Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: Nehruvian model of economic growth has gained relevance again since the paradigm shift in the thinking of policy makers towards privatisation over the past couple of decades has failed to provide salvation for the masses living below poverty line, according to S. Bhaskaran, Member-Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education.

Inaugurating a seminar on `Nehru: His Vision of Independent India' organised by the Centre for Nehru Studies, Bharathidasan University here on Friday, he advocated the adoption of Nehruvian model of growth that had aspects such as tolerance and humanism built into it with some modifications to improve the lot of the poor. Privatisation had improved the living conditions of the middle class; but failed to address poverty, he said.

But for the strong foundation Nehru laid for democratic India and his growth vision, India would have not have witnessed phenomenal developments on the infrastructure and academic fronts.

Alternative model needed

Economists must devise alternative model of growth for ensuring development of the agricultural sector, the country's backbone. The current growth pattern was not compatible with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's vision of making India an economic superpower by 2020.

On the foreign policy front, India has, of late, not safeguarded the international respect for India Nehru had earned through assuming leadership of Non-Aligned Movement, he said.

Citing the instance of India's inability to think independently on Iran and Iraq, he observed that India was slipping into the control of the United States of America.

Presiding over, Vice-Chancellor C. Thangamuthu said that Indian democracy owes its vibrancy to Nehru's secular thinking. Several other countries that gained independence along with India had either slipped into dictatorship or were under the influence of the two major blocs: USA and the then Soviet Union.

Prof. Thangamuthu also informed that the proposal of the university to start a Centre for Study of East Asia was approved by the University Grants Commission. The Centre will be a part of the Department of History.

N. Rajendran, Director, Centre for Nehru Studies, said the facility would be made a resource centre containing books, audiocassettes and photographs of Nehru. The Centre would soon conduct philately and photograph exhibitions to capture the historic moments, he said.