Indian engineers are in great demand across the world, but can they make India a technologically advanced country? Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said ‘We have to transform India in five areas where India has core competence’. He had a great vision for India and he wanted India to become a superpower by 2020. The name of this project is ‘Vision 2020’. The aim of Vision 2020 is to transform India with a focused manifesto for change. He always insisted that the present day students should be nurtured to make India self-sufficient many ways. Let us explore how Indian engineers can make India a super Tech country.
By introducing sustainable energy resources at an affordable cost:
It is true that India has already started producing alternative energy sources. But, they are not available at the cost that is affordable to be met by a common man. For instance, many colleges in India these days have solar power plants for generating Energy. They generate their own green energy. But, the huge cost of solar power plants makes it a dream for poor people. They cannot afford to pay huge on these alternative energy sources. So, Indian engineers should work on finding new alternative sources of energy. This will help people in reducing not just their energy bills, but also they can produce their own green energy. This, in turn, will have a lesser impact on the environment as well.
By educating children from villages about technology:
It is true that the present day engineering students are involved in many social activities. But, they should come forward to educate people in rural areas. They should dedicate a day in a week to reach out smaller villages in remote areas of the country. They should educate kids in those areas as they are denied of education. It is true that Indian government functions with the motto of education to all. But, there are villages in India, where people are not aware of anything happening around them. They should be taught the importance of education and they should be motivated to send their children to schools. Education can alone make people self-reliant. By taking education to all, Indian engineers can make their country a superpower. When children are educated and groomed towards technology, the future generation will work to make India a super tech.
Introducing appropriate climate-responsive technologies:
Climate change is the biggest problem faced by countries from around the world and India is no exception to this rule. Technology is deemed to be the most crucial component of strategies to abate climate change. Efforts should be made to reduce greenhouse gas emission. It is true that adopting green energy like solar power plant installation will help, but engineers will have to work more on these areas. For instance, reduction of carbon footprints from industries will help with improving the environment to a great extent. It will also increase profits for businesses to a great extent. It is the responsibility of the engineers to discover such technologies to attain self-sufficiency in climate-responsive technologies.
Sustaining Inclusive growth:
Engineers can play a crucial role in making India a super tech nation. They can do this with the process of sustainable development without any compromise. They can do this by establishing the concept called ‘land to lab and lab to land’ in the real sense. Here are steps to consider in this regard:
- They can contribute to creating a forum for knowledge transfer of suitable climate responsive technologies.
- A nation-wide database in the areas of food processing, soil conservation, rural industries, agriculture, roads, nutrition, sanitation, water supply, housing, etc…. This will help people to directly communicate with professionals in these areas.
- They can create a pool of professionals with scientists, engineers, and technicians. These professionals should be those, who are ready to work in villages for technological development.
Similar to these things, Indian engineers can do a lot of things with the help of their technical knowledge.
By providing computer education:
In some parts of India, computers are still a distance dream. So, engineering students and also engineers can take an initiative to educate people on basic computer skills. As they can target on educated people without computer knowledge, their task will be easier. The reason is that it is easier to educate people, who already know something about computers, but they do not know how to operate a computer. When more people start to rely on technology, India will become technologically self-sufficient in the long run.
By addressing social issues:
The biggest social issues in India are poverty, corruption, population, and unemployment. Of course, in these areas, India has developed a lot, but still, a huge development is to be done. Even though poverty is eradicated in many parts of India, still, there are some areas, where people struggle for even a single food per day.
Reports state that one-third of India’s entire population is below the poverty line. It is true that the middle class community has gained a recent development, but still, the lower income group are below the poverty line. Experts state that wealth distribution in the country is highly uneven. The top 10% of the income-earning community make 33% of the income. Even after considerable economic progress, 1/4th of the country’s population earns less. They make less than the threshold fixed by the Government at $0.40 per day. So, to make India a superpower, it is important to increase the per capita income. This is possible only through education. Every individual should be taught something to earn his winning. Not just for himself for his entire family. If not education, it can be something like teaching them some handwork. The future engineers and present engineers should join hands to bring up people below the poverty line. They can use some innovative technologies and take the same to those people to bring them up.
Corruption is yet another hurdle that prevents India from marching forward. Engineers can contribute a great share in identifying corruption. They can introduce innovative technologies that will catch people red-handed when they engage in corruption. When they have fear of punishment, they will never indulge in corruption.
From the study conducted among 179 countries, India holds 79th position in corruption. Corruption not just denotes bribes. But it also includes tax evasion, embezzlement, exchange controls, etc.
The huge population and unemployment are other big economic issues. Even, China is the country with huge population. But, this has never prevented the country from proving themselves in technology. Even with the huge population, people in China are hardly unemployed. The reason is that they employ themselves and electronics are manufactured in China like a cottage industry business. Means manage their living by relying on technology. Similarly, India can also grow as a super tech power. This is possible when engineering graduates with the knowledge they gain from the course, start their own small industries. They can get financial help from the government and slowly they can start giving jobs for others to eradicate unemployment.
Growth in the manufacturing sector:
China holds the pride of being one of the world’s economic superpowers in the manufacturing sector. There is no fluke that manufacturing contributes nearly 34% of the GDP of China. The fact is that China is responsible for nearly 14% of the manufacturing in the entire world. But, in global manufacturing, India does not play a huge role. It is true that manufacturing contributes to nearly 16% of our GDP, but it is just a 1.8% of the manufacturing output of the world.
Even though India is the home for big manufacturing units, there are only fewer smaller enterprises. If there is an increase in the number of smaller manufacturing units, they will contribute to better jobs for unemployed. This, in turn, will contribute towards overall economic growth. So, the role of engineers here is to introduce technologies that will help the manufacturing sector. Better technologies will motivate more self-employed people to start their own manufacturing units. This, in turn, will help not just with their personal development, but also with the economic development of the nation. It is true that they will contribute their share due to the technological developments that were introduced to them.
Rein in inflation:
Inflation, which is otherwise referred to as the increase in the prices of goods and services is highly damaging for the economy. It is true that it is not possible to control inflation, but the huge price rise within just a year or two can be restricted. This is possible by bringing about some changes in the shopping pattern among people. From the point of view of employers, when they will have to spend huge on shopping for raw materials, they cannot spend huge on employing more people. So, the role of engineers here is to take some steps to control inflation.
Uncertainty is yet another issue created by inflation. Unless some corrective actions are taken to control inflation, it is really hard for India to turn into a tech power. It is true that the prices of tech-related products are reducing one side, but the cost of fundamental needs is increasing. This can prevent India from turning into a tech power. So, it should be addressed in an effective manner.
Most manufacturing units in India rely on electricity. Factories cannot function without a proper supply of electricity. Many states in India face huge electricity crisis. This is why not just the central government, but also the state governments are motivating people to rely on renewable sources of energy. The huge costs associated with installing these sources prevent people from installing them. It is true that government offers subsidies to motivate people. But, still, the cost is huge to manage. Engineers can work on other sources of generating renewable energy. Such a source besides being environmentally friendly should also meet the electricity crises. In addition, it will help industries to save on their huge electricity costs. They can use the saved amount on their core functions. This, in turn, will improve their contribution towards economic development.
Increase Foreign Direct Investment:
Shortly referred to as FDI, Foreign Direct Investment is actually a direct measure of the confidence that foreign investors have in the economy of India. They will not invest their money if they are not confident about the economic performance of the country. So, engineers should take some innovative steps to show their talents, such that FDI can be attracted. When FDI increases, it will contribute towards economic development. When more funds are generated, it will, in turn, provide funds for converting the nation into a Tech power.
Take advantage of the middle-income group:
Indian middle class these days are educated as they are provided with the best educational opportunities. So, there is no shortage of intellectual capital among the people in middle-income group. The middle-income group in India are contributing towards the economic development of the country to a great extent. The reason is that they get employment in good positions for the education they have gained. As they are educated, Indian engineers can get some sort of support from individuals in this group. Of course, they might not help financially, but with the education they have gained, they can help. Yes, as they are educated, they can understand the concepts quickly. So, engineers working towards making India a tech power when they need some helping hands can explain their requirements to their friends in this group. This, in turn, will help engineers to gain some sort of support and motivation. Even, middle-income group people can bring in some useful resources required for the engineer to engage himself in innovative technologies.
The approach paper on 12th five-year plan has paid attention to science, technology, and engineering. The government has proposed that the fund allocation from the Gross Domestic Product of the country will increase. Yes, it was at the rate of 0.9% of GDP in the 11th five-year plan, but now it has been proposed to increase this percentage as 2%. This clearly means that there would be greater thrust in improving the quality of engineering education. This, in turn, will bring in a more effective role for engineers in making India a tech power.