India should stop obsessing about how to become one of the world's great powers and focus on solving its biggest problems to become a great nation, Sundeep Wasleka, the president of Strategic Foresight Group, writes in this month's Forbes India. At present, regardless of the hype, India is failing, Wasleka suggests. Politicians and business leaders are always thumping their chests over India's rising importance in the G20 and lobby for a new G10 (the G8 plus India and China). But 200 out of the country's 600 districts are infested with Maoist revolutionaries who know full well their strategy for changing the country is tantamount to suicide. And while China has (belatedly) made its great leap forward, India is still limping two steps ahead and then stumbling back one. Here's Waslekar:
* Twenty years ago, the average productivity of a cow or a buffalo in both India and China was in the region of 1,000-2,000 litres of milk each year. An Indian buffalo continues to deliver the same yields, while an animal bred in China delivers five times as much. Why? What is it about the Indian dairy farmer that holds him back? * India is a rain-dependent nation. But on average, only 38 percent of arable land is irrigated. Solutions like drip irrigation are available to redress the problem. But only a meagre 5 percent of available land has seen this solution. Why don’t Indian farmers demand drip irrigation? * There are roughly 450 million people in India that make up our work force. Of these, 90 percent haven’t completed school education. Why? Because, of the 630,000 villages in India, over 500,000 don’t have schools that can provide education above Class VII. Without a doubt, labour productivity is linked to education. Why does the Indian labourer not demand education? Good questions, which the writer doesn't exactly answer. But he does offer some solutions. Or what I'll call: 5 Ways to Fix India:
1. Make politicians live like the voters.
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