I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Scientific and Technology Revolution is Sweeping India
A scientific and technology revolution is sweeping India and which could soon place it firmly within the major world economies, according to Asian science journalist Angela Saini who has just launched her book 'Geek Nation'. Saini attended the annual Indian Science Congress in Kerala, where the country's top researchers and politicians gathered to discuss what they can do to make their nation more powerful in science and technology. At last year's event, Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister made clear India's major plans for its technological future and pledged to send an astronaut into space by 2015.
India is furiously pursuing development through science and technology; its aim is to more than double investment in research and development, which could put it in the same league as Japan and the US. Most industrialised countries spend around 2% of GDP on research and development. Currently, India spends 0.8%, placing it alongside South Africa and Brazil. By 2012 it hopes to increase it to 1.2%, with the long term view to reach 2%, ahead of China on 1.5%. The UK spends about 1.8%, and is currently freezing its science budget for the next four years. So India is on course to outpace Britain and it's a course reflected in the rise of the world's 11 largest economy with a GDP growth rate of around 9%, putting India alongside Russia and China.
India's scientific and technology revolution has started. It churns out 600,000 engineer graduates each year and is now a thriving hub of innovative geeks. In Delhi young entrepreneurs are inventing cheap technologies for the benefit of everyday people and one such project is a voice-based internet, which wants to localise the web to the smallest communities and make it available to anyone with a simple mobile phone. Plus, just like in Silicon Valley there are regular meet-ups for social media and tech folk and if that wasn't enough India's software industry is set to be worth $12bn by 2015.
'Geek Nation' is Saini's year long tour of India to see if India is creating a scientific and technology revolution and explains how she first got her idea for the book, "My dad worked as a chemical engineer in India in the 1960s just before India launched its first satellite and just after Nehru had created his first universities. My dad is a geek. I am a geek. And it is not just us wherever in the world they live, Indians are famous for being swots, nerds, boffins and dorks. I want to know why so many millions of Indians are in the thrall of science, how are they pursuing their passions and what new technologies they are creating." Saini's conclusion is that India is emerging as a geek superpower!
Photo Credit: Angela Saini Website