Empowering Indians : With Economic, Business And Technology Strengths For The Twenty First Century

Posted in Books

Author Y S Rajan
Publisher Har-Anand Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (2001)
Revised Reprint 2002
(Please take only the revised reprint in case you buy)

About the book

The book is dedicated to the MILLIONS of unknown parents and foster parents who bring forth and shape many Indian girls and boys against heavy odds. It also hopes that their aspirations and dreams about their future would come true.

The book has an excellent foreword by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam the then Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India. It was released on 11th May 2001 Technology Day. A revised reprint came out in 2002.

A review says 'Reading this book hopes gets kindled. Mr. Rajan communicates with the reader directly as he weaves in the considerable details into a vision of remarkable clarity about coordinates of where India is now and where we can take it.' The conversation is about us Indians, with our traditional strengths, learning and value systems; having come through decades of planned growth and now finding ourselves on the world stage, a little bewildered.

Assessing the above statement again during 2006, though there are some definitively positive developments in terms of economic growth still there are many factors relating to developing economic business and technology strengths required for the current century at the levels of institutions, industries, firms and individuals are still weak in India. Hence clear analysis and options given in the book are all the more vital for all those who do better for themselves let alone at an all India level.

While the book is Indian centric in terms of examples, the basic processes given in the book

  • Vision for the country and people,
  • Integrative policies for Economy, Security and Technology
  • Process of Research, Technology, Industry and Business
  • Human Dimensions and shaping Human Resources, and
  • Sustaining the World: In Search of Values

(Each of them forming five sections of the book with various chapters in the five sections totaling twelve in all are equally relevant to many other developing countries as well).

The main thrust of the first four sections books is to unlock the processes which help to make a Developing Country into a Developed one. Such a transformation cannot be brought about by mere economic reforms of liberalisation, globalisation, privatisation, etc... not merely statements of policies and vision. There are many inner details of processes in the current phase of human society which are intricately interwoven with science, technology, economics, business and individual human capital development. Often persons in charge of governance and development in developing countries overlook these. These realities are often more painful and real as has been explained by (late) P N Haksar whose are quotes are in the book.

Understanding and mastering the processes will empower people in the developing world. The author will be happy if persons from other countries adopt the contents of the book keeping the core features and change the examples and emphasis of sectors, in their own contexts.

The book also addresses some of the stark dilemmas in the Indian context: some excellent developments in Space and Atomic Energy or IT software or apparent food sufficiency. But statistics such as 1% share of global trade, about 1 - 2% of share in world ICT market, very low per capita, low educational levels do not speak well of India's achievements. Author contends that this is because of not understanding the details of processes and hence explained in the book.

The book is written with a great optimism that these processes can be mastered with right understanding and consistent pursuit of hard realities (It is one long slog). Examples of Japan, Korea etc... adapted to modern day realities of WTO etc are given in the book.

The last section on the Search of Value Systems goes beyond the mere aspects of economic development. The author believes that all the people of the globe can be truly prosperous given the potentials of science, technology and modern business (to be pursued with the processes outlined in the book). But when everybody is prosperous how to maintain ecology, social and global peace and happiness. Preface and Overview contains many important issues on Indian society, economy and clearly brings forth the essence of the book. There are numerous references and looks for further reading. 

Hindi Title: Shaktipunj Bhaaratvaasi published by Prabhat Prakashan, Delhi (

Gujarati: Shaktipunj Bhaaratvaasi published by Navbharat Sahitya Mandir, Ahmedabad


"The book EMPOWERING INDIANS and each chapter has a doctrine, experience and above all integration of ideas of our civilization to the modern time... We need to arm the people with technological knowledge to seeing their successes many others follow. To raise the level of the people from the poverty line require part support in terms of funding and mostly in terms of technology inputs with systems approach. I have enjoyed reading the manuscript of the book and I hope it will be instrumental in triggering the imagination of many of our people to work for a developed India. I wish him also well in his efforts to make the country great."

- Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


"This book by Prof. Y.S.Rajan makes excellent reading. His firm commitment to create a developed India, his innovative suggestions, sometimes even somewhat provocative, his ideas on building a great technological future for India and his deep faith that India can make it into the comity of nations are evident from this book. I was particularly touched by the last section on value systems, which brings out the deep compassion, which Prof. Y.S.Rajan has for the humanity, and especially for the poor. His plea of the empowerment of our people with economic opportunities combined with development of suitable knowledge and skills needs to be taken seriously by everyone. This is a book that every Indian should treasure." 

- Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, F.R.S DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR

"There are two ways of looking at a problem. One, being critical on what is wrong and leaving it at that. Two, identifying the actual problem area, speak nothing about it but design solutions. There are many in the first category. But men of mettle who have vision for the nation have always fallen into the second. Prof. Y.S. Rajan's writings in his book empowering Indian fix him in to the second." 

- Book Review by Industrial Economist, July 2001