India – It’s time to reflect

By | Editor

In every survey & ranking India is seen at the bottom of the rankings & in poor light. We are the worlds second largest population & 5th largest economy. Often boast about demographic dividends, intellectual capital, power of youth, ancient civilization etc. But sadly in the world comity of nations, we are way far behind other countries. Even smaller countries are ahead of us. Why is it so?

The environment in India is just not about right. The government policies are lopsided and do not promote merit. Education system is outdated and largely seen as a money spinner. Our curriculum & delivery is outdated. Its more of cramming knowledge than application of knowledge. Our government agencies are highly bureaucratic and corrupt. Our Industrial houses are short term focused and hardly have a vision and long term focus.

There is a mismatch between the rhetoric on bettering India’s research output and how much it is willing to spend for Research & Development. India’s gross research spending has been increasing over the years but the country’s total expenditure on R&D continues to be less than 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) when other emerging economies, including China and Brazil, invest more money on this head. It has, in fact, been showing a consistent decline since 2008-09.

This has largely been due to Government impetus and push in Government Institutions but investments from Private Sectors & Corporate houses has been very disappointing.

The flight of Foreign Investments and Companies to India has been largely due to the labour arbitrage (cheap labour). We are mostly seen at the bottom of the Value Chain and largely exploited for working to serve others and in return earn Foreign Exchange to pay our Foreign Debts.

At a time when we should be thinking of :

  • How do we create our Countries Human Capital into a source of sustained competitive advantage?
  • What sort of capability must our people have, not only to respond to the turbulence which other countries, our competitors and customers create, but to create the turbulence to which others must respond?

Our leaders are busy debating & planning for :

  • Visiting Temples and fighting over Building Temples
  • Linguistic Divide
  • Religion /Caste Politics (pitting one vs another)
  • State Flags
  • Increased Reservations
  • Increased subsidies
  • Love jihads
  • Who eats what, what to wear
  • Banning films
  • Freedom of expression / Fundamental Right
  • Organised loot (it is estimated that 4.5 lakh crores of illegal money is stashed away abroad in black money and mostly by politicians & influential businessman)

Look at our discourses, our debates on newspapers, televisions & radios. There is nothing constructive. Its only portraying the ugly side of India.

Look at how other countries, Leaders are seriously looking forward & working towards making their citizens happy and providing a better quality of life:

  • Dubai U.A.E. has appointed Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama as the country’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
  • UAE has also appointed a Minister of State for Happiness.
  • In 2013, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro created a “Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness“, to coordinate all of the country’s poverty alleviation programmes, the Washington Post reported.
  • In another South American country, Ecuador, a former cabinet minister was named the “Secretary for the Presidential Initiative for the Construction of a Society of Good Life” in 2013.
  • Meanwhile in Japan, Minister for Women’s Empowerment Haruko Arimura also has an unofficial title to her name: “Minister of Toilets“.
  • There is a “Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government” in Malaysia
  • There was a unique ministry in Singapore – “Minister Mentor“, which was held by founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew between 2004 and 2011.

Do we have any such forward looking visionary leader in our country. The closest being our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi but sadly in his case its becoming more of rhetoric than action. Does the Government – Central or State bother about the welfare of the common man? Do they work in tandem to ensure that the Country is moving in the right direction and the quality of life of the common man improves every year?

Each passing day our faith in the Politicians, Leaders is eroding. No wonder there is so much of brain drain and flight of human capital. When will India rise to the occasion and will it ever…. Is there light at the end of the tunnel in my life time………Only time will tell…..

Republished with permission and originally published at Ramesh Ranjan’s LinkedIn

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