Economy – Industry and Manufacturing – Narrative and Policy .

NARRATIVE:

The Indian industrial development has been severely stunted due to the shortsighted and doctrine driven Policies that were originally rooted in socialist dogma, another foreign narrative. Though the intent behind the thinking was not faulty, in that, self-sufficiency and people benefit were the projected thought stream behind this policy framework set in place post-independence, its result, nevertheless, turned out to be one where the overall development of the nation’s techno-industrial base remained far behind the rest of the developed world.

Here again, the country begged for root technologies from foreign powers. Steel plants (Bhillai), Heavy engineering companies, Technology institutes (IIT’s – 1st one Kharagpur, Russian aided, and others aided by other nations) and many other such examples abound. The Russians generally came in to assist first, in support of the socialist frame set by the then government, and got pole position. The American robber baron led capitalist nation did everything it could to deny and suppress our ancient and great nation, and hoped and angled for getting us to a position where we had no alternative but to sign up to their hegemony, if we were to be deemed fit for any kind of technology or finance.

The then newly “freed” nation set for itself the mixed-economy model, wherein heavy industry and core sectors were then generally set in the State domain; and the private sector were given limited space to function and governed through a restricted license raj supposedly designed to limit and control the exploitive “capitalist” urge. The result, as we all know, is a nation that rooted itself in political and bureaucratic corruption and while it has developed technologically and industrially to a fair extent, essentially it has not become self-sufficient in almost any area of industrial or technology activity.

While we have managed to master, to an extent, in a second-hand sort of way, nuclear, rocket, satellite sciences and some manufacturing, we still cannot design and manufacture jet engines, are hopeless in metallurgy and material science, demonstrate inability to design and manufacture advanced machine tools or equipment so essential for industrial development; to develop technology and manufacture heavy machinery for core strategic areas; and the country experiences a huge lag in almost every cutting-edge technology area that one can imagine.

The Policies in place are so constrictive for growth and development as to render any ambition of catching up with the world on our own steam impossible.

Our citizens, study their basic Bachelor degrees in our top institutions such as the IIT’s and end up doing their Masters at top institutions across the world, often becoming top researchers, engineers, teachers, technology developers, managers in the largest companies and research institutions across the world. Many are entrepreneurs responsible for setting up and owning huge enterprises in almost all areas of business activity. The biggest beneficiaries of this phenomenon over the past 60-70 years have been and are the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the developed world. They settle in these countries, take up citizenship and contribute hugely to their technology and financial prowess and GDP even as they yearn for the mother culture and country.

Within this story rests the fact that, fundamentally, India has no shortage of technology, as all technology rests in the brains of human beings and their experience in building it; and Indians are involved and embedded in all key and cutting-edge areas of research, technological development and industrial capacity building all over the developed western world.


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