Article authored by Harsh Kedia, Vice-president of The Economics Society of ISME.
This is a question I always put up at the beginning of a session when I am on the executive board for a Model United Nations conference. This acts as a great ice breaker and also allows me to actually recognize what problem is the number one priority for the people around me, who fall under a category of possible decision-makers of this country in the next 20-30 years. This question allows me to look at the present problems at the grassroots level, while also keeping in mind that those who are in the room with me are privileged individuals.
I remember some of the answers mainly because of how simple, aggressive or unique they were; “I would make football the national sport of India.” “I would send the army to take over Pakistan.” And here is my favourite one: “I would make a demand to the European Union that every Indian household in Europe should have jet sprays.” I say that this is my favourite because it actually solves a problem.
But before I ask them to answer, I give them my answer as an example so that they don’t necessarily have to say anything smart. My answer is simple and something that people would say is stupid because it is impossible and not something that is a direct concern to them. This automatically allows the younger minds in my session to actually be honest with their answers. So my answer to the question “If you were the Prime Minister of India, what is the first thing you would do?” is I would implement a policy allowing every child up to 5 years old to have access to unlimited candy from the government, contingent that they get a full body check-up done once every 6 months. Strange, huh?
The reason why I would want to implement this policy is because of the following reasons:
- Free candy for children, or the future of this world, will give the citizens of the country something to look forward to as the government will be providing the supply. Everyone will want to avail this benefit as the only restriction is you have to be an Indian citizen and get yourself checked once every 6 months. This will allow the government to maintain a census at real-time.
- Regular health check-ups will establish a stronger healthcare system, for at least 5 years, whether it is for dentists or physiologists. This will also allow the government to detect or even research medical solutions for diseases or infections at an early age.
- Taxpayers’ money will be used to give something back to them and their children. This can also be used to promote the education sector by allowing schools access to such candies provided by the government.
- The implementation of this policy will challenge private companies to provide a better product which beats the free product given by the government, providing the consumers with more choice and making it difficult for international brands to enter the market.
I had this answer when I was very young. As I started to grow-up I realised the potential impact this policy could have on the economy. There will be many more side effects if this policy is implemented. But it is a start, where one can realise how a small action like giving free candy can affect an entire country.