Canada India Foundation organises panel discussion on Public Policy and Good Governance
Toronto, Jun 14 (IBNS): A panel discussion on Public Policy and Good Governance was organized by Canada India Foundation (CIF) 12 at Seneca College, 1750 Finch Avenue East Toronto, Ontario on Wednesday.
This panel discussion on 'Public Policy & Good Governance' is a part of the two-weeks’ training program provided by Seneca College to senior civil servants of the Government of India visiting Canada. Prashant Srivastava, Director, South Asia Seneca International, collaborated with CIF in organizing this event.
This international training is part of a two-year post graduate diploma in Financial Management at the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), India in which these officers visiting Canada are taught the best practices in Financial Management.
The panelists of this forum were: Mr. Richard Evans, Director General, Industry Statistics Branch Statistics Canada; Dr. Vandana Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, ï»¿Government of India; Mr. Stephen Chait, Director, ï»¿Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship, City of Markham, Ontario, Canada.
The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Vinod Vyas, Founder & Senior Partner, Partho Technologies Inc., Member of CIF's Board of Governors.
Vinod Vyas introduced all the three panelists and said in his introductory speech that according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, good governance is the key to the nation’s progress. The factors constituting good governance, said Vyas, our freedom from poverty and freedom from hunger. Vyas added that policy decisions and good governance should be based on impartiality, neutrality, flexibility, and growth.
He then invited the first speaker Richard Evans to share his topic of discussion. His topic of discussion was ‘DATA AND AI Public Policy and Good Governance’. He said policy decisions and good governance should be based on trustworthy data. Evans said for more trustworthy data interpretation and to illuminate continuous challenges faced by the digital world, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in data interpretation should be adopted. Evans highlighted the vast applications of AI and machine learning in almost every field such as medicine, machine learning models, health, education and this has, to a large degree, expanded the border between what is possible and impossible. But there still exists some ethical issues in the use of technology in policy decisions such as data interpretation using AI. For example, the digital presence in our lives such as Facebook, LinkedIn is faced with ethical challenges of privacy, security, ownership of the data and how and who should use this data. A robust policy framework should be there to protect individual rights, security, and privacy.
The next speaker Dr. Vandana Kumar highlighted how a paradigm shift in governance should be based on three issues: Reform, Perform and Transform. She said that during last five years India had witnessed several reforms such as the implementation of GST, liberalization of several policies, scrapping of several laws, enhanced ease of doing business, digital transformation such as linking innumerable accounts with mobile phones for bank accounts, government’s resolution in decision making and speedy implementation.
Another key feature was the Aadhaar Card, which is a unique identification number issued to every resident of India. An Aadhaar card is as significant as a PAN card for an Indian citizen and can be used as an identification proof too. She added that there are at present 1.2 billion Aadhar accounts. She also highlighted other key enablers such as several startup projects in India with funding as well as policy support and mentorship, advanced use of industrial information system as a central repository for all industrial information, digital ecosystem, etc. All these factors have made India one of the topmost investment destinations in the world. She also showed us the photographs of Modi sweeping the streets and Modi himself reviewing all the projects etc.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)