March 29, 2010
10 ideas in my mind…[To kill off the dull evening I challenged myself to see what I can think]
Science and Technology India needs Today…
I have grown a little impatient with the amount of support sometimes I don’t get [don’t get actually] and ask myself to sit in my office [a privately created space that has all the facilities that I need to write a decent piece of essay [on a decent topic if possible ]
I am impatient because I have been waiting for more than three years to get a position somewhere [rather than a job or an employment] and to add to my own list of failures I don’t have a degree for all the useful work I did and published or presented in some way or another.
To stave off my frustration I try to find time that I can utilize to write my own mind. [I don’t want a job at many places despite of my qualifications because I can’t find time and money for things that I must do to keep myself in reasonable shape].
Towards this in mind I am writing this to check to see what ideas I have in my mind from what I know from what exists today or in the recent past or whats even ideally possible or must be visioned if we are to make true progress in some aspects of our existence.
For this particular write-up then I have chosen to write on, a little about the present day science and technology issues of India where I have been living since the last two years.
Power, highways, advance forms of energy sources, national policy on power utilization and power generation and resource mobilization:
The first thing India needs is infrastructure, everyone gets to hear. “Power, highways, basic health and so on”. Now India has been making great amount of economic progress. Although the wealth gets amazingly accumulated to a selected few it has created unprecedented amount of employment and good living conditions for the rest of the folks, that have access to such progress, and this is pretty much everyone, the Dalits, adibasis, priests, teachers, you just name them.
And with such growth in prosperity India is definitely looking towards more bargaining just about anywhere. So the natural question is how much do we really have before we can ponder over what we must aim for.
Lets talk power by which I mean electricity. In the last 2 years I have been in India I have had frustrating level of experience of the state of our power consumption options. I have lived for more than 2 weeks to 1 year at places including major metropolis of India and everywhere its the same experience: power-“cuts” to power-“denials” to power-“deficiency” due to power un-management, non-management and over-management.
From a consumer’s point of view this sounds like a gross mismanagement. Although this may have been blind-sided by a chairman of atomic energy commission or a future prime-minister of India while giving their visions about how to go about nuclear power in a country which lacks enough provisions to utilize the traditional forms of electric energy.
My basic question is how can we really wrap up, revamp and optimally use all forms of electricity available to us since a century. Why must we not use such provisions in a way that saves us 150% of the energy that we must have wasted along, in our lackadaisical schemes of producing, distributing and selling such energy, possibly due to a careless system rather than a technical snag.
And if, we can consider such revamp of the electricity system to be one nationally important or significant course of effort we can leave the other significant effort viz. the issue of nuclear power and technology to an educated bunch of folks who can influence policy making and resource making policies in positive and fruitful ways much in the same way “green or white revolutions” have taken place in this country.
Roughly 10 years ago India was a much more pleasant country for me, given my energy levels and my spellbound attitude towards exploration. it was possibly easier to communicate, to hook oneself to internet in the evening, to call someone up from a public booth and talk for hours, to prefer the train over the bus and utilize this towards keeping my own outlook in shape.
Talk 2009, [or is it already 2010?] I have internet at home. I drive myself up, everywhere, I even fly inside India at a cheaper cost and telephones have been replaced by cellular..for such casual calls.
I believe my outlook for the world has become lopsided and often procrastinating, my comfort is personally discomforting and sometimes scary and expensive even if in terms of absolute numbers for currency the prices are cheaper. Why is that so?
I tend to believe a kind of monopoly which has been incorporated so thoughtlessly into our psyche as well as our collective way of living, that our personal economic system has become more draining than the economic progress and access to telecommunication we enjoy.
In many ways jobs are created to save the culture of privatization than the corporates themselves. There are mindless amount of commercialization at one place which serves to create jobs at another place and this creates a hollow in our psyche as well as in our private space.
I find it more difficult to recharge my cellular today than I found it hard to take my bicycle to a place which is 10 km farther. One reason I don’t like to drive a car is the mindless crowd, but the real reason is I enjoy my manual burst of energy more than my ability to crush someone at the tip of my finger.
Given the difficulty of my persona to enjoy the advancement of technology and access I wonder with much frustration what is the real state of telecommunication in today’s India. I believe true corporations are missing from our options which can provide much convenient service to the country rather than exploit every penny someone has with thoughtful capitalism.
An average capitalist like “Tata” or Reliance “Ambani” are much less reliable compared to the street side vendor that sales you a bag full of vegetable. Or are they? Am I a “regressionist”?? But my sensibilities tell me a different story altogether.
For every penny the street vendor earns he hardly does any capitalism. But the capitalist corporate giants do more and sometimes clearly unfavorable tricks.
Then who is a good businessman? You see the basic sense of business for the former is “look, this is what I have got and I have a price which is not going to be much different from the guy next block”. If you find it convenient here, you buy it and he earns his penny.
But for a corporate giant they are going to research the whole market although not always in an acceptable way. They will have better commodities, at exorbitant prices. The amount of effort and push and pull they might spend may as well bring them a fraction of penny for the same thing the street side vendor sold at a penny.
But I for one prefer the dust free zone of the corporate shops although at some level of consciousness I know I am spending more because someone somewhere is doing the amount of thinking or transportation or preservation of the commodities.
The huge amount of profit that the capitalists make are because of the scales involved. Because once the process has been thoroughly understood by a few at some level and not preferably by the employed themselves a tiny fraction goes to the employed while much of the profit goes into the preferred banks and stock exchanges of the owners.
Now that I have ended up from telecommunication to business strategies of corporate giants and street keepers, I can safely jump to another idea.
I have possibly thought in my mind all the problems one can face in relocating from a community which is much developed. [although much expensive as well and hence in the cost cutting practices much different in the way people live their lives] But I believe most of it should go without saying that they all are correlated and with their non-existence they bring much difficult problems to deal with.
So I go to the real intention of writing this piece of article. What are 10 different problems where some of the efforts and energy and resources must be spent in this country.
I don’t always think in terms of the money. I think in terms of capabilities and how to go from what we have to what we must have. And where does the vision come from. It does come form a very few people, and not always in very un-debatable ways. And my ideas are subjective, to my own background…
1. Dark matter, dark energy, study of universe.
2. Send satellites to study more about our universe.
3. Send rockets into space, 100 of them in 5 years if not 1 year.
4. A robust scientific data keeping system, for the whole country. ***
[*** this whole country is not 1 billion. Its roughly a million educated people, and that’s all]
5. Use of scientifically advanced technology everywhere even if its expensive to buy from outside countries. If we can buy from them some day we can really make them. If we haven’t we can worship Gandhi and Kalam but we will always be a handicapped nation even if we are a very rich nation.
We don’t need sophistication for just a selected few but for the whole country. While “Ramdev Jee baba jee” fly in business class he talks shit about modernization. Look at the empire of goo he has created. Shun such people from our own psyche…
[let me stop preaching]
6. “Corporatize” the whole country. Because one system should prevail even if that means we have a credit of 1 trillion dollars. It takes us to the status of the rich and the famous. If we delay this process we will learn very late, may be into our sixties, when others would have learned it while they are teens.
7. particle accelerators and medical technologies, and neutrino studies and why not the international linear collider??
8. Major car company that can really compete in all aspects [eg price] with Volkswagen or say BMW. In the same vein 3 major operating systems from India and a state head who can be accepted in the west like Tony Blair is accepted in India.
The point is everyone talks about TB but no Indian knows about him. [Who cares what the media knows about him or a person from his own country does] We need to have our indigenous leaders with respect and dignity and a sense of royal privilege.
9. A major university [Only I.I.Sc. is close, there may be a few more that I may not know, but not more than 3], a monument [You may say already Taj is there, lets built an airport which is a city]
10. Revamping the city infrastructure across India and in 5 years. Having a cap on the highest price at which land can be sold in cities.