Nano technology has recently been one of the hottest research subjects in the world. And to my surprise I found a lesser known fact that India has got a rich legacy in nano technology. It dates back thousands of years ago. Dr ABS Sastry, chairman, Srimaharshi Research Institute of Vedic Technology, an astrologer by profession found that the vedas have mention about substances that are very similar to what is known as nano technology today. And that was a beginning that led to the commercialized production of nano copper in 2012. After cracking the codes in the vedas, Dr. Sastry and his group were able to produce nine nano metals including copper, zinc, tin and iron and three nano alloys. That was our past. Such depth in technology at the ancient time of the vedas would definitely suit the title of a super power of that age.
Yes the ancient past was glorious but national competitive advantage cannot be inherited. It has to be created and enhanced. Innovation is the key, though in Indian context innovation seems to be used loosely. This report on the patent filings from World Intellectual Property Organization justifies this. The bar graph below shows that contribution from India as a country towards intellectual property has been fairly low by the standards of current day super powers.
This also maps to the R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP PPP. India spend 0.9% of its GDP PPP on R&D in the year 2011, whereas its counterpart US and China spend 2.7% and 1.97% of their GDP PPP on R&D. Enthusiasm for taking R&D as a career among students looks to be on the decline. India has suddenly, just in a decade, turned into a service economy. 60% of its GDP comes from the services sector. The question to be here is: is the boom of the services sector a final nail in the coffin of the innovation inertia which has not died for ages in our country. May be yes, maybe thatís our future. But letís not forget the emergence of India as an IT super power.
Just a few years ago the world was panic stricken that what will happen when 1999 turns 2000, India took up the challenge and said it had got brains to write software and manage big projects. Result: Issue resolved and India got its due in the form an industry contributing 5.9% of the countryís GDP and employing more than 2.3 million people (https://www.aicte-india.org/). The next opportunity that India has is Big Data. The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data (http://www.mckinsey.com/Features/Big_Data).† India has got the skills to manage Big Data and we can bet on the information age being ours.
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