India as a World Leader of Knowledge

By | December 16, 2021

India is in a unique position that allows it to reap extraordinary competitive advantages, but also to be able to enjoy, in the long term, the best opportunities of an economy based on knowledge. By radically and quickly overturning a large part of the stereotypes of the past, it is becoming the protagonist of the knowledge economy.

First of all, the strong demographic advantage should be emphasized. The World Bank predicts that in 2050 the Indian population will exceed that of China, but with respect to this it will retain a strong percentage prevalence of the youth population: currently 54% of the 1100 million residents are made up of people under 25 years of age. The country already has a consolidated scientific and technical infrastructure for higher education, which is being further strengthened with the 2007-13 five-year development plan. Another positive aspect is the wide availability of English-speaking skilled labor. There are over 350 universities already existing, 1,500 primary research institutes and more than 10,000 higher education institutions, which each year qualify 415,000 engineers and 300,000 graduates specializing in other disciplines. In addition, more than 1200 business schools specializing in various management disciplines already operate, covering all the spectra of corporate organizational activities with degree and post-graduate courses . Every year there is an increase of 5,000 research doctorates and 2,100 other types of degrees. All of these graduates speak and think in English, with clear advantage for European business in general and Anglo-Saxon in particular . But the Indians, above all, represent a great reservoir of intellectual capital and human talents, more and more proud of being at the service of the development of their country rather than eager to expatriate abroad. India’s commitment to the knowledge economy is reaffirmed by the decision to establish another 1,500 universities by 2015, approved on January 12, 2007 by Manmohan Singh, on the proposal of the knowledge commission. 15% of these universities, that is 225, will come into operation within the next three years and in the same period of time the model of 10 national universities (academic centers of national excellence) must be made operational compared to the 15 foreseen.

The Indian higher education framework also includes 6 IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology), 5 IIIT (Indian Institutes of Information Technologies), 6 IIM (Indian Institutes of Management), 17 RCE (Regional Engineering Colleges), 17,700 undergraduate colleges (which collect 85% of university students). IITs operate in the field of communications and information technologies. In the IIM it is possible to attend MBA (Master in Business Administration) courses, to which 1265 engineering colleges and 1034 institutes are connected, from which an MCA (Master of Computer Application) can be obtained. Of the undergraduate colleges, 200 are autonomous, 17,500 are affiliated or integral part of 131 universities. The average is 100 affiliated colleges, but some universities report more than 400. In this context it is no coincidence that the IISc (Indian Institute of Science) of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) will become an Indian university of world excellence in the sector scientific for international collaborations. Since the Indian Finance Act of 2005-06, funds have been allocated for 3 billion rupees necessary to achieve this short-term goal. Nor is it a coincidence that India is creating, alongside the aforementioned IIITs, an Institute of computer software professionals of India with the aim of reaching the target of more than one million new software professionals by the end of 2008. In the Indian knowledge economy, the leading role has been assumed for over 10 years by information technologies , which constitute the driving force of modern economy of the entire Indian Union with the strong development of software, hardware and peripherals, information technology and related services, fixed and mobile telecommunications, telematics and value-added services in the Internet and non-Internet environments. This broad area of information technology it has influenced and correlated other innovative fields of corporate and institutional collaboration in Research & Development: biotechnology; pharmaceutical; science and technology; innovation and industrial automation; nuclear energy for agricultural, medical, biotechnological, electronic and metallurgical applications; surveying, geocartographic, in-orbit transport and communication satellites. For India 2008, please check

Over the past few years, more than 100 multinational companies have established R&D centers in India, making an average unit investment of over US $ 1 billion. In Bengaluru, General Electric has opened the largest technology center outside the US. Microsoft has already done the same in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is gearing up to become the US IBM in India, using tens of thousands of Indian employees in outsourcing. Other companies that have R&D centers in India include Bell Labs, Cummins, DuPont, Daimler Chrysler, Eli Lilly, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Honeywell, Qualcomm, Whirlpool, the Italian-French STM electronics.

So now not only Bengaluru, to cite the most traditional example, is the privileged center for research settlements and for the offshoring of small, medium and large American, European and even Asian companies. These have already established themselves and are multiplying with an impressive speed in about half of the 28 Indian states , also helping to drive all fields of the traditional and innovative real estate sectors, thanks to the exponential multiplication of hundreds of SEZs (Special Economic Zones), parks industrial parks, technology parks, software and information technology development parks, biotechnology and nanotechnology parks, parks and space centers. The same happens for entire cities (for example Knowledge City, with an area of ​​800 hectares, designed in Gandhinagar in Gujarat) and broadband corridors or backbones of telecommunications and value-added telematic services, relating to the most advanced subjects of the knowledge economy.

For these reasons, according to an index of the development of global trade drawn up by a well-known American consultancy agency, India is the second most attractive destination in the world among all developing and emerging global competitors. The relations between India and the United States are of particular importance, although they were prevalent in the technological field even when India was in the sphere of privileged interests with the USSR. Relations definitively became primary in July 2005, when George W. Bush and Manmohan Singh signed a strategic alliance on the transfer of technologies for nuclear energy to civilian use in favor of India, ratified by the parliaments of the two states. after about two years. It is symptomatic that in February 2005, for the first time in their history, The US Senate and House have ratified a ‘solemn written commendation’, intended for the nation of the Indian Union, in recognition of the contribution made by the ‘Indian knowledge workers’ to the scientific and technological greatness of the United States of America. Consider that in the Californian Silicon Valley alone over 150,000 Indian technologists, computer scientists and software developers work and that 75% of Microsoft products are developed by Indians residing in the United States or India, where Microsoft’s largest research centers operate., Hewlett-Packard, CISCO and many other multinationals. Over two thirds of the top 500 multinational companies in the world surveyed by the magazine Fortunes benefit from outsourced services provided by Indian companies headquartered in India or with branches or subsidiaries in the United States.

India 2008