Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Lecture Details

India’s Emergence as a Knowledge Super Power:The Vision and the Strategy

(Dr.R A Mashlekar, Director General, CSIR and member, Governing Body of ICRIER, delivering a lecture on “India’s Emergence as a Knowledge Superpower,” jointly organised by ICRIER and the India Habitat Center.)

September 13, 2000

At the Habitat Talk, jointly arranged by ICRIER and the India Habitat Centre on 13 September 2000, Dr R A Mashelkar, Director General of CSIR, spoke on “India’s Emergence as a Knowledge Superpower.” Beginning with the view that dreams do come true, if you dare to dream, and that is the daring that he is going to do, Dr Mashelkar spelt out his vision of India as a knowledge superpower. In highlighting the numerous advantages that India has in knowledge based activities, Dr Mashelkar emphasised the importance of strategic alliances in the context of global competition. He also emphasised the need for investment in human capital. Spelling out the advantages that India will derive from the demographic transition in the coming decade, he pointed out that by 2015, close to 55 per cent of India’s population will be less than 20 years old, and that it is this age group that will decide the future of India in the 21 st century. Dr Mashelkar emphasised that information technology could do for the Indian economy today what the development of textiles and railways did for the industrial revolution in Britain and the USA, or for that matter what timber and the dairy industry did for Sweden and Denmark, respectively. He pointed out that the knowledge industries would help improve the productivity performance of the broader industrial sector in the economy. At the same time, he stressed the importance of reforming the brick and mortar economy in order that the click economy take off effectively. An enlightened policy environment should help realise the potential of the underlying competitive strength of India in the knowledge-based industries.


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