Should India Celebrate?

The wealth of Indian billionaires is more than 3.5 times the wealth of Chinese billionaires. With 19 newcomers, India has 53 billionaires with a combined wealth of $340.9 billion, according to the Forbes list of world’s billionaires. India also holds the honour of having the largest number of four billionaires in top ten – NRI steel baron Lakshmi Mittal (4th), Mukesh Ambani (5th), Anil Ambani (6th) and KP Singh (8th).

Here is what Barkha Dutt, Managing Editor, NDTV 24×7 opines, “Let’s celebrate because all four men on the global list of the super-rich are men who for the most part, built or expanded their own empires, crawling and climbing their way up. None of them were born to money (not even the Ambanis in the strictest sense). And if they can get here, so can the rest of us. It’s this can-do spirit that the New India is so excited about.” But the best part is that Ambani brothers taken together become the richest in the world today. In absence of icons from other areas of activities except cricket, perhaps it is good that these wealthiest ones are becoming the icons for the middle class youth and the urge of entrepreneurship is getting contagious.

·Foreign exchange reserves moved above the $300-billion mark to touch $301.235 billion for the week ended February 29, according to data released by RBI. Gold reserves increased to $9.558 billion. Indians use 20% of gold in the world and nine out of 10 diamonds used in the world are made in India. And surprisingly, it is not only the richest that are getting benefited. Diamond industry provides so much of employment. However, many of these industries are still not run by professionals, but owned and run by traders who become real misers when it comes to pay their workers. How can India bridge the gap between the rich and the poor?

·According to AICTE, India produced 4.01 lakh engineers in 2003-04, of which 35% were computer engineers. The number of graduates swelled to 5.2 lakh in 2005-06 and by 2006-07, the number of colleges had increased to 1,503, which admitted 5.83 lakh students in all. Surprisingly, five Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala – account for almost 69% of the country’s engineers. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa account for only 14%. Why are the laggard states behind? Do the states not allow the setting up of the colleges or no entrepreneur is interested in going there because of the unique local culture? Why can’t the central government create an equitable condition by providing more of central universities in these states? Surprisingly, at least Bihar feeds most of the colleges in Karnataka and Maharashtra with students in large number. But with all the number that may soon be the highest in the world even exceeding Chinese output, the industry rates only 25% of the graduates as employable. Should the affiliation of the college that has poor record of the employable graduates be withdrawn?

·As many as 12% scientists and 38% doctors in the US are Indians, and in NASA, 36% or almost 4 out of 10 scientists in US are Indians. 34% employees at Microsoft, 28% at IBM, 17% at Intel and 13% at Xerox are Indians. And the source of information is a minister who announces it as achievement of its department in parliament. Should he or she do that to be proved as hoax? Will it not create a bad-feeling for those in USA in the election year? How are these so called NRIs of help to India? Why should we celebrate?

·India is the sixth most popular country in the US, with 69 per cent of the Americans having a positive image about it, while Pakistan finds itself among the 10 most unpopular nations, according to a new poll. Will it help India in any major way?

·The Railways would have a total surplus of about Rs 1,00,000 crore by the next year. It has already generated a surplus of Rs 69,000 crore in the past four years. And when can we have a better timely running railways and a clean safe railway station?

Should we celebrate the wonderful performance of Team India in cricket or shed tears for the shameful loss in hockey?

India wins where there is good governance, where there is good leadership, where there is least interference from the politicians. Look around and see the amount of dirt and dust created by our own people that trips even the national grid. Should we celebrate that?

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