SARABHAI, SCIENCE & INDIANS [power-point presentation ]

Slide - 1

This lecture was given one day before 12 August (Vikram Sarabhai birth anniversary – had he lived, he would have completed 87 years). Since 12 August was a holiday it was on 11th.

Slide - 2

This is about Jawaharlal Nehru. How politics brought him close to people and therefore their poverty. He sought solutions in Economics. More he read economics, he came to the conclusion that science is crucial. Hence he made the statement “Future…………………………….” Detailed extract is available in my book “Empowering Indians” Chapter-1. Most economists had not realised it in 1937. It is remarkable for Nehru to have “seen” it.

Thus he spoke about science, made “Scientific Policy Resolution” in the independent India. He Nehru meant by Science a broad canvas including application, innovation, new products, and an attitude towards life. (Not the narrow interpretation of “basic scientific research” alone as is attempted by some of our scientists !).

Slide – 3

Brings out the missing links in India the way the S&T establishment began and later grow.

Politics (i.e. policies in a better sense of it) be it in Agriculture etc (as indicated) which link to Society & People never linked the growth of science (worldwide) & technologies.

Economic & politics were stand alone making policies.

Science was made a romantic myth to grow isolated in labs.

Slide – 4

Within the Indian Scientific community, Vikram Sarabhai was one f the view who looked as “Science” with all its links including management & administration.

The JRD quote says it all.

Slide – 5

Gives Vikram Sarabhai’s clear view.

Slide – 6

In India most of our Science & Technology (S&T) policy makers talk a linear model. More money to Science, more prosperous the nation will be. They continue to ask for more money.

Is it True or False – (During the actual talk, there was an interactive discussion).

Then I give the answer that it is false. (see the reference).

Slide – 7

Most Indians are in poverty zone because relevant (emphasized knowledge inputs & investments don’t reach all segment. Most Science Groups are happy with the two ends A&E.

(See discussion on this in the reference – available in this website).

Slide – 8

Sarabhai realised this even in late 1960’s.

He proposed 30 – odd missions (I have his detailed paper).

Had they been embarked upon then India would have developed long ago !

I expressed them all in my English poem written immediately on hearing his death. It appears as “A Great Man’s Demise” in Agony & Harmony. (See the poetry section for the full address of the book).

Slide – 9

Shows the changing paradigm of what is expected of a vendor in the globalising economy.

(More details of such an approach are available the book - Global Business, Technology & Knowledge Sharing).

Slide – 10

Even outsourcing is very stiff now. It is not a passive disciplined actor who wins. Product improvement capability (though S&T application is expected).

(See the book quoted in the earlier slide – see title in the book section of this website).

Slide - 11 & 12

Technology Intermediation (see elsewhere in this website).

Technology / Knowledge Intermediation (continually) is required to fulfil the requirements depicted in Slides 9 & 10.

Slide – 13

Sarabhai missions as was said took care of all round growth.

We cannot afford to deal only with organised sector – as bulk of Indians are employed in “unorganised” sector. Hence S&T would need to reach them all in a relevant manner.



Y.S. Rajan 


INDIA : THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES [power-point presentation ]

This presentation was made at the Manipal University in the context of India – Kuwait Roundtable held on 15-16 January 2007.

2. The paper aims at exploring the new opportunities opening up in India and to identify a few areas in which India – Kuwait cooperation (includes commercial/business activities as well) can take a new direction.

3.Slide – 1 is just the title and the context of the talk.

4.Slide – 2 presents the key features of the Indian Economy. Sustainable and robust GDP growth and continuing economic reforms are presenting new opportunities. Indian economy is no longer closed and there is a large amount of externalisation. Some of these data are presented in the next few slides.

5.Slide – 3 Data on Indian Economy 2005-2007.

6.Slide – 4 is the desegregation of growth in terms of sectors and years (Slides 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 are taken from CII sources, such as its websites, India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) documents, etc.)

7.Slide – 5 shows the shift of the Indian economy say from 1990-91 and 2005-06. There is a remarkable shift towards the services sector. However, this does not mean that Agriculture & Manufacturing are fading away. On the contrary, the economy is shaking out its inefficiencies. For example even while Agriculture may remain at 20% or may increase to 25% (most likely hover around 20%) of the overall GDP, there will be lots of efforts in increasing the yield, productivities and efficiencies in the use of the natural resources (water, energy, fertiliser, marine etc). [Agriculture mentioned here includes other primary productive items like cattle, fisheries etc]. There will be demands for value addition and emphasis on phytosanitary conditions and concern for environmental impact.

8. Thus Indian Agriculture will be lifting itself to absorb much higher levels of science and technology inputs. Investments in water management, energy sources and other infrastructure to assure phytosanitarty conditions, will be on the rise. Improved equipment, testing systems (soil, chemical, biological etc.) will be introduced in the primary agriculture, dairy, meat industry, poultry fishing etc. There are many business opportunities in this sector – mostly adaptation of known science and available technologies in the Indian context. Perhaps a large manufacturing of these equipment infrastructure items may be a big opportunity.

9. As a corollary to the increasing value addition, technology levels and investment, it will be necessary to grow a Agro-Food Processing sector much beyond the present levels of its being primarily in the cottage industry status. While a few major high end plants are welcome, noting the distributed nature of agriculture, milk etc., production and with a need to spread employment all around the country, high-tech but small volume Agro Processing units have to come around village clusters and Tier 3 towns in India. These units can be under big corporates as a part of their chains. Technically these units will not be called Agriculture in economic classification and appear in Manufacturing. But this sector will be a great business opportunities in the coming decade.

10. Of course now coming to Indian Manufacturing Sector, it is in its great renaissance period. Many existing units are upgrading themselves with new equipment, so much so that capital goods (mother of manufacturing) sector is growing at about 34%. Now about 2/3rd of CNC machines are imported. So with many capital goods for other industries, Construction Industry demands a large amount of new mechanised and articulated equipment. There is a large such list not to mention the automobile sector.

(Kuwaiti joint ventures or fully Kuwaiti companies can take advantage of these opportunities).

11. Services sectors will have mind boggling developments from tourism, hospitality, media, financial services, IT, ITES, BPO, KPO etc to many other creative industries. (Kuwaiti companies can try to have many joint ventures in India to serve a global market).

12.Slide – 6 indicates FDI and FII investments into India. They are growing Investors getting good returns.

13.Slide – 7 The story does not just end in the above. Indian companies are so buoyant and confident that they invest abroad as well in a steadily increasing way. During 2005-06 outward FDI from India equaled the inward FDI.

14.Slide – 8 To be balanced in understanding India, one cannot stop in the above. While numbers will look big since India is a large country, when reduced to per capita numbers, Indian figures have problems. The reason to understand it is not only to solve India’s problems but also to find new business opportunities in that process.

15.Slide – 9 & Slide – 10 have appeared in a number of places in YSR’s writings and presentations. They are crucial to understand Indian economy and society. Hence we will be giving brief here.

Slide 9 shows that benefits of globalisation are not uniform. The two red arrows show the problem areas : URBAN SLUMS, and POORLY CONNECTED VILLAGE which are not being given investment, knowledge and skills. They suffer from low productive agriculture, low value artisan products etc.

Slide 10 presents in a different form and identifies the poverty zone (in which the people are trapped in low knowledge – skill – low – productivity syndrome. To raise them to higher level is the whole challenge of India’s development. At least 2/3rd of the population is in the syndrome or close to it. To unleash them creates new opportunities.

16.Slides 11, 12, 13, 14 show the high end HUMAN CAPITAL of India – fairly large investment by Govt. in S&T.

15.Slide – 15 describes the Demographic Dilemma. See this in the website ( while the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education is currently around 7 to 8% it needs to increase to 40%. There is a plenty of scope for private actors (including foreign ones).

16.Slide – 16 shows some Higher Education statistics. While IIT’s, & IIM’s have done well, they are miniscule in numbers. Also they are well funded. If foreign / private investors target small (upcoming) colleges as per the experience of TIFAC – REACH benefits will be greatly amplified. Such investments – say a few tens of lakhs of rupees – need not always be for returns in ROI sense. They can be used to gain a great goodwill in a local area which later can be a entry place for bigger business ventures.

17.Slide – 17 There are many more opportunities such as in Health Sectors. Joint Kuwaiti – Indian hospitals in India and Kuwait can be a great service provider for many clients from Arab world and mid West. (Also a good business).

18. Similarly utilising the large number of high science, high engineering Human Capital in India, Kuwait may even establish fully owned or joint venture type R&D centres in India to own Intellectual Property of world class (which can be sold or commercialised later). 

….. Many more

19.Slide – 18 : India – Kuwaiti relation need not be versus somebody else. The author believes Technology as a Binding Force in an Interdependent World. (More can be seen in the book).

20.Slide 18 : (second bullet) Also all the above opportunities do not just appear as market driven. Most items will require various forms of Knowledge Intermediation (KI) which can accelerate many potentials into real possibilities and move them towards implementation (see elsewhere in the website [] while various e-tools are useful in knowledge exchange for KI intelligent networking between people from different perspectives is crucial.

21. Since India – Kuwait meeting has a component Strategic Partnership and issues such as terrorism last two Slides 19 & 20 address these issues very briefly. They are self-explanatory.

TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS & UNIVERSITIES [power-point presentation ]

This presentation was made at Vellore Institute of Technology to the faculty members when Deans & Vice Chancellor were also present. It was on 9 th February 2007. The entire talk was highly interactive with 50% of the time was used by the participants in answering to the questions posed by YSR or commenting on statements or raising questions etc. The overall thread of the talk was mentioned.

Slide – 1: Starts with what is meant by globalising world? what makes globalisation something very special in the recent period (Transport, communication,multiple source of technology, competitive skills etc.) But it is good to derive through questions, discussions(brief) building on the answers(YSR's task). Then similarly explore Technology,Business,Universities.

Then you discuss integrated roles in brief.

Slide – 2: India's status in commercial technology etc. Lots of Q's by YSR and A's- build on Audience's A's

Then concept of Technology Diffusion explained.

Slide – 3: Data on Indian Economy 2005-2007.

Slide –4: The time rate of changes in modern would is explained linked to the dominant technologies of the era. Now we are in CMDT hence very fast changes. Therefore Industries & Universities have to move very fast.

Slide –5&6: Describe old paradigms of Technology Development in Developed & Developing countries.

Slide –7: New paradigm - the paradigms have totally changed. No longer the same slow " linear" process.

Slide –8: Many aspects about the earlier four slides and slide -5 are elaborated in " Empowering Indians" by YSR many of its chapters and Global Business, Technology & Knowledge Sharing by Prof N S Siddhartthan & Y S Rajan (see the web site - Books).

Slide –9: YSR's paper on this topic( in this web site) Principles briefly told.

Slide –10: Explained - see several parts of this web site.

Slide –11: Totally Q & A (some groups of the viewers can try).

Slide –12: TI & KI as explained else where in this web site.

Slide –13: (Idea obtained from a Symposium in Austria, USA a few years ago).

Triple Helix-1 Old paradigm .Overpowering role of State.

Triple Helix-2 State as Coordinator between Academia & India.

Triple Helix-3 Current models where the roles overlap.(Rest is clear in slide).

Indian Universities /Colleges have to learn to graduate to Triple Helix -3. Requires lots of autonomy. Even now with existing constraints one can start. There are successful quasi-models all over India.


With the rapid growth of S&T worldwide and its penetration into every walk of life, it is necessary to use many applications of S&T to speed up the processes of legal and judicial systems to reach out to many Indians. A few examples are given as to how some new developments can help even illiterate people to access justice provided certain changes are done to the existing procedures by using S&T applications. Also examples are given as to how new emerging S&T applications can help speed up evidences. Some questions are raised about the use of the new systems to identify underground criminals, extremists and terrorists.

In addition to the above, new types of legal cases which may arise due to the fast progress of S&T, are also pointed out. Also the broader issues of impact of S&T on society and individuals and ethical issues in conducting S&T research are raised. Also pointed out how S&T uncertainties and as how activism and media distort them.

On the whole, the paper points out that legal & judicial community has to learn S&T processes in different contexts and uncertainties of S&T findings. It is also necessary to understand Indian social realities and use of global standards have their economic impact on poor.

It is therefore not enough for l &j community to depend on external intermediaries to understand them. They need to understand them to a level that they can develop insights themselves. It is further suggested that legal & judiciary community develop their own knowledge networks to understand essential elements of S&T on the lines suggested by Murray Gell Mann.


IRREVERENCE AND INNOVATION [power-point presentation. ]

This was a meeting with a large number of Indian participants and a few participants. Idea of the meet is to promote innovation in Indian industries and laboratories and also other systems.

Many good speakers were addressing specific narrow specicalities. There were also exhortations to be innovation. Statistics of other countries. Some case study and so on.

I therefore decided to address a crucial issue – Indian socio – psychological issue. (Probably applics to many developing countries).

Slide – 1 : Topic

Slide – 2

First bullet is a good part of our culture.

Second bullet, often used in different Indian languages in many ways with a lot of body language is the root of our slarish mentality.

When you talk of a change or a new success or a new form of organisation which has done well etc – the interest is knowing the real processes is so low. They are often dismissed wiwth third & fourth bullet – say one sentence ! etc.

For new ideas from anybody in Industry, Lab, or Academic institution, two great sayings : fifth & sixth bullet will dismiss new thoughts.

We literally peck at fellows who try to think differently.

Slide – 3

I asked the questions in the slide ?

This is the reality of most medium and big companies in India, though the CEO’s and other spokesmen will do a great PR as to how they are in front line of innovation !

Slide – 4 

The realities with most SME’s.

Slide – 5

How most banks play safe. How most scientists are totally selfish vis-Ã -vis their own funding and not on useful results.

How “science policy” people live in macro world !

Slide – 6

Most Industry people think about Innovation as a simple process ?

Hear talks of great NRIs and American professors etc.

Slide – 7

Realities about Innovation. Remember the three bullets.

Fourth bullet – so much I learnt from Mrs Rina Priodor who was the key person to make Israeli Venture Capital (starting with jews immigrating from their Soviet Union and later to all Israelis) operated from the Office of Chief Scientist to work in the 1980’s. It is a great success story. Nobody perhaps may write about her. She is full of actual stories – successes and failures. How much more is to be done beyond the written down formats and reported aspects of each of those enterprises which has made Israel great Hi-Tech Nation.

One quote I have given here. Don’t think that innovators are bright intelligent source persons. There are many ugly faces. How many of us are willing to nurture even those who “torture” you with such ugly faces ? Funders, programme managers etc. have to learn to do it. Then only innovation can be nurtured.

Fifth bullet is my own creation :

Hope you know how sheep behave; how goats do. Most of Indians like to be sheep.

Slide – 8

Some real realities Read, think.

Slide – 9

Those who swear by innovation – in an SME, Medium & Small industry, employee, entrepreneurs, lab person, facilitators, bankers etc.

Are you ready to do what is told there in the slide ?

Slide – 10

How to structure yourselves.

These are crucial capabilities, attitudes needed.

I was / am very happy that Prof Shoji Shiba, a great practitioner and exponent of Innovation liked this slide and told me after the talk. He quoted it next day too ! (He is much older to me !). He particularly liked

Be Confident

Not Arrogant

Slide – 11

We talked of simple aspects of thoughts.

It is a poem from me.

Read it again and again.

You can raise your mind.