Rajesh Jain’s Advice for the New Government

My colleague Rajesh Jain writes to the about-to-be-formed new government of India in today’s Wall Street Journal and says, “Get us Involved and Lets [sic] get going.” He advices the new government (but I guess it will be the same old guys) that the areas where they need to focus on are, among others, education, transportation, urbanization, digital infrastructure, and good governance. Naturally I agree with Rajesh because that set of interventions is what is needed for India to develop and I have been saying as much on this blog.

I quote the article below the break, for the record.
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A Country Gets the Government it Deserves, and Rightly so.

I was talking with a friend of mine in Pune about the election results, expressing my disappointment. More than the results, what struck me was his attempt at consoling me when he said, “India is a third-rate country. What do you expect — a first-rate government for a third-rate country?”

Yes, I still expect a first-rate government even through reason says that it will inevitably be a third-rate government because the people desire it to be so.

That’s unreasonable but all progress gets its start from unreasonable expectations.

The Long View of the Big Picture

For every election cycle that the Congress gets to govern India, India suffers a generation’s setback. The dozen or so elections since India’s political independence that the Congress has won the right to rule India have set back India’s development by around 200 years. In that period, hundreds of millions of Indians have lived lives of utter destitution. Today one of out every two children below five is malnourished — the implications of which are so staggering in terms of retarded mental and physical development that it makes one weep bitter tears for the utter and needless waste of human potential.

Contrast where India is now relative to where it could have been — a developed nation — and it is easy to argue that the Congress must be responsible for hundreds of millions of premature deaths and billions of human years of misery. The cycle of poverty and misery gets one more boost today, another generation worth of opportunity lost, another couple of hundred million lives forced into horrible misery whose only redeeming feature would be that thankfully they will be short.

That’s the big picture and as I argue below, a short-term big picture. But it is better to take the long-term view of the big picture and if we do that, the view is not that devastating.
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Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Schools

I am a big fan of Sir Ken Robinson and have been so since I first came across his talk on TED of Feb 2006 (which I had blogged in September 2006). Here’s a treat for those who have not watched that performance — and I say performance advisedly as he could be a stand-up comic any day of the week.


One of the many important point he makes is that the current school system kills creativity. In a more recent talk, he goes into how the current school paradigm needs change. That topic is of enduring interest of this blog. So below the fold, you will find the video (hat tip, Nihar G.)
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