pradesh’s development strategy in potential dimension, demonstrating a terrain infused with abundant agricultural potential, renewable energy resources, industrial diversification, urbanisation, and a sizeable tribal population to uplift. Every aspect offers chances and difficulties, necessitating creative policy responses to move the state closer to a future characterised by prosperity, sustainability, and inclusion.
Fuelling Growth Through Innovation: Madhya Pradesh’s Blueprint for development Across Sectors
Being an agriculture dominated State, Madhya Pradesh ranks as the 2nd-largest producer of food grains, 3rd-largest producer of horticulture and spices, and 5th-largest producer of nutria-cereals. The potential of the state is unparalleled with 11 distinct agro-climatic conditions and an abundance of soils suitable for different types of crops. The canvas for agricultural innovation becomes vivid when added to the mixture of the abundance of natural resources and the richness of biological variety, which is topped by the greatest forest cover, which makes up an impressive 28.31% of the state’s total area (Source: India State of Forest Report, 2021).
Despite the resources at hand, this sector of the economy is nevertheless under-utilised. Considering the scope, innovative farming techniques focusing on Science and Technology initiatives, the state could aim to fully utilise its agricultural terrain to its maximum potential. Policy regarding Agri-business, food processing units, entrepreneurship and agri-tech startups finds its crucial place in the state of Madhya Pradesh. With a focus on increasing crop yields and investigating opportunities for food processing and value addition along with introducing Digital Agriculture Mission (DAM), the government’s new plan of action has potential to lead Madhya Pradesh’s agriculture sector towards sustainability and self-sufficiency. An analysis within the sector emphasises that priority must be given to the advancement of cutting-edge GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and RS (Remote Sensing) platforms for assessing land utilisation, watershed development, and cropping techniques.
Secondly, Madhya Pradesh has an enormous potential to take the forefront in the field of renewable energy. The state’s renewable energy space is bursting with potential for growth, taking advantage of its geographic location, which allows it to cross the tropic of cancer from the heart of the state. Solar resources in Madhya Pradesh provide 5.5 kWh/sq. m./per day and an incredible 300 days of clear light annually.
The astonishing potential of 10.48 Gigawatt (GW) (at 100 m) and 15.40 GW (at 120 m) for wind energy resources alone is impressive here . The “Biomass Resource Atlas of India” also estimates 2060.6 Megawatt electric (MWe) from Madhya Pradesh’s wastelands and forests and 1386.2 MWe from agricultural sources, indicating a sizeable gross potential for energy production (Source: Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited). Considering the scope, an effective yet scientific strategy in this domain would definitely pave an inclusive path for achieving power sufficiency utilising green, clean, and renewable energy sources in the state. It is the need of the time for the government to draft a policy around effectively utilising its renewable energy source and convert this potential opportunity towards the growth of the state.
Thirdly, the government identified ten priority industries that have been in accordance with the state’s industrial policy. These sectors are: automotive and engineering, IT/ITeS, pharmaceuticals, urban development, agri-business and food processing, Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM), defence, textiles, tourism, and renewable energy. Six of these sectors are in manufacturing, and the remaining are in the services industry. Indeed the identification of industries and making plans for growth around is the strategic move but an analysis reflects that development of all these ten industries together is challenging. Example:
- Despite the state’s economy being fuelled mostly by agriculture, the food processing industry’s participation is fairly small. The percentage of food processing in the State must rise in order to raise the share of the secondary sector.
- The State produces a lot of cotton, still the textile industry contribution is relatively low. For progress to be made in this sector’s growth, the government needs to draw attention to it.
The diversification of sectors within sectors; identifying challenges and incorporating the research oriented solutions in the industrial sector would boost the opportunities multifold.
Fourthly, urbanisation is anticipated as a potential sector contribution to an important part in achieving the envisioned expansion of other sectors. According to ADB (Asian Development Bank) predictions, Madhya Pradesh’s urbanisation is predicted to rise from 28% (20.1 million) of the state’s total population to 35% by 2026. The prediction pointed out, this growing urban centres would have a greater impact on the manufacturing sector.
When the situation is analysed through policy lens using the existing data, outcomes say, “the state must achieve a manufacturing output of <1,75,000 crore in order to provide enough jobs in these metropolitan regions to accommodate the 35% of the population that will live in cities by 2026, as Manufacturing production is currently at ~ 84,000 crore, up from ~ 57,000 crore during the previous five years”. Having Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior as the major urban centres, Madhya Pradesh is expected to have more similar urban centres by 2026. The state has to shift its focus towards the planned urbanisation rather than it being unplanned. However, Madhya Pradesh is required to have a sound urban policy approach and aware decision making.
The fifth aspect is Tribal population in Madhya Pradesh. The significant yet primarily overlooked aspect i.e. the highest tribal population, accounting for 14.1% of the total population in the state (census 2011). The most significant impediment to tribal communities’ long-term development is a lack of understanding of policies and initiatives designed specifically for them, which can only be accomplished by increasing tribal literacy rates. The new policy approach requires improving tribal people’s literacy by integrating with technological solutions needed to implement. Furthermore, the policy strategy should also seek to integrate indigenous peoples into the mainstream and include them in the development process while conserving their identity and traditions, culture and heritage. However, the government has plans on integrating science, technology, and innovation to skill development in order to create different sources of income and means of livelihood through diversified and sustainable agricultural practices as well as the creation of micro and small-scale non-farm businesses for the tribal population of Madhya Pradesh.
Last but utmost important, a further objective of the state government is to assist India in becoming a $5 trillion economy. To accomplish this, Madhya Pradesh will need to contribute its portion of $550 billion, which will require an increase in GDP from its current 6.6% to 10% over the course of the next five years. Noteworthy to mention, by 2025, Madhya Pradesh aims to draw $10 billion in investments into the state and work towards the creation of a suitable ecosystem and policy framework but it should be strategic implying the data driven decision making approach.
The state needs to map 52 districts and their potential contribution towards the larger goal of a 5 trillion economy. The government has to prepare to unveil a cutting-edge technology-focused roadmap that will incorporate a forward-thinking symphony as we navigate the complex terrain of the state. The Madhya Pradesh Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (MP-STIP) is one of the crucial examples that will guide the state towards a future defined by innovation, sustainability, and prosperity.
The state needs to employ digital technology solutions as a step towards better data quality and efficiency. In this narrative of progress, Madhya Pradesh isn’t merely a participant; it could be a protagonist. With the ability to establish new standards for governance, policy, and socio-economic growth, the state is carrying the dreams and ambitions of its citizens as it navigates the future. Although the path that lies ahead is challenging, the state has the possibility to establish a more optimistic and affluent future through visionary leadership and collaborative effort.