I belong to that class of the Indian society that has been carrying and signifying the potential to outsmart the world with its sole attribute – “being Youth”.
Apart from being a part of youth, what else are we doing today? Are we really contributing or are we just in a gratification mode, overestimating the decree that youth rules the world and misjudging the potential of doing something by actually doing it? I believe we are in a no-care mood today, and we have been much critical towards things that do not lie in our arena of control and thus, the purpose to write this article is to set the expectations right ( at least to the ones who think like me) and be critical to right things for right reasons.
The first step to start of being a critically and creatively well being is to start with the familiarity of the situation around and pondering or debating later. Just as a theorem of Maths and Science, we derive the results based on the earlier steps, so too a pattern of derivation follows in the realm of reality. Yeah! It’s that simple. You may give this a term -“syllogism”. And if you prefer to learn more, you may consider reading Freakonomics.
Talking about the most contemporary event that has taken place around us is the Great Indian Interim Budget. Well, the budget session has been successful in increasing the size of the paper rolls stacked in front of doors every morning and has emerged out populist with a sense of pragmatism, as a citizen I expect the Government fuels the India Inc. with similar budgets so that the India Inc. flies higher and higher tomorrow.
Although many good things have been covered and almost every aspect has been taken care of, certain things from my views should have been given a bit more importance. Since it was an interim session, and we will have a session in July again, I as a citizen of India also have some expectations and I would like to express them through six-time virtues, a time that sooner it arrives, the better the position will be.
A time to change the Potential to Kinetic Beliefs
We all agree that the youth generation of today has a time period of 22 -25 years only. And chanting the potential of youth will not change much. A simple example is what have you done in a period of last 22-25 years? An average Indian citizen like me- got schooling, a college degree and a job to earn ( well the slabs may differ, rest everything is same). And based on the condition you are in, what will you be doing in the next 20-25 years. Going with the daily chores, it seems we are heading nowhere in 22-25 years from now. I say so because the earlier 22-25 years of our lives were full of thrill and passion and look us at now. We are just a functional machine, commuting to and fro to our office centers just to satisfy our basic amenities. If you have watched URI recently, its the time to ask yourself “How’s the Josh?” seriously. And in a serious tone, it’s not that high barring the defense forces and some successful startups churning new and unconventional ideas into reality.
Even with the plans and initiatives of Startup India, Standup India we have not achieved things at par. Reason – well that can be many- as per me, one is the constrained and limit of our thinking. Putting it simply, look at the number of startups that are operating on similar ideas. All in all, today we do lack an idea to think out of the box and barely 1% of the youth population tries to think out of the box and if he or she does, well they are ridiculed.
In the interim budget session, we were presented with initiatives of national centers to start with the training and teachings of Artificial Intelligence. Well, it is a good motive, but do you know how many people crave to go for AI today? Go to a college such as VIT, where approximately 20,000 students study, and you will have 5000 students. Bang! Here you have the potential to create an Iron Man through AI. But what happens? Have you ever seen Jarvis or an Iron Man flying apart from PVR theaters? No! Every year these 5000 students pass-out and are forced to take blue collared jobs. Some are smart and take a ticket to Hollywood through Masters or MBA programs or they wait for the right time to get to the higher abroad education with the right time and right amount of experience. Rest, bang to bars, chill over a pint and enjoy the adulthood. Anyhow, they do contribute to the taxation and economy but is it quantifiable to the Nation’s interest? Think over it. A dependence on just the blue collared jobs and a large outflow of good talented and ambitious people abroad is running the country dry. Analyzing the potential and converting the potential are two things and we do need to analyze it.
Instead of Government’s plan to build up centers of AI’s and Data Science, it’s more important to strengthen the core of educational institutes today. While we are working on technologies such as 5G, colleges still are running with curricula teaching 2G as the latest technologies. I expect that when the Government takes on the real budget in July, it emphasizes on education by improving the curricula in colleges and matching it to recent corporate standards. This improvement though small will bring in benefits in manifolds- for one people entering jobs in respective sectors will have proper knowledge of the domain and second, with proper and recent technological knowledge, decision making to choose a certain field would become clearer.
Courses of carrier counseling and scope of the industry shift should be given prime importance in colleges. In India usually, we take the profession and then we decide what we should do. That is the reason why 70% of people everywhere are engineers. This barrier in decision making is unnecessary and could be shortened by proper counseling courses in colleges.
Think over this point, 22-25 years is the only precious time the youth has and time is money baby!!
A time for being critical and creative:
Have you ever been part of a selection process in some esteemed college or strategic role? What do they look in you there? They look at the diversity factor in you. Not just the certificates. The assessing of this virtue is best in foreign universities and it seriously lacks in our premium institutes, where a lot of rejections are based solely on merits expressed by the marks you have achieved. A person in true sense who has some diversity and whose creativity is valued outside will shift gears and shift making a loss for India.
Rahul Gandhi addressed in one of his speeches in Dubai that brain drain is not a problem as we all are connected everywhere. But the problem with Rahul Baba is that he does not understand the situation that when you choose to buy things/services from outside, you have to pay them huge amount disrupting the economy and this can be mitigated if people with high skills are somehow retained in the nation.
I expect the Government to come up with a program or scholarships to scholars who attain good education from premium institutes of the world and ask them to return here to work. Again this incentive will help in two folds- the people would go at large numbers to foreign universities and also lessen the burden on premium domestic institutes and their return back will also not create immigration problems to the Indian community outside, which is often seen as a headache nowadays particularly in the United States.
Apart from this, apart from reservations, we need to seek a model to restrain the cry for reservation and become more merit-oriented. Reservations should be restricted to medium- above medium premium institutes and the top institutes should be removed from the barriers of reservations and be on merit basis. Well, the funding of people who are from weaker sections shall be funded similarly, to scholarship aspect as discussed in the previous para. Don’t you think it’s a win-win bargain as it will not disturb the education also and will churn the best and deserved candidates from premium institutes? Ponder over it!
Lastly, India has been a country bounded by culture and yet we see that story-tellers, poets artists have a figure of a person wearing a kurta with a bag, hanging on one side as a lump, wrapped over his/her torso. Institutes like NSD’s are seldom and attention to the same is a must. If companies like Netflix have also started to establish themselves in India with full fledge corporate offices, will not more institutes like NSD’s improve the content of our culture and heritage? An art perspective to bolster the sovereignty and integrity of the nation is important.
A time to be more Economically aroused than emotionally:
We are the world’s biggest democracy and yet we are governed by the virtues of emotion. Emotions are good as it maintains your EQ and decision making and also keeps you away from being a total Jackass. But often the mandates in India are decided by emotional judgments. Have we ever considered what is the significance of fiscal deficits, loans, NPA’s, external factors while choosing a government? No! PV Narsimha Rao’s Government was voted out even after increasing the growth of GDP from 3.5% to 8%. Vajpayee’s Government was voted out even after so many good schemes. It’s all about our reaction to false propaganda.
Many things can be done here so that a proper shift in the mindset of people can be made. One of the greatest ways, to deal with it is the use of social media tools wisely. Mathematically speaking, we can deal with false propaganda and unnecessary emotional sentiments to wrong causes by applying proper probabilistic models. (Markov’s stochastic rule is one of it, and I am researching on the same )
I believe Government should manifest ways through which social media and other online platforms spread the awareness of basic economic laws and external factors that govern economy of a country. The clear picture is available to read but no-one cares to do so. A fund to media houses and social websites to increase the ranks of good content will bring a positive role in the country. But yeah, there should be a fine line and the curbing of proper voices should not be done, leading us back to the emergency times. A subtle role and allocation of funds shall play a role here.
A time to be Nationalistic and Religious:
Believe me when I say that the most awesome organization today that is doing its job in the country is our defense forces. Defense force is the only reason we are here breathing, eating dancing and doing what not. Otherwise, the radicalization and growing tensions would have torn apart the nation. One thing best about the interim budget was a high allocation of the defense budget. With growing tensions due to the withdrawal of forces by Trump in Afghanistan, some terror groups such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network get a license to disturb the order in those regions. Well, collateral damages to Pakistan and its own great dealings with Al Qaeda can bring potential threat to India.
Increasing the intake, given already defense forces are short of lakhs of officers, is indispensable. More funds from the government for selection processes such as SSB’s coupled with high-tech exams should be conducted at a much larger scale than is being conducted today. Keeping in mind the proxy wars, it’s mandatory to give technical wing more importance in Armed forces, an action that has been already initiated under the leadership of Gen Bipin Rawat.
All this I am saying is because when the defense is strong, we feel good. If money is fuel, defense forces are combustion engine to our society. Remember how great we and you felt after seeing URI? We need to keep up that Josh.
A civilian’s respect and cooperation to the forces are as mandatory as gas to keep up the fire; then only we will be able to cook and eat good food collectively. I hope the government keeps up with the defense budget and reduces unnecessary debates in parliament that jeopardizes the national security interests.
A time to look beyond subsidies and inspire angel investing in unconventional ideas:
The boot camps at IIT campuses do come up with unconventional ideas but rounds of fundings, unfortunately, are stopped at later phases for those ideas. We Indians are a risk-averse community, no doubts about it. But the problem is the startups need angel investing and it’s strange that our Government has put up an angel tax for the same.
It’s true that subsidies for farmers were required and any Government might have done that, as we already saw in cases of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh in recent elections. But the populist nature does curb the economic framework of the nation. When the Government gives subsidies it should maintain some other leakages as well. For example, NPA governing laws are not followed properly, resulting in problems of defaulters and cases are stretched.
The discussions over contingency funds and liquidity squeeze should be dealt with ultimate precision, rather than the future rise in interest rates to loot again the middle class. The budget plans should be governed by economic models with agriculture sector taken as a free variable ( considering agriculture as a source that feeds other sectors and then decide the % GDP on the basis of that-> source Leontief’s Model). I believe Governments must be following this model only to decide these factors, but how subsidies would be decided needs to be kept in check.
A time to welcome 5G and related tech’s quickly in India.
If you want to develop the rural areas you build roads and give them electricity. That is how the basis of development is made and further dreams are met. Similarly, India can’t be a 5trillion dollar or 10trillion dollar economy if we keep on delaying these activities.
5G works have already been started in China and USA already has all the patents and infrastructure. And in India, the Government has not even decided as to when the 5G bidding shall start. Instances such as these keep us back. Imagine how 5G can transform India. With the influx of startups on tech’s 5G platform can enhance the speed and provide them carriers to do and achieve things on the fly with precision.
5G’s implementation would bring a lot of scope of AI and Data Analysis, as I said if you want rural areas to develop build roads. 5G tech is the road on which the technical caravan of India can run without any obstacle. 5G bidding can give Government a lump sump of at least 11-13 thousand crore rupees in one financial year. I hope the Government starts up with this quickly.
The budget was great and it should have been similar to this in the last 4 years too. Though these points that I have published is a manifestation of what I saw in the last four years in good governance. The dream that we see usually is not met in a day or two but we should strive for the same. Under this government, many great things were achieved- Terror free Baramulla, great diplomacy, great plans and initiatives at economic fronts. Building up of a nationalistic view. There are much more- clean India, sanitation, etc etc. But the scope should not be limited and that is why I felt that these are some of the many vital points that need to be put into the paint box to paint the better India tomorrow.
Before putting the pen down, it’s just a list of expectations from the Government, and even if the Government keeps up the promise, we need to participate. I hope through the social media, I make this reach to someone close to the ears of someone close to the Government and give it a thought. For all we want, achche din wapas se aayein!,irrespective of the person or party in Power!