South Asian Voice at Davos
     on Globalisation
     on Technology

Honoured at Davos 2001
     Anant Singh
     Iqbal Quadir

Technology   Feature     

Reinventing India

Role of Internet In South Asian Development
Successful case studies
    What the Gurus say
    - Vinod Khosla
    - Gururaj Deshpande

Technology - a weapon to
fight poverty.

South Asian success     stories
   - Bangladesh  
     Village Phone
     Village E-Mail
     Village Internet
   - Madhya Pradesh State
   - TARAhaat.com
   - Several more

Cultural feature
Sadhus - Holy Men of India
- Their Beliefs
- Their Sects



Sundown Madness at Wagah Border


Heritage & Travel

Rajasthan's Forest Forts


Three Brothers & A Violin 


Editor's Note



Silk Road on Wheels

South Asian Shop

Old Prints





the-south-asian.com                            February 2001

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Page  5  of  5

Reinventing India

by Mira Kamdar


Reinventing India

The current critical juncture in world history presents India--a country that supplies 35 percent of the world’s software engineers but accounts for 25 percent of the world’s poor--with a both a challenge and an unprecedented opportunity. India must seize this opportunity to reinvent itself if it is to assume a place in the world commensurate to its size, its great civilizational heritage, and its commitment to democratic ideals and institutions.

Reinventing India does not mean jettisoning existing political and social institutions to create a new national framework. It does not mean doing away with India’s formidable civilizational legacy. Together these constitute India’s greatest strength as a nation. Reinventing India means creating a new paradigm for development that harnesses the irresistible market forces driving the transformations in the global economy. It means creating new partnerships between government agencies, NGOs, philanthropic institutions and grassroots entities created by the poor themselves.

India has hardly tapped the tremendous intellectual, entrepreneurial and financial capital of an Indian diaspora that has everything to gain from a prosperous India whose citizenry is equitably empowered to seize new opportunities to better their lives. Not satisfied with simply investing capital in individual companies or with making donations to individual temples, schools or clinics back home, a growing number of Indian diaspora leaders are looking for practical, effective ways to "give back" that will have broad impact at the national level.

In the 1950s, my father felt he had to choose between helping the poor in India and making a good living for himself and his family in America. The digital revolution’s impact on the global economy is giving members of the Indian diaspora new opportunities to do both. But even highly creative solutions to specific, localized problems will have a limited effect on the alleviation of poverty in India as a whole unless they are deployed in concert with a massive effort involving alliances across traditional development divides. This is the fundamental challenge of the India Initiative.




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