India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium, is a book written by Dr.Abdul Kalam and Prof.Y.S.Rajan.

This is a book about Dr.Kalam’s thoughts on the vision and the steps recommended to help India grow into a developed nation by the year 2020. (If any one claims India is already a developed nation, please read my blog on why I feel India is not a developed nation ).

The book uses the work done by TIFAC (Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council) as the basic framework around which guidance has been provided for various sectors, to show how each sector could contribute towards India’s development.

The idea is quite simple:

– Identify the limitations in each sector

– Identify the strengths of what can be achieved but have not yet been achieved

– How can we achieve it

The above approach has been used by the authors in various sectors and categories related to development of India.

The various sectors included in this are

1. Agriculture: Food, Agriculture and Processing

2. Materials

3. Chemicals

4. Manufacturing

5. Services (this includes my favourite IT Services Sector which has been the key for the impressive growth India has been having in the past 10 years).

6. Core Strategic Industries

7. Health Care

The second set of categories that have been included to bring a linkage in the vision (also called as ‘connecting the dots’) are:

a. Traditional Infrastructure (Power, Transport, Ports, etc)

b. Modern Infrastructure (Telecom, IT, Services, etc)

c. Modern Hitech (Materials, Electronics, Advanced Manufacturing Information Technology, Software, etc)

d. Engineering Industry (Cleaner Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, etc)

e. Strategic Sectors (Defense, Nuclear programme, etc aimed towards National Security)

f. Economic Security

g. Agriculture (Food Security, exports, agro processing)

All along the book, Dr.Kalam and Prof.Rajan explain how each sector is important and gives adequate examples to show how the set goals are achievable if we put our heart and soul into it.

The beauty of the book is that it takes a very difficult task, splits the problems into smaller manageable chunks and provides the steps to guide us to achieve the results.

I recommend this book as a must read for every Indian who wants to see India as one of the developed nations in the world.

Personal Trivia: I have read only one other book so many times (I had read Programming in C by K&R about 50 times when I was in college!).Every time I take a flight that is more than four hours long, I buy a new copy of the book and read it again. This time when I bought it at Chennai airport, I saw one more line added to the bottom right of the cover that said ‘100,000 COPIES SOLD’. I could not help smiling as I might well be the single largest buyer with the maximum number of copies bought for personal use 🙂