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Saturday, March 19, 2011

CII's India@75 - A Grassroots Initiative to develop an aligned vision of India

Yesterday I attended the CII Karnataka Annual Members Day 2011, at Bangalore. The theme was India@75- An Innovative Vision.

India@75 is attributed to Late Prof. C.K. Prahalad. The documents shared during the seminar, explains India@75 as a grassroots initiative to develop an aligned vision for our country shared by people from all geos and all walks of life.

India@75 aims to change the face of India through various development initiatives such as 100% literacy, globally employable workforce, world class infrastructure etc.

The key to achieving these three objectives is innovation in multiple dimensions

1. By 2022, India should be a global technology leader - inventing new and better technologies rather than replicating the technologies of other countries
2. India should produce world class researchers
3. Major need is Innovation in Energy - we should be self-sufficient in meeting our energy needs
4. In Agriculture Innovation in must - as it employs 60% of India's population directly or indirectly
5. Business and Innovation - need to go hand in hand - Leading edge R&D is must.
6. Urbanization and Infrastructure - world class Indian cities need to be designed, developed, maintained and evolved
7. Innovation in Healthcare sector is must

The second half of the seminar (after customary political/Government statements in the first half) was followed by a public session with 4 important talks.

Keynote address by S V Ranganath, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka

{Noted points from his talk in my notes }
  • Most of other countries first industrialized and then adopted democracy, India took reverse path - It adopted democracy and then moved towards industrialization - India has not done too bad as of now
  • Two points agenda - Governance and Innovation
  • Need for good governance - inclusive growth needed
  • The key problem - where Jobs are where people are - seems to a big disconnect in India
  • Coastal states are driving growth and inner states are driving population
  • There is no dearth of ideas, capital, people - the key is the land - In India land title is the root cause of major issues - "Home Grown Mafia" want to maintain the status-quo and not let any land reforms happen
  • Second problem of Governance is health and Education - Dearth of doctors/nurses - further pvt sector in healthcare is providing very poor quality and very heavy cost - How to regulate the pvt sector - rightly and properly?
  • Third governance problem - Police and law and Order - In this case there is no private sector - the poor man's recourse - is to seek solutions outside - Extreme Naxal movements are the result
  • Innovation and Creativity in dealing with these problems is needed - Innovation led economic growth - Innovation is driven by competition
  • India has been creating Innovation buzz by $3000 Car, $300 Computer and $30 Mobile phones
  • Environment for Innovation in India however needs to be created
  • In Jayant Narlikar's book "Scientific Age" - he list 10 key contributions by India in Science and Technology in last century - (a) Ramanujam in Mathematics (b) Meghnath Saha in Physics (c) S.N. Bose of Bose Einstein statistics (d) C.V. Raman of Raman effect (e) Molecular Biologist (G.N. Ramachandran) (f) Bhabha in Atomic energy (g) Green Revolution - M.S. Swaminathan (h) Space revolution by Vikram sarabhai (i) Superconductivity by CN Rao at IISc
  • Speaker added India making supercomputer in early 1990s as the 11th key coontribution.
  • One point he observed - none of the contributions of second half are path breaking - like the contributions of the first half of the century.
  • India Must focus on Science and technology
  • Innovation for Governance is the need
  • Innovation in Literacy
  • Innovation in Agriculture - utilize traditional knowledge as well
India need to focus on
  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Education and
  • Technology
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Keynote Speaker - Pankaj Chandra - IIM Bangalore

Excellence in Higher Education was his topic - and he qualified it with "what is holding us back"

India has Mountains to climb

He asked questions

  • Why are best and brightest not joining academia?
  • Can the society wait to invest in higher education?
  • Can India remain insular to global education influence?
He said Government of India invest 0.8% of GDP for Higher Education - which comes to about USD 3.7 Billion

Further Indian students go abroad per year about 150,000 which amounts to USD 2 Billion

So around 6 billion is available within India - hence it is not about money.

He claimed it is about "partially" Understood objectives of Higher Education

  • HE should be about advanced training not basic training -that should be over by Class XII. So Our students should be employable after Class XII.
  • Parity across Education Institutes is not the right method
  • Our Graduates are starved of "curiosity"
  • Broad educational mindset is missing
  • State is the key provider of HE
  • State as the source of funding and CONTROL - Funding as a mechanism of control
  • Society is a spectator
The speaker gave global HE models

  • US Univ System is the Top - Mix of private and public endowments, research drive
  • Oxbridge clan - also Ran
  • Weak Liberalization - European Univ system
  • Targeting winners - State univ of Singapore
  • New Experimentalists - Chinese education system - Entrepreneurial, building endowment, academic fervor
key areas of Innovation for HE

University Role
  • To answer society's dilemmas
  • preparing manpower
  • preparing thinking mind
  • cultural spaces
Autonomy of Institution
  • Perverse Centralization
  • Funding does not mean control
  • University or simply colleges
  • Role of regulatory accredition - self regulation

Accountability of academic and administration
  • Governance - recreating research base
  • Poor understanding of financing of higher education
  • Targeting needy users
Expansion of pvt capacity
  • Why we havent passed private university bill?
  • Vocational education - issue of capacity and mobility
Role of society
  • People who dont want to think
  • Where is the faculty
  • Less salaries
  • Funding for research? Research "pull" from industry
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Dr. R. Bala was the next speaker - Innovation in social sector

He started with - Industry has grown despite government but society will not grow

Innovation word has its origin in Latin 1540 - meaning - Just to change, renew, refresh

He said - Karnataka has rampant "Innovation Corruption"

His key message "Stop innovating misgovernment" first - before talking about innovating in governance - it was clear response to the chief secretary

He gave a possible solution

when industry buy land from farmers - why cant they be given stake in the company - let the industry be a user farmer's land

Industrialization in rural areas
Information disclosure - how much is right
Information packaging

Service delivery focus
Look at the last mile problem for service delivery

One needs value based leadership

"Local development is Global development"

Society co-opted in corruption

hence

one needs to LIVE THE CHANGE - sort of paraphrasing M.K. Gandhi's BE THE CHANGE!

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