India needs to be knowledge driven: Kalam

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 15 (PTI) Describing knowledge as thesource of power for nation in a globalising world, formerPresident A P J Abdul Kalam today said India needs to beknowledge driven and maintain ten per cent annual growth forthe next ten years to become economically strong.

"It is necessary for India to raise annual growthrate to ten per cent for the next ten years from the presentlevel of about eight per cent in order to become economicallystrong and advanced," Kalam said at a function at BharatiyaVidya Bhavan here.

However, only economic progress would not be able tobring development without good citizens, he said adding peopleof the country must be endowed with virtues, courage,knowledge and righteousness.

"In a globalising world where knowledge is the sourceof power for nation and societies, the role of leadership inall dimensions is very significant," Kalam said when speakingon "Dynamics of Leadership and its Characteristics."

The world in the 21st century would be aknowledge-based society with multiple opportunities naturallyin India and we have to become knowledge driven, he saidstressing that "What worked yesterday, will not work today."

Referring to the role of leadership in a knowledgesociety, Kalam said while natural resources defined power inthe past, now knowledge has become the source of power.

"Therefore, leadership should empower itself withknowledge," he said.

Similarly, hierarchy was the model in the past,synergy is the mandate today, he said. .

With rapid developments taking place all over, leadership would enrich itself through exposure to the needsof sustainable development, Kalam said.

Today''s leaders empower and coach unlike theirpredecessors who generally commanded and controlled, he saidadding now leadership should inculcate sensitivity to theneeds of all the stake-holders.

"Earlier the shareholders came first, but now thecustomers come first," he said adding that the present dayleadership should promote team spirit, innovative practicesand creativity and work with integrity.

Giving examples of leadership from political system,technological centres, societal development, Kalam said theseleaders possessed unique qualities like ethics with courage,nobility in management, compassion and conflict free societyand transparency.

Describing Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as greatpolitical leaders with ethics and courage, he said both indeedtransformed India and South Africa into independent anddemocratic nations.

Underlining the need for transparency, Kalam cited theexample of Delhi Metro Rail Project to explain howtransparency of leadership facilitated the successful andon-time completion of the two billion dollar project.

Addressing the students of an international school,the former president asked them to decide their aim and whatthey want to become before 17 years of age.

Since students have to play a significant role innation building, they must work hard to achieve their goalsand dreams and should refrain from leaving any work mid-way,Kalam said.

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