Ideas for India’s future
Nandan talks about ideas for India's future at TED. He talks about the ideas which made India what it is today. He talks about the ideas which are in the phase of implementation, which are in discussion and at last for the future. He also give his points why the world should worry about India. If you have not read his book Imagining India, then this is mini version of his book.
A must watch. I have tried to embed the low resolution video here. Go to TED page if you want to see high resolution version or want to download.
At one point in his talk (as well as in his book), he pushes for industrialization and urbanization. I am not against it but I would have loved if he had talked about agriculture and technologies for better and natural food production, as an idea for future.
Disclosure: I work for Infosys and Nandan is Co-Chairman of Infosys.
Yes he has some good ideas. Too bad he is not a very good speaker.
Agriculture is a very tricky problem. Agriculture has a few factors on which it depends –
1. Land available
2. Fertility of the land
3. Produce per plant / tree
Since the 1st point can’t be addresses at all (meaning, we can’t increase the land we have) all technologies are addressing the next two factors. But people have started facing problems since existing solutions for these two factors have problems (read genetically modified seeds, fertilizers and pesticides that overload the soil with nutrients and toxic chemicals at the same time). The right solutions for these problems is still far away. Of course, one way to fix it is spend more on research. But a country’s government doesn’t have the liberty to take long term risks, especially when elections happen every 5 years. And another restricting aspect of agriculture is that it needs huge spans of land for a single farmer to make profit out of it. Above all this, add to it global problems like pollution and political issues related to import & export.
Naturally it becomes a huge problem if majority of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture. That’s why top entrepreneurs and leaders are pushing for industrialization where the land usage factor is much higher than that of agriculture. A factory spanning a couple of acres employs thousands of people.
I agree that agriculture is required to meet our basic need for food. But having too many people employed in that sector actually works against the growth of the country.
And if you have to employ thousands into industries you need education, basic facilities like electricity and transport.
And if you notice this is what the Indian government is exactly doing. When I say government, I don’t mean the politicians. I am talking of all those Indians who slogging in the departments and ministries trying to make a change while fighting red-tapeism. The politicians are only good for talking and wasting government’s money. But the actual development of India is because the ministries have subsidized some of the core requirements of a growing economy –
1. food (look at our ration shops)
2. Fuel, that too diesel since its used a lot in transportation sector – buses, trucks, trains, ships, etc.
And all this while being among the top corrupt countries.
No wonder I feel proud in saying “Mera Bharat mahaan”. :D
I am not sure why …. He does not impress me much !!!
I wasn’t impressed either – to me urbanization and a healthy environment doesn’t go very well together. Blind urbanization like what we see in Bangalore is a fundamental problem for the environment. Lakes disappear, parks dwindle, forests are encroached etc. etc. In fact improvement in infrastructure and communication facilities should make urbanization a lower priority, we need to spread the development across and not focus too much on cities which forces migration towards urban areas. The other thing I felt very funny was while Nandan talks about health, he seems to have a prominent pot belly – may be he needs to work out a bit to walk his talk:)
Ya your exactly right.
Whenever there is a big project, a year or two down the line we are told of a big scam hiding behind the government’s (read decision making politicians) initiataion or interest. Obviously all them are not true but some definitely are. So long that is not correceted, India will not be able to achieve what it could have achieved. Corruption is present all over the world, but India is a country where more ofeten than not corruption acts as the lubricant.