Today is Sunday and normally I don’t like to take in some serious topics in my thought process. And these days, I am alone at home, as Yamuna is visiting her village home after many years. When I am alone, many ideas crop in mind. Here are two stories that somehow are troubling me for quit sometime.
One is from Ramayana that is mythological, though many in India believe Rama is a historical figure.
Dasrath was the father of Rama. Dasrath couldn’t bear the separation of Rama, the eldest son when he left for forest. He died after hearing from the charioteer that Rama or even Sita have not returned. Is there any story in other such epics or history where the father or the mother dies because of the separation of the son?
Second story is historical and that is from the Mogul period. Babur started the Mugal Empire in India. Once his son, Humayun was extremely sick and was not recovering even after all the medication by his doctors. Babur prayed to Allah that He takes his life and in return cures his son. It is said thereafter Babur fell ill and died. But Humayun had recovered.
Have you heard of any other story where the father or the mother has gone for such wishes?
PM Pleads to Japanese
Our economist PM Man Mohan Singh is presently on a visit of Japan with his party and trying to market India to Japanese. Japanese are as such very difficult people to get maneuvered.
Japanese philosophy of product and process design is based on quality engineering (Taguchi) where conceptualization and planning takes the maximum time, unlike the Western method of working where engineering goes on changing till last moment of putting the product to the customers.
Japanese learnt almost all its modern technologies and management techniques from US, but assimilated and adopted so well that it got branded as Japanese manufacturing system. Prime Minister and his colleagues as well as the distinguished members of CII in his team must do everything to get the Japanese to assist India in making it a significant player in manufacturing. He must facilitate, and remove all the irritating speed breakers in FDI from Japanese manufacturers. Here is some of what our PM said while in Japan.
Today India has emerged as an important player in knowledge-based sectors like information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The expansion and modernization of physical and social infrastructure consisting of roads, railways, telecommunications, sea and airports will greatly add to the competitiveness and efficiency of India’s manufacturing sector.
India’s trade and investment ties with Japan are well below potential. Japanese has already been introduced as an optional foreign language in our secondary schools. We hope to see thousands of our youth learning Japanese in the next few years.
In the first half of the current fiscal year our growth rate recorded a new high of 9.1%. The manufacturing sector is fast catching up with the services sector. These two sectors account for almost 80 per cent of our national income. This remarkable growth is being led by an investment rate of 31 per cent of GDP, financed almost entirely by a matching savings rate of over 29 per cent. India’s stable macro – economic indicators lead me to believe that we have the potential to achieve double digit growth in the coming years. Growth has already helped millions of our citizens to emerge from abject poverty, which is reflected in the decline of the poverty ratio from above 50% in the seventies to below 20% today. South Korean consumer brands have moved aggressively into India and their brands have very high recognition value among our consumers. On the trade front, India’s trade with both China and South Korea is booming and grew last year at around 40% with both countries. China’s trade with India is nearly three times India’s trade with Japan and Korea’s trade with India is almost equal to Japan’s trade with India.
Since the end of 2004, over $ 5 billion have been invested from Japan in India’s capital markets. The number of Japanese companies in India has grown by 50% in the last three years. A JETRO survey conducted in 2005, which concluded that the profit prospects of Japanese manufacturing companies was the best in India as compared to all ASEAN countries. As a consequence, more than 90% of such companies in India were planning to expand their operations in the next couple of years.
An economically resurgent India today offers a variety of investment opportunities, both in traditional and new sectors, in labour-intensive and knowledge-based industries. In bio-technology, nano-technology, information technology, automobiles and aerospace, textiles and leather, marine products and in many other areas Japan and India can come together. The focus of our government has been to create world class infrastructure in India. I am personally monitoring all the major infrastructure projects every quarter as head of the Committee on Infrastructure. We have estimated that India’s investment needs in area of infrastructure will be at least $320 billion in the next five years in infrastructure alone. We have estimated that our total investment requirement would be closer to US$ 500 billion.
There are already more than 70 Indian software companies and 5,000 Indian engineers operating in Japan and Indian companies are making significant efforts to train software professionals for the Japanese market. Japanese has already been introduced as an optional foreign language in our secondary schools and the government is committed to increasing Japanese language learning opportunities in India. There are many opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Japanese companies in the area of energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies. We must exploit this vast latent potential.
Every Indian wishes that India gets closer to Japan through technical tie-ups in manufacturing sector, and Japanese manufacturers make India their low-cost base for manufacturing to supply their produce to nearer markets of West Asia, Europe and Africa.