Marshall Plan for India?

Well, well, well, what have we here? (Hey, that would make a good site: http://www.whathavewehere.com)

Vinod Khosla’s Marshall Plan for rural India” is the subtitle of a “How the World Works” article by Andrew Leonard on Salon.com.

I must admit that the article is very well written. Here are some excerpts, for the record:

The daily drumbeat of biofuel headlines has made Vinod Khosla — co-founder of Sun Microsystems, former Kleiner-Perkins venture capitalist, and ethanol evangelist/entrepreneur extraordinaire — a hard man to ignore of late. But Khosla’s massive bet on renewable energy as the answer to climate change and peak oil (and big profits) may not even be his most ambitious scheme to remake the world. In 2002, Khosla co-wrote a paper with development economist Atanu Dey sketching out a plan to boost economic growth in rural India. It’s hard to think bigger than a bid to upgrade the living standards of some 700 million people — as the paper notes, one out of 10 people on this planet is a rural Indian. (Thanks to the India Economy blog for the link.)

Here’s a bit more.

Khosla and Dey’s basic proposal, however, is simple enough that one wonders why it hasn’t been tried before. The authors suggest that in part this is because the cost of connecting people with the right level of infrastructure and associated services was too great. But the same information and communication technologies (ICT) that have enabled Indian programmers to compete on a global stage can now also enable entrepreneurial rural Indians to gain access to the ideas and information necessary to boost their nascent business operations on a local level. “ICT is therefore the enabling technology that empowers the model,” write the authors.

Read it all.🙂