GEF 5: V. Paul Raja Rao, Secretary & Executive Director, BIRDS, India

V. Paul Raja Rao, Secretary & Executive Director, BIRDS, India talks about why India has hope in its new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to tackle rural development in the South Asian country.

As the previous Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi was known for encouraging rural development across the Indian state, which includes the introduction of solar technology, and Rao believes because of Modi’s successful track record in tackling poverty, Gujarat will be a model for the rest of India.

Despite some concern over Modi’s background, Rao says the Indian Prime Minister will not be a source of division in the country; instead the Indian premier is determined to bring about change.

Rao agrees that Gujarat is just one state among 29 across the country and it will therefore be challenging for Modi to implement an effective environmental and development policy across all of India. He explains the different climate change experiences across the states will need to be addressed.

However, Rao is optimistic and says most states across India are prepared to adopt the latest sustainable technologies.