Christian Long

Nandan Nilekani: Ideas for India’s Future

In TED Talks on May 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Reflection by ADITYA M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Nandan Nilekani:  Ideas for India’s Future

There are many changes that need to be made in India. Certain problems in the country need to be addressed. However, these problems can be fixed through the rise of ideas that Nilekani talked about. As well as the rise of new ideas, the change in mindset toward certain things will also benefit India.

The ideas that have already arrived include India going through a demographic dividend, the rise of entrepreneurs, the rise of English as a language of aspiration, technology as something empowering, globalization as a positive factor, and the deepening of democracy has contributing to why India is today growing at rates it has never been before. India changed it’s mindset on entrepreneurs, the English language, technology, and globalization, and democracy. All five of these, especially after the English rule were considered bad. But, now, after sixty years of being independent finally think that these five different areas can help them. Entrepreneurs are now considered role models and are contributing to the society. This changed has helped the economy. English is no longer seen as a language of the imperialists, but an asset. The English language is now a global language, and can help India a lot. English will help with communicating in globalization and outsourcing, and is a strategic asset. With India doing business globally, they have the tool they need to it. English also helped with India as well. There are over one hundred different languages spoken all over India, and English has become a standard, uniting the different parts of India speaking different languages. Computers were seen as something forbidding, intimidating, something that reduced jobs today India is a country that sells eight million cell phones a month. Technology is now seen as something empowering, and today technology is a big part of India. Globalization was taken as something of the imperialists and had a natural reaction against it. But today as Indians work all over the world and indian companies go abroad, Indians have gained a lot more confidence and realized globalization is something they can participate in.

The ideas in progress that Nilekani talked about are what I think are most important. Primal education and infrastructre are two things you can easily tell need to be addressed just by looking at a street in India. But now this issue has reached a pt where its become important. Now, more than 50% of urban kids are going to private schools. For a long time, infrastructure was not a priority to Indians, but its now something people want want to implement. If India could get some physical structure and order to it’s cities they could get things done more efficiently. Another thing is what they thought of their cities. They neglected them, and considered New Delhi an “in-Indian city” because the British ruled from the cities and Gandhi believed in villages. Another point of Nilekani’s that i think really stands out is that India needs to make new laws about labor. 93% of india’s labor is in the uncaregorized section, and most of the workers have no benefits. These workers need benefits and need to get into the formal workforce. Finally, India has an advantage. Since they are behind, they can see what other counties have done ad avoid mistakes. If the ideas Nilekani suggests happen, it will benefit India hugely and not only help the country greatly, but also the people.


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