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How India will shape the new global order - Part III

Sentinel Digital Desk


Professor Sarat Mahanta Memorial Lecture

By Jayant Sinha

These ecommerce giants have brought hundreds of thousands of small producers and merchants online by providing inventory magement, logistics, payment, and fincing services. Today a sari produced in Surat in western India by an artisan producer can swiftly find its way to a buyer in Aruchal Pradesh in far northeastern India.

Similarly, payment banks are transforming the fincial landscape by providing low-cost, convenient bank accounts that are accessible from the kira store and in every post office. In an exciting boost to the green economy, Indian entrepreneurs are working on developing electric motorcycles and scooters that could lead a mass migration away from fossil fuel driven transportation.

Importantly, India's entrepreneurs are starting to makea huge difference in the lives of those at the base of the economic pyramid as well. As you know, most of the world's poor live in the hinterlands of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank there were some 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty at less than $1.25 per day. The number swells to over 2.6 billion when we include those living in moderate poverty at less than $2 per day. Over a billion of these poor people live in South Asia alone, a number that exceeds the total population of Africa. Climate change and shifting weather patterns are putting their traditiol agricultural practices at risk, reducing farm incomes, and further increasing poverty.

India's poor desperately require lighting solutions, fuel for cooking, affordable and accessible health care, clean water, elementary education, and fincial services. In the past, government programs to supply these needs have generally not been effective and have struggledto provide quality services in poor areas. India's entrepreneurs in fincial services, in health care, and in energy services are coming up with solutions that meet the needs of the people of the base of the pyramid. Bandhan Bank, rayan Hridulaya, and D.light are examples of companies in these sectors that have solved the problems of the poor. Each of these companies is scaling up massively.

(To be continued)

(Jayant Sinha is India's Minister of State for Civil Aviation and a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.These are his persol views.)

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