President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday asked the social scientists to identify how growth can be achieved without destruction of environment, as he sought their interference in critically evaluating nations successes and failures. “India`s social scientists should critically evaluate our successes and failures. There should be clarity on what is the meaning of Development. Does it mean only GDP growth or also include elements such as Gross National Happiness adopted by Bhutan?” , President Mukherjee said while inaugurating the 40th National Conference of the Indian Sociological Society in Varanasi at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapith University. Expressing confidence that India will soon achieve 8-9 percent annual growth and become a three trillion dollar economy, the President asked social scientists to identify how growth can be achieved without destruction of environment. He said climate change and erratic behaviour of the monsoons would have tremendous consequences for our country and people and asked the scholars to come up with corrective measures. Pointing towards the hugely successful completion of this year’s Lok Sabha polls, President Mukherjee reminded that India has been successful in establishing democracy in the country and thus proved its detractors wrong who were sceptical about it. “Many were sceptical if democracy would survive in India in the early days of our independence. However, our democracy has been a huge success. The 2014 elections to the Lok Sabha has established how 1.27 crore people are fully capable of governing themselves,” he said. He cautioned at the same time that democracy is much more than just voting and elections. “Our Constitution encompasses an all embracing vision of justice- social, economic and political. We cannot afford to ignore any of these ideals in pursuit of the other. Moreover, during the Anna Hazare movement citizens were galvanised into a force through public awareness and Government was compelled to have a dialogue with social activists,” he said. “This shows that our political system has evolved into a model where legislation and action can be scrutinised by the public at every stage, even if there is no right to recall of elected representatives,” he added. The President said India lives in diversity and our biggest strength is diversity. Attempts to bring uniformity have failed and Indian civilization has survived because of diversity and the spirit of tolerance towards each other. He said the manner in which people of different backgrounds, language, culture and ethnicity come together and sit in one legislative chamber under one Constitution reflects the strength of India`s diversity.

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Critically evaluate India’s successes and failures: President Pranab Mukherjee to social scientists