Monday, August 13, 2007

Our great achievements and failures in 60 years ..

On the 15th of August 2007, India is celebrating 60 years of independence. Many organisations are planning activities to coincide with this great occasion. But we need to have a solid picture of what are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) during the past sixty years and into the future, to be confident of where we are heading to and where we can reach.

Let us introspect with our failures and weaknesses as that will give a true picture of the situation.

The biggest scourge in India is our obsession with authority and excessive bureaucratic control over anything and everything. This has resulted in intereference in every sphere of life by decision makers delaying decision making and resulting in major drawbacks like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and corruption. The resources do not reach the targeted individuals instead land up in the wrong places and wrong people, defeating the very purpose of the funding or policies.

Even after sixty years almost 40 percent of our population are still below poverty line. Thousands of families still go to bed daily without a proper meal. This is happening when our country boasts of record food-grain production and stocks in the warehouses of Food Corporation of India. Thousands of families suffer from the ills of illiteracy. The benefits which otherwise would have come to them through education is now getting diverted to other sections of society. It is not the question of one section robbing the benefits of another section, that is what our policy makers seem to have been worried about initially. Some of the policies like reservation have done some good, but more harm in the long run. Thousand of children are malnourished or undernourished, leading to improper development of the body, intellect and a healthy mind. Illegal diversification of funds meant for such programmes results in very low utility, often resulting in unattained targets and goals.

The basic premise of the government that the weaker and socially backward comunities of the country need to be taken care well and should be given reservations in government posts was a thinking of the old times. We were encouraging mediocrity in our society, thinking and lifestyle. Now with liberalisation, privatisation and globalization, the playing ground is getting leveled with each passing day. There are plenty of opportunities with many foreign players entering the industry and Indian organizations going abroad. It will be a great experience for the people who are willing to take the risks, be it any field, education, Industry, health care, banking, insurance, financial institutions, software development, professional services, BPO, Knowledge outsourcing, the oportunities are aplenty. The government should only look at regulating and implementing major policy decisions. It should move out of education, health care and other fields of import and allow entrepreneurial spirit to flourish in the country, then only the country can prosper and grow.

Once the government withdraws itself from major decision making involving the common man's life, half the problems of the country will be over.

Our greatest achievements in the past sixty years has been our green revolution, courtesy Dr M S Swaminathan, white revolution, courtesy Dr Verghese Kurien, Space technoloigy development, courtesy a host of people including Vikram Sarabhai, our nuclear technology development, courtesy Raja Ramanna, Sethna, Homi Bhabha, missile technology development, courtesy Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and others from DRDO and ISRO, our educational development, courtesy Nehru and Sarabhai for setting up IIMs and IITs besides the numerous NITs, state engineering colleges and more recently the self financing educational institutions and medical colleges.

Liberalisation, privatisation and globalization, courtesy fromer PM, Narasimha Rao and Finance Min Dr Manmohan Singh. In fact it has been the defining moment of Indian growth in the post 90s. Growth of Indian heavy Industry by establishing the public sector units, bridges, dams, and steel and power plants, hydrolecetric and nuclear projects and so on. Thanks to prudent investment and control policies of the govt post '90, now we have efficient and effective financial institutions, a very active stock exchange and banking system, which vibrates in resonance with international fiscal reveberations, thanks to globalization.

To top it all, the democratic sytem of governance and politics has made the system so lively and kicking. We have a billion plus population working in synergy through disputes for the development of the country. Though the consensus does emerge slowly in this vast country, the agreed to consensus helps it to move like a juggernaut, creating awe and surprise among the other nations at it's potential for growth and development.

India in the coming years is sure going to be a place with little of government controls and excess of growth and entrepreneurship.


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