Two hundred years back we were the second biggest economy in the world and our economy was about 20% of the world's economy. Today we have 20% of the world's population but our economy is just 2% of the world economy.
In contrast the US which was less than 2% of the world economy two hundred years back today is the biggest with a size of over 25% of the world economy.
Why has this happened? Two hundred years is not that long a period. But during this time the fall of India has been drastic. Also importantly how do we get back to our place of eminence in this world?
There are many reasons for our downfall since 1800. We can argue that one prominent reason is British rule. But I think the main reason is that we have stopped creating new knowledge. I have given some numbers on who are the creators of knowledge in this world here. Today we have the largest pool of science and technology qualified people in the world. But our contribution to the knowledge of the world is very small. We have stopped being leaders in the creation of knowledge and have become followers. We have stopped creating new knowledge and have become users of knowledge. But what is knowledge. Knowledge includes means of improving farming, means of producing new goods and services.
How many times have you waited at the bus stop not knowing when the next bus is come? Almost everyday? Now dont you think there can be a service that can automatically determine how far the next bus is from your bus stop. How much time would this save every Indian?
Have you wondered why there is a perpetual crowd of vehicles at our airports and railway stations and why it takes so much time to maneuver through this mess? Dont you think just a few simple steps to manage traffic better would save so much hassle for every Indian.
Knowledge doesnt have to put a rocket on the moon everytime. Look at any successful company they all started out trying to solve simple but relevant problems in innovative ways. All Google wanted to do was to organize the data on the internet. In doing that they became one of the most valuable companies of our times. Good knowledge helps solve everyday problems in innovative ways.
Each one of us has to innovate in our life. We all have to create knowledge to make our lives easier, to grow our economy and get back our rightful place in this world.
[this is a guest post by L. Venkata Subramaniam, do visit his regular blog where he writes on technologies affecting everyday life ]