Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Why US will always be the innovation capital of the world
The US may be quite down in the dumps right now, but it may have got its strategy right in terms of attracting the best talent across the world. Indeed, a group of senators in the US have unveiled a plan, which promises to grant a green card to anyone who completes a postgraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from an American university. The US in the past several years has received considerable flak. Not only did the roots of the global financial crisis begin there, but the country is also now grappling with massive debt and recession. It has become increasingly hard for the country to display any meaningful recovery. Moreover, the government and the US Fed has only made things worse by resorting to reckless money printing. Perhaps this is what induced some of these senators to fall back upon what the US does best i.e. innovation. In the past, the US became a force to reckon with largely due to its pioneering spirit and the entrepreneurial skills of its people. That is why the Senate framework stresses on the fact that the US must do a better job of attracting and keeping the world's best and brightest. What is more, the idea is to make sure that this talent stays back and contributes to the growth of the economy. This plan if implemented should find a lot of takers and Indians stand to benefit considerably. The quality of education in US universities and institutions is quite unmatched anywhere in the world. Thus, reforms of this kind in US' immigration laws will certainly see a lot of talent from the emerging countries including India making a beeline there. What does this mean for India? The country's demographic dividend has been highlighted as a major growth driver several times. But again the quality of its workforce is what matters. Thus, the increasing possibility of Indian students flocking to the US in droves cannot be entirely ruled out. Especially since the standard of institutions in the country (barring the IITs and the IIMs) leaves a lot to be desired. And it does not seem likely that much headway will be made in this regard in the near future. All of this means that the US will still retain its status as the innovation capital of the world. Now you will understand why the USA in spite of being in the dumps is the country where the best brains of the world want to go. There, there is no SC/ST or OBC or any other caste qualification by which you are employed or promoted. The only criteria is your own capability. We in India are shackled down with these chains. Reservations are an albatross round the neck of India. In 1982, parliament had recommended reservation for 5 years but now two generations after Independence more and more people are clamouring for reservations and even resorting to violence. I agree that these people in the SC/ST were meted out injustice and we should try to improve their lot. By all means but do so by providing them good education, free of cost. For that the government should improve its own schools. Name any department and you will see how it has been destroyed by reservation We start with teaching The government now provides very good salaries to its teachers. However teachers are recruited on the following criteria. Political connections, reservations and ability to pay bribes. Recently we have seen the Chief Minister of a state being awarded a ten year sentence for bribes being taken during recruitment in his state. We have seen how teachers were recruited during the CPM rule in W.Bengal based on party affiliation and Mamta Banerjee continues to do so now. We do not select the best to teach so how can we hope to build a new nation. The government cannot fulfill its obligations because of its own inefficiency and corruption and so is forcing the private schools to take on the burden. The same missionary schools whom he government loses no opportunity do defame and denigrate are asked to reserve 25 % of their seats for the economically backward under the RTE citing that they are aided by the government. The entire political class sends feelers to the missionary schools to admit their recommended candidates. But whose money is the government giving to these schools? Is it the government's money? It is the money of the people who have already paid their taxes under the hundreds of heads deviced by the government including an edu. cess specially introduced for education. Why does not the government use the taxes so collected to provide better education. Take the police. The malady is the same. We should be recruiting strong, supple people with good health in the force (not rotund people who can hardly run 10 metres) like they do in the army. Just imagine what will be the condition of our army if reservation is included there also as the political class has been demanding. Instead we use the same criteria as with teachers. We are seeing the result. The crime rate is increasing as our police with a few exceptions are useless. They are there just to cater to the political class. Take food security. Thousands of tons of food grains, vegetables, fruits are destroyed every year because they are not well kept. Why doesn't the government build infrastructure like ware houses, cold storage and food processing factories so that these food grains and perishable food items do not rot. Ms Mayawati has been the most vociferous and has been baying for the blood of Ashis Nandi for his comment on SC/ST and OBC. I would say he has probably paraphrased his comment wrongly. If we take the example of Sharad Powar & his family, Om Prakash Chowthala and his family or Suresh Kalamadi or A Raja and a horde of others, the other castes are no better off, so why target only SC/ST and OBCs. Both Mayawati and Mulayam Singh who are leaders of there own SC/OBC communities have cases in the Supreme Court for corruption and it is just the Congress government who controls the CBI that has been saving them. Now take the case of administrative posts. On the basis of reservations, less qualified people are employed and now as per Mayawati's new dispensation they will also be promoted. What type of administration can you expect from these below par candidates. We are seeing the result. Inefficiency and corruption everywhere for these people are unable to take correct decision. If we want India to progress, we have to take a few unpleasant decisions. 1. Population is to be controlled. 2. Education should be made free for all the economically backward people. 3. The quality of government schools should be improved to make them at par with the best private schools so that people do not hanker for private English medium Schools. For that 4. Teachers in government school should be recruited only on merit and not on any other consideration. If a person of the backward community has the requisite merit he should be given preference over other people. However, in no case should sub-standard people be selected. All existing teachers should be screened to see if they confirm to the required standard. The government should not pay salary to useless baggage. 5. No corrupt person should be allowed to become MPs and MLAs. They or any party they form should not even be allowed to stand for elections.