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Can India Become A Technology Leader?

  • RAOS, Jaipur
  • 22, Dec 2021
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India is presently not a major player in the field of technology due to certain challenges and on the other side, there are many celebrated Indian technologists around the world as many of the technology giants choose an India- born techie as their leader.

The conversation around Indian executives at the helm of top tech companies has gathered some momentum with Parag Agrawal taking over as Twitter CEO. The major technology companies like Google and its parent company Alphabet, Microsoft and Twitter, Adobe and IBM are all headed by Indians.

The Case of the U.S:

The Indian immigrants in the U.S are the part of the most educated and professionally accomplished communities in that country.

As of 2019, there were 2.7 million Indian immigrants in the U.S.

The government of the U.S has been instrumental in the triumphs of enterprise and the free market.

The governmental agencies have been actively supporting the research and developments which carry a higher risk and thus the private sector would not enter into those.

Google's success and discovery of the molecular antibodies are some of the successful results of such government fundings.

The strategies of China:

China marked its dominance on the global market by combining the strengths of the public sector, markets and globalisation.

It restructured the state-owned enterprises which were seen as inefficient.

The state-owned enterprises strategically participated in the technologically dynamic industries such as electronics and machinery.

The state retreated from light manufacturing and export- oriented sectors, leaving the field open for the private sector.

The Case of India:

The starting pitch for the development goals for industry and technology was rightly put as there were industry- oriented objectives in the Indian Planning in the early 1950's.

There was public sector funding of the latest technologies including space and atomic research.

The era of globalisation required greater efforts to strengthen the technological capabilities of the country.

But the spending on research and development as a proportion of GDP declined in India from 0.85% in 1990-91 to 0.65% in 2018.

The spending on research and development as a proportion of GDP has increased over the years in China and South Korea.

Favourable Factors For India:

India has the potential to become a leading nation in the field of technology by the right recognition and strengthening of the supply and demand factors.

India has the highest enrollment for tertiary education after China.

The tertiary education enrollment in India was 35.2 million in 2019.

As per the UNESCO data, India has one of the highest graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programmes as a proportion of all graduates.

India is a potential market for all kinds of new technologies with the increasing internet consumption across the nation.

India will soon have twice the number of Internet users as the U.S.

Challenges for India:

The educational infrastructure for higher studies poses certain challenges with respect to quality and accessibility.

The domestic industry has not yet managed to derive the benefits of the large consumer base of India.

Also, India is operating far below its potential in sectors like electronic manufacturing.

India is also highly dependent on imports for electronic goods and components.