Will the 21st century belong to Indian women?

When I think of the future of India within the cloud of gloom and doom from the local papers, I am encouraged by the 100,000 women employees at Tata Consulting Services; as my firm belief is that a well educated women work force, will be the hallmark of modern India. The day is not far off when a 100 million of such women will join the workforce; if India develops its education and training resources, to meet its own needs. It will be one of the greatest game changers in the global economy for the next few centuries.

It is not that India has not led the world in GDP before, but we got lost in the medieval and colonial eras; and are only now allowed to pursue our quotient of happiness, in our own way.

The same Bureaucrats and Ministers who previously lorded over their domains are now actually expected to produce a 7 minute video on the first 100 days of the new BJP government in New Delhi. Better governance with minimum government is not something just heard off; as a digital India is emerging, with ID cards and bank accounts for more people than ever in our history. The number of people entering the economy is a staggering number; and they will change the global world, with their aspirations and dreams.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is an agency of the Government of India is responsible for implementing the Aadhaar scheme, a unique identification project. It targets to issue 1 Billion IDs this year. A separate new scheme will help provide bank accounts and life insurance, to selected card holders. This digitalization of society, will help social schemes to grow rapidly in the next decade, and help increase India’s GDP; as increased social investments and subsidies will go directly; into the neediest’ s bank accounts, and not be diluted by the prevalent deep rooted crony corruptions. With 100’s of millions in new employment opportunities in the decades ahead, it will be a bumpy ride; if things are not managed efficiently.

The steady hand of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Mr Raghuram Rajan, along with Mr. Jaitely’ s ambitious financial agenda; are sure signs of a good long term view. Despite political backlash he has insisted on meeting the stringent deficit; and the fiscal responsibility shown by the new minister, are only signs of things to come. Inflation is being controlled, and the infrastructure for growth of the Service and Industrial sector; to get them ready to launch, is being laid out.

With victory in Maharashtra and Haryana the Modi wave continues unabated; and as promised foreign investment picks up, it will bring increased global focus to India. Money managers are hungry and will follow a good lead, if they see any future in it. At this moment the story Mr. Modi is laying out of Make in India, is a hopefully a magnet; in attracting hungry flows from tired pension funds, of Japan, Europe and the States, looking for better returns. India’s enormous projects will require massive investments; the Indian young will bear the burden of the old and build a new world, with this imported capital. As the developed world retires, it will be a resurgent India; that will provide the services that they need. For this India will have to overhaul its legal and financial systems; and ensure digital transparency, for its notoriously lax working to improve. Sensible reform is required to dump the old, that is not working; and come up with a simplified framework, that allows prosperity and entrepreneurship, to flourish.

Coming back to my original statements, I strongly believe that the women of India are its future, and they will lead the way. If you ask me why, I ask why for five hundred years they have been held back by history, customs, lack of opportunity, and avenues of empowerment. Now their time has come again, and they will transform our world in a way we cannot imagine today. This is what raises my spirit, when people around me point to the sorry state, which India is in now. The Indian women have carried the heavy burden of underdevelopment for too long; and will lead us to the new world of success, as we unchain the traditions, that have held them back.

Global economic growth

Global GDP

Evidence that the global economy may be unexpectedly stalling has jarred prominent economists and policy makers gathered in Washington for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. At a conference on Thursday, Lawrence H. Summers, the former United States Treasury secretary who now teaches at Harvard, highlighted this concern.“The defining challenge of our time, economically, is secular stagnation,” he said. “It is the risk of inadequate growth, leading to inadequate potential, leading to inadequate growth.”

Oil is at a four year low in LA and the S & P barely up for the year with volatility rising.

Can India with its ‘Make in India’ slogan revive the hope for growth back into the global economy. Manufacturing is just starting to grow under Obama after the great recession and its multinationals have finally fixed their balance sheets, and are ready for investing billions. India will need Nuclear Plants, Modern Railroads, Ports, Airports, Cities, Technology and infrastructure improvements for well into the next century. There is enough growth potential with its young population; that needs housing, schools, universities, healthcare, factories, retailers and all kinds of services.

There is no better source for cheap American gas to flow to India and the energy be converted into making a modern society. 100 nuclear plants would need to be built, to supply the forecasted demand for India over the next century, along with other renewal energy like wind, solar, bio-gas, tidal, hydro etc. Massive investment into India will provide much needed growth and a lot of money lying on the side at zero interest, would come into this new opportunity.

The only thing holding back the inflow has been the injudicious Indian taxation system; combined with the punitive courts that enforce often confusing archaic laws; forgotten even in the countries, that introduced them. Nightmares due to some random litigation, that could last decades; is just one of the minor hurdles of folks jumping in; as even dipping a toe was just recently allowed, in the largely socialist economy. Massive disinvestment is needed to raise capital from State run enterprises, without allowing associated corruption and litigation, to finance the investments required to close the budgetary gap, and to pay for the future infrastructure, so desperately needed.

“The drop in energy prices acts as a tax cut for consumers, by giving a small bump to real disposable income.” India as an importer will benefit from this drop and lower prices will help close their GDP gap, and reduce outflows and allow more investment at home. This could lead to a rise in Industrial production so badly needed; to get the economy out of the current doldrums, and boost much needed growth, for the hard pressed Mr. Jaitely. Will the US, China, Japan help him put the Indian train back on its track; to become the second largest economy in Asia in this century. In the next century a modern India will eventually become the leader of the free world; in keeping with its history from 1 AD, till the reign of Aurangzeb in the 18th century.

Immigrants all

Legislative Update

How many great scientists have we stopped from working in the US; because of the outdated views on immigration, by certain sections of our society, and inability of our legislatures, to come together to improve our system? We are allowing some of the brightest thought leaders of tomorow; to not join in our struggle to make the next century, an American century against the surging Asia.

Indian-born Stanford University professor Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj and Indian techie Himanshu Asnani, pursuing research in mathematics at Stanford, will be honored in Washington DC Thursday by the US-based Marconi Society. Named after Nobel laureate Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), who invented radio, and this prize is to recognize individuals for “creativity in service to humanity”.

Paulraj, 69, is the winner of the Marconi Prize 2014 for his pioneering work on developing wireless technology to transmit and receive data at high speed.

Born in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, about 360 km from Chennai, Paulraj was also honoured with the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 2011, for his profound work on theoretical foundations of MIMO.

“Paulraj is the only India-born scientist to receive both the Marconi Prize and the Bell Medal — the two top global IT technology awards,” IndiaTechOnline.com editor Anand Parthasarathy told IANS in Chennai.

Asnani, 27, was chosen for the Society’s Paul Baran young scholar award for his outstanding work and contribution to point-to-point and multi-terminal channel coding and source coding problems.

“The prestigious awards will be presented to Paulraj and Asnani at our annual event Thursday at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington DC,” Marconi Society chairman David Payne told IANS from the US.

Tech pioneers who created Microsoft, Google, Facebook and so many other companies all acknowledge; that without these immigrants, the US cannot sustain, its eminent position in technology, where it is today. They complain that we have routinely turned away, potentially, thousands of such scientific brains; from our shores in the last decade, at a time we need them the most. They will just do their pioneering research elsewhere; leaving us so much poorer, than where we should have been. President Obama is correct; and I hope that Washington will gather its legaslative strength, to pass immigration reform now!