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Should Indian Economy go on a Diet? – From steel to software

Should Indian Economy go on a Diet? – From steel to software

By Ishan Bhasker

Edited by Anandita Malhotra, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist

Each era is marked by the predominance of a particular conceptual characteristic. The industrial revolution was followed by the computer age which further paved way for the IT/software revolution and artificial intelligence. The span of each subsequent concept is further reducing as time progresses. However with each passing conceptual era, we are being faced with a dearth of resources. This scarcity can be seen in terms of energy, space, natural resources and various other tangible and conventional factors. But the nature works on the principle of balance.

Paucity is counterbalanced by abundance and equilibrium is struck. In the present times, the insufficiency of natural resources has been balanced by the abundance of information. The enormous amount of information that has been bestowed upon us either voluntarily or involuntarily has polluted the air of blithe around us. Each of us has been overloaded with tremendous amount of data that drawing out knowledge from it has become a task in itself. But all said and done, the information age has lifted the standard of living to greater heights. If we are swimming in sea of data, technology has made us swim faster. A person sitting in the remotest corner of the Earth can be connected to someone sitting in the most advanced city in the world. Physical barriers have been removed and restrictions have been restricted to the realms of one’s mind. So has the economy. It is the era of imaginary currency. Virtual currency has paved way for a lighter and simpler economy.

The macroeconomic discussions on the peaks and booms in the economy have fueled many conversations right from 4X4 office cubicles to the power centers of Lutyen’s Delhi. But the agendas have shifted from steel and industry to cyber prosperity, netizens and growth prospects in the intangible software industry. Though the economy in the 1950’s was less in value as compared to present times, yet it was denser and heavier. The weight has been lifted from the economic arena. It has been spread across the population. Can you find out the weight of Google or Facebook? It is as heavy as the laptop or the mobile you use it on and once you close it, it’s as light as nothingness. E = MC^2 also fails in this context. The mobile is eating up everything it sees. It saw the landline, it ate it up, saw the camera, consumed it as well. Same goes for banks, games, TV and practically everything.

India has often been touted as the service hub of the world. Multitudes of the population wake up at odd hours to service the needs of Americans sitting 8500 miles away in their cozy apartments. There needs to be a shift in the perception. We need to understand that the ability to change our future lies packed inside our cranial cavity. In an era of Bitcoins and virtual wallets, we cannot be mere facilitators. We need to be the creators. “Make in India” should not be blinded but vocalized. This chant would be better heard if we came up with new solutions and ideas that are technology driven, acquire the least space and create an impactful yet leaner economy. It is on us now, what to make the mobile eat. The idea here is to make India healthier by consuming less, working more because as they say – “Lean is in”.

Ishan is currently pursuing his MBA from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research. Alongside he is associated with the United Nations OCHA (World Humanitarian Summit) as a Digital Advocate. Prior to this, he has worked with international organizations such as Aricent and Moser Baer. His interest lies in Economics, politics, international affairs and business marketing. Other hobbies include playing football, basketball and singing.

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