Myth about Innovation in India

I came across this artile via. http://satyameva-jayate.org shared by Prakash which I want to share with the larger audience.

I have extracted some excerpts from this article, “40 Years of “Innovation” in India -by  Harshwardhan Gupta, underneath which be considered as an eye opener for a deluded engineers and politicians.

1. Myth: India is fast catching up with the world technologically.

Fact: We are only using (or furiously installing in alien-owned factories) newer and newer technologies and machines, not generating or designing even a minuscule portion of those – as now we can import anything we want. We are becoming increasingly dependent on imported technology and machinery, losing entire vital indigenous industries (machine-tool building, plastic moulding, die making…) in the process. Our ever-increasing dependence on other nations for new technology and new kinds of machinery is making us a slave nation all over again, and is creating a deep cancer within our industry.

2. Myth: India has given many inventions to the world, latest being jugaad.

Fact: We have invented absolutely nothing worth the name after we (allegedly) invented the zero. We have clumsily copied many things but not learnt how to develop newer technologies and design completely new kinds of machines.

We have deluded ourselves to believe that jugaad is same as innovation. It is NOT! In fact, jugaadbaazi has given our society and nation absolutely nothing, except misplaced vanity. It is a matter of national shame that books extolling jugaad have become bestsellers in India.

3. Myth: Automation is a capitalist evil in our overpopulated socialist country.

Fact:

    1. 1.2+ billion Indians cannot sustain, flourish, or be nourished without a high degree of automation – which has lifted so many people of so many (even communist) nations out of drudgery and poverty – and significantly reduced wastage of resources. Majority of our factories are labour-intensive repositories of filth and junkyard machines.
    2. Secondly, innovative mechanisation and automation across the country will need millions of skilled people in many fields.

4. Myth: Since IP rights in India are not well protected, inventors are discouraged.

Fact: I can tell you as a professional inventor-designer that this belief is just a cover-up for the sheer lack of engineering inventiveness among us.

5. Myth: It is expensive to do R&D, that’s why people copy.

Fact: As I explained earlier, copying is not the problem. Our problem lies in NOT learning anything from that copying process; since our copycats’ one and only focus is to cut cost anywhere, anyhow and at any cost to oneself and to others. The whole nation is paying dearly for our dear “reduce cost at any cost” mentality.

6. Myth: India has the largest pool of young capable engineers.

Fact: May be numerically true, but ask any placement consultant how completely difficult it is to find even entry-level people with specific domain knowledge. Qualitatively AND quantitatively, our engineering work force is very poorly trained, capable or even motivated to develop new technologies and machines.

7. Myth: India has a very large pool of cheap manual labour so we need not mechanise. Fact: False, because:

Fact:

    1. Indian labour is not at all cheap in terms of cost per unit productivity.
    2. A very large proportion of our labour is untrained or improperly trained (and many are untrainable) for all kinds of badly needed skills.
    3. Suitable labour is often not able to relocate to where the jobs are, and vice versa.
    4. Many vital skills, like precision machine assembly and operation, die making, etc., are becoming increasingly scarce, with no mechanism in place to train and motivate young workers.
    5. India’s ability to quickly develop efficient automation solutions in every field is VERY severely limited, and is not keeping pace with whatever demand exists.
    6. Most importantly: today, a vast and increasing number of things simply cannot be manufactured manually, or cannot be made manually at the scale the market is already demanding. Therefore, we are already furiously importing entire shiploads of these things (or the machines to make them), or just ruing our misfortune if we cannot afford these sophisticated machines. So much for our cheap labour!

8. Myth: Our young engineers are good at CAD and so will soon become capable of designing innovative machines.

Fact: CAD is only a tool. It’s a tool that fragments the profession of machine designers as it makes it difficult for them to change their CAD platform, and hinders them from finding a job best suited to their skills.

9. Myth: The world is now a Global Village, so we can import whatever we need.

Fact: This is a VERY myopic and damaging viewpoint! A moment of pondering will show up its fallacy: If this is true, then why are all other countries investing so heavily in developing indigenous machines and machine-building skills?

10. Myth: India is on the way to become a superpower.

Fact: Every superpower has reached that crest by creating a vast and modern technology-generation and machine building (and by corollary machine-design) infrastructure. We do not have such vibrant and deeply interconnected engineering infrastructure that makes a nation a true superpower.

11. Myth: China will soon falter and start having problems, leaving the field open to us.

Fact: ‘Sour grapes!’ There are no signs of China faltering on any indices in any significant way. When it comes to innovation and engineering development, the entire Chinese nation works like an army phalanx to a whole raft of detailed interconnected long-term plans. In India, we keep arguing, working at cross-purposes, obstructing development, praising ourselves, and celebrating our super-chaotic, lethargic democracy.

12. Myth: India is too big for anyone to bring about any significant change rapidly.

Fact: To see the fallacy in this thinking, we only have to look at the fast-paced development and quality of life in China, the US and the EU.

Harshwardhan%20About%20UsI would like to thank Harshvardhan Gupta for this eye opening article.

Harshvardhan Gupta is a graduate from IIT Bombay in Mechanical Engineering. He has been designing machines since 1976. He founded Neubauplan Machine-design Studio and Neubauplan Automation Machines P Ltd. He can be reached at harsh@neubauplan.com or through his website www.neubauplan.com

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3 Responses to Myth about Innovation in India

  1. ashoksinghania says:

    good write up please mention larouche american economist whose write up is followed by chinese leader ship.as far as india to become super power yes we can. abook called space time motion written by sn bhavsarof pune is answer. it is best innovation entire human generation can be proud of. though written on health issuesit all about human productivity.this innovation from india when implented willchange the entire land scape of india. good part is it is come whenmother india badly needed it.please read and implement. it best innovation from india.

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  2. ashoksinghania says:

    well iwill mention one cold water bath techinque. just imagine if just 30 crore indians shift to normal water bath. awhopping 50000megawatt ofpower capicitywill be save for 4hours .in terms of money whopping 36000crore annually.this spare capicity can be use by farmers imports of pluses oilseeds can be reduced. coalimports can be reduce thus spare capacity for exports in terms of investments huge saving of 3lac crore at the rate 6crore per megawatt. same capital could be used to produce some other goods. the list of benfits could go on.ihave been pratising this technique for last eight years sucessfully.

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  3. Vachhani says:

    This is absolutely true. We are busy with self praise since independence. No body like to hear the short comings. We have to stop argument and see where we stand as compared to other countries. Unfortunately we never got any foresighted leader since decades. All leaders were short sighted and took actions only to keep country running, at the best. Now the situation is: we afraid of taking any pain for the future. All talk soft and try to win the heart of people, momentarily.
    It is time to take hard decisions and focus all energy to lift up the living standard.
    In this process we may have to be a little less than ‘full democratic country’. Are we ready? Or we like to continue soft talking and pass many more years living in third world?

    Like

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