Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Three Basic Ingredients of Innovation

India has witnessed three different centuries in its last history-

1. Slave century
2. Xerox Century, and
3. Innovation Century.

The whole of 19th century, I categorized as slave century for India. The country remained under the rule of one ruler or other. British ruled for most of the time in most of the Indian sub-continent. This whole century, I termed as Slave Century of India.

From the last few centuries of oppression, the country has lost its own wisdom domain and trivializes the whole issue of innovations. Innovations demand significant chunk of capital to prove and implement the benefit for human civilization. Because of the lack of access to these capitals around these times, the country and its people have lost direction. In 18th century, we worked hard on the path of liberation. The Sati Pratha, caste system, Dalit discriminations and other anomalies of society were handled for the benefit of human beings in general. In the last century, we mastered ourselves in copying from all across the world whether it is appliance, system, music, and culture or even dresses. Last centuries, I call it Xerox Century of India.

The end of the last centuries and beginning of the 21st century has given us dream, hope, capital and circumstances to be the leader of innovations. The glimpses of these leaderships have started from vast and successful working democratic set up of this country. The growth of Reliance Industries, Infosys, Biocon and Wipro, etc., has shown us the leadership. The production of car named ‘Indica’ by M/S Tata is a magnificent beginning. This I termed as Brand Leadership of India.

In the era of information age, we witnessed the mushrooming of call centers and information technology enabled services all across the country. This resulted in the transfer of the large funds from developed countries to developing countries like India. This has given the way for innovations. Innovations pass through difficult incubation phases. Innovations consist of stages like research development, technology transfer, technology absorption, productions of products or systems with significant world class performance, quality and cost effectiveness. It also depends upon its impact on the large section of the population. This demands a huge investment. This demand dedication and sincerity. This demands a devoted team. Today, with the systematic construction of strong infrastructure, India has the resources to venture into innovation.

The innovation needs design. Indigenous design capability is built through rigorous training in technology and design, development, fabrication and production processes through multiple institutions by the use of outsourcing and utilization of available national expertise. Wealth generation depends largely on design phase, which contributes about 60 percent of the efforts of the development of the product. The consideration for the quality of the product has to be built in during the design phase itself. The indigenous design and development capability is the key to acquire competitive edge. It is very important to understand the importance of design capability by technocrats, R&D teams, business communities and industry leaders. This is what the edge in 20th century, developed countries had. The developed countries had resources, manpower and capital to go ahead with innovation. The innovation made them rich. The innovation made them sustain prosperity and development. In this 21st century, India is poised to have this edge over others.

The evolving technological scenario of the world has provided immense opportunities to the people of the developing countries all across the world to harness the benefits. Because of the prevailing circumstances and situation, India is in a position to harness the benefit for the betterment of its 100 million populations subject to if these million are ready to unlearn old conservative style and learn the better way of living life. The innovations will give the tools and means for these effects.

The services industries do not demand a huge capital. There are many entrepreneurs, who have started call centres, BPOs, consulting services and other knowledge base services. These are generating tremendous capital within the country. These capital generations are making more billionaire every year, which will give catalytic effect to innovation. Once innovation starts, this country and its people will have an edge in all other aspects of life. This scenario compels me to call the Innovation Century of India. We need three basic qualities to harness the innovation and development.

1. Global Language – Every educated individual and policy maker of the nation should think over the language issue. We should not leave the regional language for the poor and deprived people. We should try to provide equal opportunities to poor and deprived one also to learn global language. All government run school must teach English language from the primary school to bridge the ongoing gap between rich and poor. The poor also should not feel as their duty to force their children to study regional language. We must learn and ensure other learn the global language. The knowledge of global language will pave the way for a very bright future of developing nation.
2. Discrimination Free Society – Social discrimination has been a critical and prominent part of the human civilization just a century back all across the world. However as the society are developing and educations and prosperity increases, the discrimination between humans is vanishing. But, discrimination is still the biggest challenge to human civilization. It is the biggest challenge for innovation to emerge and prosper. It is like a cancer to humanity. We must make a policy so that all human beings are considered equal. There should be no need of reservations. Have America ever thought of making reservations for blacks to eradicate the drawbacks of black society? Has Africa ever done it? Is China doing anything like this? Indian political bosses also should take a lesson and find some substitute for reservation for backward, SC, ST or even women. We must eradicate discrimination by removing reservation. We should take other steps so that all human treat other human being equal. Reservations remain a biggest source of discriminations in India.
3. Global Thinking – We should not restrict our acquaintances with people of one country, rather we should move across the world. We should be ready to accept caliber from any parts of the earth to improve life of humanity. We must unlearn old ‘Missionary Phobia’. When Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporations fought to remove the ‘visa’ restrictions of the United States of America, there is no reason that we should not enhance the system and improve infrastructures to attract brilliant mind from across the world in various field irrespective of region and religion.

Today, when Arjun Singh as forward and Congress under Sonia Gandhi are playing the game of reservation to keep backward really backward, we all irrespective of caste and creed should discard at any cost. A reservation ensures discrimination and no body wants to be discriminated in this developed world. We all must unite ourselves to crush such game plan. Unless we meet the above three ingredients in society or organisation, it will be difficult to pursue innovation. It will be difficult to achieve innovation. It will be difficult to sustain innovation.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Implementing Theory of Human Growth through E-Governance


India has witnessed explosive growth in the last few decades through the sustained growth in the field of information and communication technology and these have never been witnessed earlier in the history of human civilization. It took 37 years for 5 million people to have radio. It took 17 years for 5 million people to have access to television. It took 13 years for 5 million people to have access to PC. It has taken only 5 years for 5 million people to have access to the Internet. The Impact of the recent technological changes including Internet has been almost dramatic. The understanding of factors for human capital remains crucial at this juncture.
The advent of TV has shown the truth of life at the doorstep of every child born to this civilization. The child growing in hut in Mumbai or Kolkotta slum today knows and sees from her own eyes that what all exists in the White House. The Panwala from a small town of Nalanda, Bihar in India have a glimpse of the life of the richest man of the century Mr Bill Gates of United States of America. They witness all happenings on the street of New York including the demolition of World Trade Center on 9/11. They see everyday, how the people are living? How the people are having a life? What are the basic means of life and societies? Above all, all these information are available free of cost at everybody reach. Whether water, electricity, road or even schools are available or not, TV and its 365X24X7 broadcast is available to the human being of this civilization. By the time the child reaches the age of 10, they understand what all they are privileged and what all they are deprived off? The challenges on all Government machinery to ensure the build up of basic infrastructure has increased manifold in the changing environment. People have become impatient and they want the change for a better life.
Today when we have to discuss about the scope of e-governance, it is paramount to decide about the critical factors which affects the human being at maximum as well as provide a clear direction for humanity. This paper deliberates on those critical factors which would affect humanity at large in this era of e-governance.

The people of universe have come closer. People are so close to each other, they were never before. They can learn about each other on the click of a mouse button, they can know about others, they can chat with them, they can hire them across the globe for across the globe assignments for their business proposals, they can view them through their web cam and so on. The people have felt and realised their closeness. You need not to make friends of your class, locality, cast, religion, region or even country; you can make friends across the globe. A person has tremendous chance of going global sitting at home in a distant village in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh or small village at Nalia or Bhuj in Gujarat with someone in Australia or Canada or USA.
Improvement in infrastructure in terms of telecommunication, metro, roadways, flyovers, multimedia and lot of other innovations have shrunk the distances and made the world a real global village. The privatization and open market economy through out the world have enhanced tremendous competition which have given broad and varied option to the human being to choose a life style of choice. The changes in the global villages have been universal. The changes will surface in social, cultural, economical, religious, nationalism and even individualism. Individual has to think globally to enjoy the fruit of the growth of civilization. The individual of any country whether she is in USA, China, Japan or any European nation, she has to feel globally and think and act global. That could be a reason, why Mr. Bill Gates has questioned the need of Visa restrictions in USA?

The changes which have taken place in recent times are Herculean. It is beyond human imagination. The changes in the civilization which has taken place in last 100 years could be equaled or even more than the changes which took place in total 1900 century. The person of 19th century or even twentieth century had sufficient time to accept the changes. They had time to study the changes and find the suitability for their life. They used to keep them on trial for a long time and then they used to decide about making them commercial and keeping them for use. In some cases, they used to wait for the practical use of the new invention for generations. The changes which have taken place in last 40 years have hardly given time to human being to breath. They are forced to accept the changes even at their inconvenience and at times physical or mental discomfort. The changes which are expected in next few years will hardly provide any option other than forget the old one especially in few crucial areas.

Housing Conditions - The concept of house in the civilization has changed drastically. Earlier in villages, there were mostly kuchcha houses with few exceptions of brick houses. People were too social animal with very little requirements in and around the house. They were satisfied with four wall concept where they could sit, relax, fight, sleep, produce and rear children, protect themselves from natural disasters and so on. The housing condition has changed almost unimaginable. Today when housing industries being open to world market, Indian in particular and the people from all developed world will have to change there whole concept of housing. They will be forced to change because of inherent compulsions. Today you visit any part of India; there are two kinds of houses. One slum type and other Flat type. We have to select one and that too Flat type of house to provide ICT infrastructure.
Medical and Health care - The kind of medical facilities with the help of ICT which are available to the human of today is something great for the human being. The whole lot of medical facilities is being made available to the people. Earlier people had a different kind of diseases. They had few of them compared to what they are available now. But it is for the betterment of humanity that they are more manageable today. The kind of facilities which have been made available to human in the last few decades, there is a urgent need that the person changes the whole concept of getting treated.
Professional Options - The horizon of the profession has altered drastically. The technological and economic changes have made the profession a different domain altogether. Few years back when beauty shops came in the light, hardly any body had a idea, it would emerge such a big profession for the human being. Today it has matured. Many ladies and gents are working for these shops. Similarly other professions like modeling, stewardship, journalism, fashion designing, entrepreneurship, catering and hospitality management, tourism jobs, services industries and so on have emerged. The sudden emergence of call centers, BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and other IT related services have changed the concept of working in the society all across the world. These services are so manpower intensive job with so high financial stake that it will almost delete the concept of Gandhian philosophy of Charkha and Chakri. Once, it reaches to small towns and villages, the educated boys, girls, housewives, househusbands and their parents will be forced to change the concept of the jobs search for their benefits and the benefit of the society.
Mode of Communication - Just few years back there was hardly any communication facilities to the people of the developed world. Today the scenario has changed in last ten years. It is going to change further. Initially STD/ISD booths came. People took some time to adjust and realise the changes. They took years to understand the benefits of instant communication. The recent change in the mode of communication has changed so fast that unless we make a drastic change in our whole thinking we will remain aloof from the basic utilization of the available infrastructure to make our life comfortable. With the introduction of IP (Internet Protocol) telephony, the call rate and its availability will change drastically. The introduction of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) will show a new vision of communication at very affordable price. The sudden introductions in the development of broadband have changed the way we are connected to this world. In spite of slow changes in the Government machinery, the drastic changes are taking place across the technological front. The technology is moving at the speed of Einstein. It will force all Government machinery, private agencies and users to change the way we think to get connected. The broadband will provide instant connectivity to your isolated world in your room to the entire humanity. You will feel the pleasure of getting the world at your feet.
Breaking of languages - In the eighties, there was a huge discussion in all the Institutions across India whether we should study English or not. Even today, there are so much confusion prevailing in India in particular or other developing nation in general. The people have been given a dose of nationality in term of languages. But how far it is advantageous? Is it in a position to give you comfort of knowledge and life? You join any professional Institute; you are forced to study in English. There are hardly any good books available in other languages. All the high level professional books are available in English. There is a tremendous difference in the availability of professional books in English or any other language. Today when you surf the net for the ocean of Information, you are forced to learn, think and act global. The advent of technology has forced the humanity to think about the concept of unification of languages. Even the famous Nobel Laureate, Ravindra Nath Tagore, who wrote many poems and prose in local languages, Bengali was forced to learn and translate his own writings in English to get the wider audiences and recognition, leading to Nobel Prize of literature in 1913.

Today a simple house needs not only water pipes or electrical wires for its survival or comfort but plenty of other connections. They need gas pipe line in the house so that they need not change the gas cylinder every fifteen days. They need broadband connection to the house for internet connectivity requirements. They needs cable connections to view his favorite channels. They need telephone connection for communication requirements. Can a person ever imagine the list of requirement a simple house needs today? Can these be made available to the people of this generation for the survival? "Early stages of technology--the wheel, fire, stone tools--took tens of thousands of years to evolve and be widely deployed. A thousand years ago, a paradigm shift such as the printing press took on the order of a century to be widely deployed. Today, major paradigm shifts, such as cell phones and the World Wide Web, were widely adopted in only a few years time," Kurzweil wrote in the original essay outlining his famous theory ‘ Kurzweil Law’.

The first 10 years of the 21st century will yield a 20th century's worth of accomplishments.

The kind of changes which are forecast to take place in the years to come will make the human roll on its own invention. The technology which have been adopted in few years time in twentieth century by the human which Kurzweil claims is not really true on ground. The human have not accepted. They have yet to accept for broad acceptability. At times, it appears they have been forced to accept the changes without many options. Otherwise, the human has taken the pain to accept the changes. The person goes to turmoil to accept these technological changes in his normal life. That is the reason of sudden increase in the disease related with hyper tension in normal privileged society. The ten year old daughter when teaches her parents or grand parents, how to surf the net or how to make a call on mobile, it is a trauma to human civilization breaking the generational hierarchy. The twenty years child when become the world’s richest entrepreneur, it changes the social set up. The child is not the father of man only but now the child is the father of teachers, guardians or even boss of a man in real sense.

With these introduction and changing technological, economical and social scenario, it is important that unlearn is given due priority to fetch the benefit for the society in general. As Mark Twain said, “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” In the changed and complex environment, it is very difficult to define the core issues for the Government agencies or so called e-governance to achieve desired results. It is felt that there are seven crucial factors (SCF) which need deliberation to achieve the objectives.
1. Action and Thinking –In search of truth
2. Fatal Aspirations – Dreaming Big
3. Sex – Core of all relationship
4. God – Ethics and Behaviour
5. Parents – As sow as reap
6. God Father - Support
7. Wisdom Domain – Knowledge source
All these seven crucial factors need be explained in detail through effective communication medium to get better understandings which are keeping the human restricted towards progress. Once these critical issues are clear, people would be in a better position to understand and analyze the effectiveness of E-Governance.

At the end it is important that E-Governance should be carried out keeping those crucial factors in mind so that they could reach to large sections of the population. The changes in the technological scenario have provided us ample opportunities and tools to eradicate poverty and spread prosperity. The medium like digital, fiber or satellite network could be used to provide connectivity across the country after ensuring the above social requirements and disciplines. The cheap hardware associated with computer peripherals and other devices could be a handy tool for the humanity. The knowledge based system could be developed and spread across the globe to provide advantages over others. Theory of human growth should be given due priority to achieve desired satisfactory goals.