Allahabad: Miffed at criticism by opposition parties of the UPA government`s performance on the economic front, adviser to the Prime Minister, Sam Pitroda on Tuesday asked how could they say "nothing had been done when there has been a decent rate of growth for over a decade and the country is all set to register its highest ever production of foodgrain".
"There is an urgent need to bring about a qualitative change in the public discourse in the country.
"The nation is standing at a tipping point where we cannot afford any mistakes and the next couple of decades are going to be crucial," Pitroda told reporters here.
Pitroda, the Chairman of National Innovation Council, was in the city to deliver this year`s Jawaharlal Nehru lecture on `Technology and Development` organised by the Jawahar Planetarium situated on the historic Anand Bhavan premises.
"Public conversation should focus on the ways and means to ensure a better future.
"Right now, what we are witnessing is a slugfest wherein belittling the achievements of opponents has become the thumb rule.
"This type of approach is detrimental to the country`s betterment and, unfortunately, the youth of the country is not doing its bit in bringing about a change in the discourse," he said in response to a query.
"This year, we are all set to achieve the highest foodgrain output ever for the country. We have managed a growth rate of more than 6 per cent amidst the global slowdown.
"Yet, the naysayers go on saying that nothing has happened in the last nine years.
"I am a technocrat and not adept at political machinations, but I get riled when charges are traded without any regard for facts," Pitroda said.
"The country will be going to polls next year and people are expected to make informed choices.
"(But) that would not be possible if our energies are diverted towards rubbishing the achievements of opponents," he warned.