Prof D Mukhopadhyay
India is reasoned to emerge as one of the economic superpowers across the globe by the end of current decade. Any rational society normally goes by the trend (s) based on the outcome ofthe empirical researches, scientific arguments and facts and figure for arriving at a logical conclusion of a socio economic problem.India occupied the fifth position in the rank list of the global economies and she is recognized to be an emerging economy after adopting the open market policy since early 1990s. The stalwarts are of the opinion that India is attributed with higher degree of potentialmagnitude to become the third largest world economy by 2031-32 if she is able to maintain continuity of the present volume of economic activities through channelizing tangibles and intangible resources towards generation of employment and income. The author of this writes up subscribes to the views of the researchers as India is observed tobe blessed with a sound political system with a stable federal government which already achieved several socio economic developmental milestones in spite of adverse catastrophic impact of the pandemic eclipsed situations. It needs no mention that import of oil and gas tells perennially upon the for ex health besides importing certain other engineeringgoods and technical know how. India does have oilreserve beneath the earth but cost of production is likely to be more than cost of import and the decision to buy and not to produce based on the cardinal principles of cost and management accounting seems to be apt one. Moreover, there is no immediately available substitute of the source inputs for generating energy. Under the given situation, India needs to invest more and more on capability building for continuous innovation in art and science of doing things hassle free and at low-cost production. Prime Minister of India adopted a maxim-‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ implying ‘self-dependent India’ and innovation is crucial to continuing success of the nation in time bound manner. International diplomacy is being observed to have been pressurizing India for compromising with national interest at the behest of other counterparts at global level in the wake of Russian-Ukraine Military conflict. India has been importing oil and gas from Russia to a greater extent in the same manner as other countries importing gas,oil, other technology and technical knowhow from Russia. To be more precise and specific, many European Union Member Countries including Germany whose energy consumption depends on the continuity in the flow of Russian supply. India has categorically been maintaining her stand that She as a sovereign Nation has every right to protect her national interest, moreover, India never supports any kind of war or even war like situations at any point of time and on the contrary, India has been recommending since the post-partitioned era, pre-partition and more so in the annals of immemorial ancient India that the dialogue and discussion is rightful way to resolve any bilateral or multilateral conflicts besides mentioning time and again that war is not desirable at any cost and by any means. It implies that India asa peace-lovingnation has already emerged tobe an independent nation expressing keen capability to work in the best interest of nation and well as in restoring globalpeace across. Many instances substantiate that India is aself-reliant and self-sufficient nation subject to the need of having extensive research and development leading to innovation and disruptive technology. Innovation is the answer to the agriculture problem, innovation is the answer to flood control and prevention, it is the answer to the problems of health and sanitation and economically less empowerment.
It is heartening to note that India’s gross expenditure on research and development is one of the lowest in the world with just $43 per capita, according to NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index 2021 which represents just 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Ministry of Science and Technology has been allocated Rs. 14, 217 crores in the Federal Budget 2022-23 and its budget allocation are attributed with a glaring extent of 3.9% decrease from the immediately previous Fiscal Year. Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Department of Scientific and Industrial Researchthe Ministry of Science and Technology are under the control of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Social Sciences including Economics, Commerce, Management, Law and Humanities are hardly in the priority of preference and a small fraction of an INR is allocated for these disciplines.The 21st century is the era of knowledge driven society. Education sector in general and research and development, creativity and innovation in particular are the independent variables whereas economic growth and development is the function of innovation.
India has persistently been suffering from low efficiency leading to low productivity, hence low economic performance. Innovation is capability builder for long term economic growth, hence social development through promoting higher standard of living. It comes up with new ideas and technologies that increases productivity and generate greater value with the same input. The global economy is under constant change and an individual nation is to gear up its national policies, procedures and processes to leverage benefits from the changed economic order by technology driven innovation. If India aggressively focuses on achieving the target for being placed as the third largest world economy , she has to do a lot of exercise in terms of achieving significant milestones in research and development, creativity and innovation for which education sector should be recognized as the most prioritized sector besides defence and strategy, healthcare delivery and Infrastructure and telecommunication sector. Both the provincial governments and the federal government need to implement the adopted policies, devise new result fetching mechanism,absorb new pro-productivity knowhow and 360-degree disruptive innovation. Education sector needs more attention of the policy makers. Humanities and social science sector require priority to attract thetalented scholars as innovation is hardly possible without the foundation humanities and social sciences. Judicial and justice delivery system is perhaps the most neglected area and it is the need of the hour to make the justice delivery system overhauled and brought to be management andtechnology driven administration. The younger citizens, learners and the student community at large needs to be exposed tothe doctrine that a Degree from a University isunlikely to assist them in improving their standard of living unless the degree holders are imbibed with skill and knowledge in the concerned fields. India is required to revamp her knowledge cultivation and dissemination process. The head of the Institutions should also be subject to annual appraisal in the same way as the researchers and faculty members and administration personnel. The positions of head of the institutions are tenure based which varies in between 3 to 5 years and there are ample of evidences that contributions in terms of institutional building, teaching and learning, research and development and innovation are quite insignificant and either no accountability or anopaque accountability mechanism inplace asfar asthe duties of the head of the institutions are concerned and this should be revisited and reviewed. The primitive civilization could never traverse to the age of ‘Internet of Things, ArtificialIntelligence, MachineLearning, Blockchain Technology and even Crypto currency’ if compass, printing press internal combustion engine, telephone, penicillinand contraceptives were not made captive by innovation by the researchers and innovators.
Israel a small country in terms of geographical land mass but in terms of technology and innovation is one of the super powers in the world and behind Israel’s success is the education policy which is totally research and innovation based. By and large, course curricula of Israel include major emphasis on Economics and Business Studies (Economics and Accountancy and other Elements), Science and Mathematics, Languages such as Hebrew, English and Arabic are essential part of education and pedagogical system from early childhood education to highest level of tertiary education. Capability building is the function of cost competitiveness, impact analysis, quality revolution, linkage of technology with strategy for doable multitasking inputs deployment, speed of delivery, adaptability of change and innovation is again the function of capability building both at micro and micro level and innovation through capability building is enabler to make India navigate at the desired destination in 2031-32 and it is unlikely to generate desired outcome unless the concerted efforts, aggressive innovation oriented education and research based pedagogical simulation is practiced by both the Federal and Provincial Governments as these attributes are sine qua non for making India the third largest world economy by 3031-32. It may not sound irrational to argue that the experts and researchers concluded that India is likely to emerge as the third largest economic power house based on the hypothesis that capability building forcontinuous innovation is significantly correlated to economic development of a nation.
(The author is an Educationist and Former Interim Vice Chancellor, SMVD University)
Prof D Mukhopadhyay