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India is sitting on a demographic dividend, expected to become the world's youngest country by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population, roughly 800 million people, of working age. But our country cannot become a global powerhouse unless we resolve the contradictions and bridge the gaps that distort our society. The challenge before us is to enable every one of India's 1.2 billion citizens to realize their aspirations. According to Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah, the only way to do this is by using technology
to radically reimagine government itself.
Rebooting India identifies a dozen initiatives where a series of citizen-friendly, high-tech public institutions can deliver low-cost solutions to India's grand challenges. Based on their learnings from building Aadhaar, the world's largest social identity programme, the initiatives that Nilekani and Shah propose could save the government a minimum
of Rs 100,000 crore annually, about 1 per cent of India's GDP-enough to fund 200 Mangalyaan missions a year.
It doesn't take 10,000 people or even a thousand, say Nilekani and Shah. All it would take is a small, focused team of highly skilled, enterprising individuals, and a supportive prime minister.