Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why India Cannot Really Move Forward on Anything

While this is not directly related to an environmental issue, it has everything to do with why India cannot seem to progress on any front - the environment included. Many years ago when I was a boy, the ambition of anyone who was a few years older than I was was to get a "government job." The average Indian could not think any further than becoming a bureaucrat. Those were the years when Indira Gandhi ruled, followed, as I gew older, by her equally thuggish son Rajiv. The Indian state could do little more than carry out the Gandhis' diktats and continuously hammer the average Indian in every way possible. Corruption was one of the most prominent ways among these - you still cannot get ANYTHING done with an Indian government office without paying a bribe. But this is, again, off topic in the light of today's post.

Considering the number of new environment friendly power generation and green building technologies that are available today, has anyone paused to wonder why no one - yes, not a single Indian business - has even bothered to do something to bring some of these technologies to a country that always gloats when it is referred to as a "technology powerhouse?" The answer may be in Sramana Mitra's piece in Forbes at this link:

Indians seem to make good servants but lousy entrepreneurs. Let's face the facts here - when students from the Indian Institutes of Technology, considered India's answer to MIT etc, do not want to do anything more than get a job, there can be little hope that anything would go ahead to lead the country into a pioneering direction. If this sounds harsh, it is not what I am saying myself. There is, sadly, a lot of evidence that this is absolutely true. The occasional small piece of good news that comes out is nothing much. What is glaring is the amount of wasted potential in a country that produces more engineers in every single year than the USA, the world's most technologically advanced nation, produces graduates.

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