Rathodics

Call it Rathodics, Rathodology, Rathod-gineering, or Rathodistry; chances are high that you will find lot of useless things on this blog. Nevertheless, I thank you for visiting my blogsite, and hope you spend sometime reading the blogs and commenting on them. Further, you can visit me at http://www.unm.edu/~srathod

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Technological Progress in India

This relates somewhat to what Niket said in his blog "Of reservations and technological advances". I raise this topic again on my blog, since I got to know something in a class yesterday, which I am not sure whether is correct or not; and, if correct, then upto what extent.

The professor teaching the class said that for any technological advancement there has to be an interplay between the three aspects of the triple helix - the universities, the national laboratories, and the industry. He gave the example of US (it should be obvious) and New Mexico (this should be more than obvious, considering the federally-owned land). Till the later 1980s, the national labs in US were involved in research and development catered towards generating products solely for government use, and that the funding situation was very stable. However, starting late 80s and early 90s, these national labs were pressurized to start getting products out to the common consumers. This gave the industry a chance to collaborate with these national laboratories, and started pumping in the money. So, the outcome was that the laboratories developed the product from the basic research, the universities helped them in providing access to students and faculty and, upto some extent, research facilities, and when the product was ready, the industry provided the necessary capital to commercialize it.

Now, the professor said that the industry aspect of the triple helix is lacking in India. India has one of the premier-most technological universities in the world, which can provide with the brains. It has quite a number of national labs that can provide with the ideas and basic research. However, it lack the capital pumped in by the industry. Now, does that mean that there are industries, but lacking the capital, or does that mean that there are no industrial firms itself; I don't know.

However, my feeling is that this in not the sole reason for the state of technological developments in India. There are lot of other factors which I feel play an important role in deciding the current state of technological progress in India; factors such as population, poverty, inequalities in educational level between different strata of the society, concentration of wealth, etc.

I hope to get a better answer to the above question in future classes though.

-SBR

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