- Today even if you have a high-school degree you don't get a job. We have great jobs for people leaving premier institutions like IIMs, etc, but that is not the case for a majority of students leaving schools and colleges which are not of that level of repute.
- On nationalistic movements: They create friction within the country and it also creates friction between countries.
- On the leaked NSSO report: The youth are looking for jobs... there is a great hunger for good jobs in India, but not as many to offer. There is not enough focus on joblessness. I think the reality is if you look at the total evidence ... 25 million people are applying for 90,000 jobs in railways. That shows a huge hunger for good jobs.
- On jobs data: Jobs statistics have been very poor for a long time. We need to improve the collection of these... cannot rely on EPFO or other make-do versions, need to collect better jobs data. It is problematic to say that people don't want jobs. Some of these agitations are a reflection of the fact that youth are looking for jobs, especially in the government because that promises security. We need to take a very clean independent look at our statistics. We need to get a panel of independent experts to go through that.
- On Rahul Gandhi's announcement of basic minimum income promise: What matters is the details. Is it going to be an add-on or substitute a bunch of things? How do we get to the poor? We have seen over time that giving money directly to the people is often a way of empowering them. They can use that money for the services they need. What we need to understand is what are the things or schemes (subsidies) that will be substituted in the process.
- I have no problem with people from political parties coming on to various boards of institutions, but if that becomes the area of focus, then I am afraid our institutions and boards will become unbalanced.
- We need to have a strong internal economy. That should be the focus of elections this time. China has focused on going strong economically first. Now we can see they have a pretty significant army and defence system. We also need to enhance our growth rate.
- On demonetisation: It might be useful to go back and see how that decision was taken. What has the government learnt from this? There is a need for self-examination, based on actual data. The government needs to ask if it (note ban) worked or didn't and then improve.
- Having a strong internal economy is essential for better national security.
- We need to bring greater transparency between the government and the private sector.
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