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Jan 15, 2004
Arun Shourie surveys IT - India

That an erudite, upright, fearless man like Arun Shourie could become a minister in India, is in itself good news. Times indeed are changing. He is a man without any political base but the evidence so far indicates, he has the freedom nevertheless, to be bold and creative. In a recent series of articles in the Indian Express, he roamed the world in his care: information technology.

Together, the four parts are rather long and without much structure. So, let’s try and get to the points he’s making.

He begins with the advantages that India enjoys and makes a very insightful observation. It is widely parroted that China is rapidly ‘learning’ English and will soon threaten India. Yes, English will come to the Chinese but not so easily, without institutions like democracy, courts, financial systems, free press, free trade, private enterprise etc, which together make an educated Indian, a unique person; plugged into the way the modern world works. Shourie says, ‘Indian firms are able to provide not just software… but complete business solutions.’ For the same reason, India will maintain its edge in the emerging disciplines of nanotechnology, tele-medicine, embedded software and others where ‘IT will be what arithmetic is to calculation.’

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