HT Leadership Summit discusses ‘Reshaping India’

Deepika-Padukone,-Karan-JohHindustan Times Leadership Summit, one of India’s prominent knowledge sharing platforms which brings together leading national and international speakers, commenced yesterday in the city at Hotel Taj Palace. The twelfth edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit was inaugurated by Hamid Karzai, Former President of Afghanistan.

The theme of the summit was “Reshaping India” which focused on exploring ways to reshape India into a ‘better’ and more prosperous economy encompassing different aspects of nation building.

Inaugurating the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Hamid Karzai was all praise for India to provide its continued support to Afghanistan and for standing by it in the last 13 years. He assured India and Pakistan that Afghanistan would not allow a Proxy war between the countries on its soil and assured its neighboring countries in the region of continued support in curbing terrorism.

Karzai reflected on the International relations between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and The USA. He urged India, Russia and China to join hands and work together instead of competing with each other as they are the Super Powers in the South Asian Region.

Sharing his views on the current scenario in Afghanistan and whether it is the moment of reckoning , he further added, “It was a moment of reckoning for Afghanistan as a nation as it has been clouded by the woes of poverty, interventions from superpowers, a creaking economy and internal clashes between modernists and extremists for some time now.”

Talking about ‘public private partnerships – why they fail and how to make them work’ at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Rana Kapoor, Founder and CEO of Yes Bank said, “It is necessary to “Create India” along with the “Make in India” initiatives to move to the next level of Public Private Partnerships.”

He said that tourism remains a key industry for reshaping a nation that boasts of 33 UNESCO sites. Although International tourism has grown rapidly in the past decade, there is still a fair share of untapped potential.

Talking about the concept of a nation which is suitable for the overall growth of its children, 2014 Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said, “A nation cannot progress without protecting the rights of its children. India is a land of one million problems, but it is also a land of one billion solutions.  I am a “representative of the invisible” who has been making attempts to make a difference by trying to trigger a sense of responsibility towards children. I feel that adults and not children are responsible for poverty and inequality.”

“168 million children were in full-time jobs when 200 million adults were jobless as children are easy and docile labor. Liberating children will result in the creation of 168 million jobs for adults”, he further added.

In a session titled, “Creaking Infrastructure, rickety developments”, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Rural Development stressed on the state of affairs and the hurdles faced by the nation in terms of infrastructure and growth. Talking on the same he said, “It’s my promise to bring about a rapid development in roads, shipping and waterways in the forthcoming years. Growth is only possible on a large scale if we could bring down the interest rates which currently hover around 12-13% for contractors in India against 2-3% internationally.”

He further added that his ministry would contribute to 2% of the GDP in the coming 2 years and would build concrete roads which would not require any maintenance for the next 100 years.

In an interesting conversation with well-known British television news reporter and interviewer, Rizwan Khan, Director and Producer of The Godfather, Francis Ford Cappola talked about his journey as a story-teller and how he believes that story-telling lies at the core of the film making business. The candid conversation reflected on how renowned Indian director Satyajit Ray has been a huge influence on him and his work. Mr. Coppola described ‘The Godfather’ as a “metaphor for America,” saying that “trying to do good and in the process doing a lot of bad” seemed to be the human condition over the course of history.

In the penultimate session of the day, honorable Finance Minister of India,  Arun Jaitley stressed on the fact that India is yet to realize its true potential. He said that the development is possible only if the underprivileged sections of the society are strengthened. He touched upon several grave issues including the issue of black money, making India a manufacturing hub, taxation and implementation of GST. He also stressed on the fact that economic reforms need to be blended with competent and clever politics.

The day ended with a grand finale in which renowned Director and Producer Karan Johar enthralled the audience with an engaging conversation with actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone. They shared their views on reshaping of the Indian film industry. Both the actors were of the view that the line between the mainstream and parallel cinema has blurred over the years. Aamir Khan also expressed his disappointment over the number game and the overhype regarding the revenues generated from a film.

The aim of the summit has always been to create a global congregation on par with any such similar gathering held elsewhere in the world. Over the years, the summit has been graced by Presidents, Prime Ministers, Industry leaders and stalwarts, Foreign Ministers, and leaders from varied fields like entertainment, literature, sports and culture.

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