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Knowledge superpower by 2020?

The Week has a series of articles beginning with one penned by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on this dream.

The Week: Articles covering a wide variety of topics by very good visionaries, including the President of India on achieving this dream.

India has changed. Measure of optimism and self-confidence is on the rise. I hope it will work well.

The President is right that India should look for knowledge as the right investment. In US, most managers incorrectly equates information with knowledge. Personally, I think that is the reason for this downturn in IT. Don’t focus on IT, focus on KM - Knowledge Management.

In my defintion, information is just data. Knowledge is when you know what to do with information. Knowledge is mature when your colleagues can easily know and apply what you know about the application of information.

Perhaps, it is this unmeasured focus on information that results in so many wasted programmer hours in the USA; where programmers are asked to create applications that hold tons of useless data (but all data must be there to satisfy everybody in the committe!), followed by tons of long running, seldom used reports.

Coming back to the President’s vision, here is what I think needs to be done first before it can be achieved.

  1. Term limits for all elected offices. Maximum of 2 terms, each one a maximum of 5 years.
  2. Standard ministerial portfolios across the states and federal government. If they so desire, state government can reduce the number of ministries, but they can only add upto a maximum of 3 additional ministries, beyond the standard. I think 14 ministries should be good enough. Absolutely no stupid ideas like "minister without portfolio".
  3. Completely open up industrial licensing.
  4. The only protected industry should be agriculture.
  5. Enforce CBSE syllabus across the country. States get to add upto 3 subjects, viz., local language, local history and local policies and procedures as additional subjects. The current lack of standards will hurt the vision of knowledge-centric future. Also, preparing school syllabus is a highly corrupt business in almost all states.
  6. Progressively implement e-Governance. People waste too much time in Government offices to get things done.
  7. Invest in Railways to disperse the urban sprawl and to encourage building of new towns.
  8. Speed up judiciary 10 times.
  1. In my view all the above are important but would also like to point out and add one point in these context is that the person who gets elected as a minister must have atleast some sound educational background, what mean to say is that he should be at least a graduate in some field that means he should have a Bachlelors Degree.

    Posted by: Vishal on March 14, 2004 10:53 PM