The World Bank Group (WBG) is conducting its first Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD)for India. The SCD articulates the Group’s analysis of the principal challenges facing India today, as the country seeks to consolidate its status as a middle-income economy. In the months to some, the diagnostic will provide the analytical base for the WBG’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India. The CPF is the roadmap that will determine the Bank Group’s engagement with the country over the next four years. To steer this process forward, the WBG has planned a series of consultations with a broad range of stakeholders. Consultations provide a platform for the WBG to tap into the rich experience and knowledge of stakeholders and listen to their insights about the challenges facing India today, as well as how the WBG can best support the country’s development agenda. Summary of consultations: In Mumbai with the private sector: Participants pointed out that for building human capital, the education system needed to be aligned with job opportunities. They said when on-the-job training was provided by employers, it was more effective than the public provision of skills. Moreover, more needed to be done to promote entrepreneurship. To manage natural resources such as water more efficiently, they said that farmers could be encouraged to switch from water guzzling crops such as sugarcane if they were assured of support in warehousing, drip irrigation and access to markets. In addition, for urbanization to be sustainable, more affordable housing needed to be created for the economically weaker sections. However, the lack of developed land was a major constraint and there was no policy to change land use for such construction. Moreover, given the public sector’s weak ability for last-mile delivery, benchmarking across states could help promote competitive federalism and help states learn from each other’s successes. Participants also pointed out that given the greater push for better governance and accountability from the grassroots, Government, NGOs and citizen groups needed to work towards this.
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