India Empowered to me means India Educated, Infrastructure Everywhere, Innovation Ecosystem, Imaginative Entrepreneurs, Intelligent Enterprises, Internet Energised and Increasing Expectations.
India Educated: We cannot build an empowered nation without educating our people. Given Indias youthful population, the imperative to provide the right education is even greater. Even though we have made progress, there is a lot more to be done. We need creative ways to address the challenge of providing a quality education for hundreds of millions Indians. For example, can we use network computers and next-generation broadband networks to deliver the best, aggregated content to our classrooms across the country to counter the paucity of experienced teachers? Can we automate testing procedures using these technologies to ensure that students and schools can course-correct rapidly? Can we roll out these solutions in the next 12-18 months across India? Can we commit that by 2010 every Indian child will entered the school system to have access to least twelve years of quality education?
Infrastructure Everywhere: If we are not going to build our roads, ports, airports and our broadband networks, we are not going to end up removing the friction that is there for both individuals and businesses. This lack of proper infrastructure works as a drag to everyday transactions and that is something India can ill-afford at this juncture in time. We need huge investments over the next five years so we can have world-class infrastructure. And that does not mean a single Golden Quadrilateral project or just Mumbai and Delhi airports become world-class. Infrastructure needs to go broad and deep across the country. It is what we should have done over the past 50 years but we didnt. We now have to do it in the next five across urban and rural India.
Innovation Ecosystem: We will need to think out-of-the-box to come up with smart solutions. For that, we need to build an innovation ecosystem combining the best minds across academia, industry and government. We need to work on ideas across the board, starting with education, energy, healthcare. We need solutions that are scalable rapidly. We need to foster a culture of innovation so that India can lead the world in key areas use of solar energy as an alternate to fossil fuels is one example. To make this happen, we need to make our universities hubs for cutting-edge research. We need venture capital funds so that the better of these ideas can be commercialised rapidly. We will have failures, but the impact of the successes will far outweigh the downside of the projects that do not work.
Imaginative Entrepreneurs: We not only need more entrepreneurs, we need them to come up with big vision. We need entrepreneurs who are willing to run the risk of failure so that they can change the game dramatically with their disruptive innovations. We need entrepreneurs who are not satisfied with building a small, profitable company but are willing to make big bets on building big enterprises. To take an example: what does it take for us in India to build the Google for Emerging Markets build around tomorrows world of network computers, mobile phones and broadband networks and centralized services. We need to think of the future not as what others create but as an instantiation of someones vision. Can we make it our vision?
Tomorrow: My Views (continued)
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