Monday 28 December 2015

Tip of Inceberg

Samartha Bharat Parva Pranams!
Dr R A Mashelkar further glorifies various aspects of India. He says :

India has the reputation of being a thinking nation for a millennium. Indian minds are great. But what about our mindsets? That is a matter of concern. Our mindsets are not positive. We are perennially in a state of self-doubt. We continuously ask ourselves, have we performed? Are we good enough? Let me take only one example of our science and technology (S & T). We keep on asking as to whether Indian S & T has delivered. We do not realize that India has achieved so much for so little. Our overall S & T budget last year was less than 3 billion US dollars. Do you know that Pfizer's R & D budget was over 5 billion dollars last year? For a national budget that was smaller than the budget of a single company, India has achieved remarkably well.

Take our space programme. Today, we design, develop, test and fabricate our own launches. We have moved from one sophisticated launching vehicle to another. We have moved from ASLV to PSLV to GSLV. We have done it without any help from anyone since no one will give us the technology in these strategic sectors for any consideration. We have launched 35 satellites (80 as on 15 Nov 2015) so far. Of them 17 are Indian launches, 23 are in orbit and 14 are geo-stationary. Not only do we launch our own satellites today but that of our foreign customers too including Germany and Korea. And all this is done for a budget that is just 7 per cent of a single company in the USA! Should we not be proud of this feat?

Let me move beyond science and technology and again come back to the theme that India does so much for so little. Only 50 per cent of our children go to school. Of them only 30 per cent go up to the 10th standard and only 40 per cent of them pass. That makes it 6 per cent-as against, say Korea, for which the corresponding figure is about 70 per cent. So, with 6 per cent we are talking about a tip of the iceberg. But what does that tip of the iceberg deliver? Last year, we exported 9.7 billion US dollars worth of software. Do you know how many contributed to this export? Only 50,000 software engineers. That is 0.05 per cent of our population, and it contributed to almost 10 per cent of our exports. The positive way of looking at it is that if the tip of the iceberg can deliver so much, can you imagine, what would happen, if the entire iceberg was lifted?

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