Appropriate Technology

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Appropriate Technology

1. Appropriate Technology

There is unanimity among the economists over the choice of AT. According to Yale Brozen, “ the AT for an area depends on its resources, patterns and its markets. It is therefore defined as an amalgam of skills methods, techniques and equipments that can contribute towards solving the basic soci-economic problems of the concerned communities”.

• AT should, be utilized for development purposes in the name of social justice and should be capable of satisfying the felt needs of the people. • It should be economically viable, technically feasible, and should fit in the socio-economic fabrics of local communities. • It should be able to produce some surplus, so as to encourage capital formation and stimulate further growth. • It should be simple and comparatively cheap and use local resources. • It should ensure proper control of the means of production at local levels. • It should be labor-intensive and capital saving.

• It should ensure dispersal of wealth among the largest number of people and create a sense of participation and decision-making at the local level. • It should be capable of creating self-reliance and should perpetuate the emotional attachment of workers with their jobs, tools and work places. • It should encourage production by masses rather than mass production. • It should be ecologically sound and should be in complete harmony and conformity with local environments. • Dependence on non-renewable sources of energy should be at a minimum. • It should not be static but improve efficiency and productivity. In other words, AT should change with the time, and people should accept the improved and latest versions of it that fit in the new environments. • It should neither be based on traditional technology nor reject modern technology.

Vakil and Brahamanand (1983) favor AT when they opine that each country has to work out its own salvation and particularly to find out which production methods are feasible for it. They recommend the following techniques for use in underdeveloped countries:

- Those which can be easily learnt in a short time,

- Those requiring small initial investment, those requiring less investment in specialized and skilled labor,

- Those saving scarce resources rather than labor,

- Those, which raise the level of production and increase supplies of minerals or electricity.

These guidelines point towards the use of AT in developing country in keeping with their local conditions. As Henry Aubrey (1951) emphasizes, “ It may be sound procedure to improve technology step by step in many places at once, rather than to sink large portions of a limited capital supply in a few large ventures”. This policy is advantageous in many ways:

• It spreads the benefits accruing from the use of different techniques in the various fields more equally over the entire population. • It helps in skill formation at all levels.
• It raises the average productivity, income level and the size of the market. • It promotes more employment, better distribution of wealth and paves the way towards self-sufficiency.

The strategy of gradual changeover from capital light and labor-intensive methods of production to up-to-date capital intensive methods is best suited to underdeveloped countries in the early stage of industrialization. Such a policy will not only economize the use of available capital resources but will also create larger employment opportunities. By increasing the supply of agricultural and manufactured consumer goods, it will obviate the necessity of importing goods and raw materials. It will not be essential to import much capital goods either.

2. Labor intensive Vs capital Intensive techniques

A common characteristic of developing country is the scarcity of capital and...
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