ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Evidence-based Policymaking

Looking into India's research and development figures for 2011-12, this article points out that four issues stand out in a systematic analysis of the data. These are the national system of innovation moving closer to the business enterprise sector; the private sector's share of R&D in the agricultural sector increasing; R&D in the research councils having very little interaction with the production sector; and the quantity of human resources engaged in R&D.

Late Industrial Revolution in India

India's Late, Late Industrial Revolution: Democratizing Entrepreneurship by Sumit K Majumdar (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press), 2012; pp xxv + 426, Rs 895.

The Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013

The new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of 2013 makes all the right noises, but how do we know that it will not go the way of the 2003 policy when it comes to implementation? There are indeed some interesting ideas in STIP 2013 but none show that they have been thought through.

A Compendium on the Indian Telecommunications Industry

The Telecom Revolution in India: Technology, Regulation and Policy by Varadharajan Sridhar (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2012; pp xviii +342, price not stated.

Liberalisation of Technical Education in Kerala

There has been a significant increase in the college seats available in undergraduate engineering degree programmes in Kerala. This has happened by licensing a number of privately-owned engineering colleges. Consequently, enrolment in engineering increased from about 2,800 in 1991 to about 28,000 in 2008. After a careful analysis of a unique data set, this study reaches the conclusion that actual out-turn rates have been steadily declining, especially since 2004. This decline is observed at the aggregate level, across different branches and also across different colleges. It then hypothesises about the probable causes for this steady decline in out-turn rates and concludes with the larger implications of this state of affairs.

National Manufacturing Policy: Making India a Powerhouse?

The 2011 National Manufacturing Policy is yet another attempt at accelerating growth in the manufacturing sector and push job creation in the area. In what way is this policy different from the many individual policy announcements of the past and what chance is there of it making a difference?

Diffusion of New Technologies and Productivity Growth in Agriculture: Natural Rubber vs Coconuts

India has the highest level of productivity in natural rubber and coconuts. While natural rubber productivity has grown rapidly, that of coconuts has barely increased over time. This paper seeks an explanation for this differential performance in terms of relative rates of diffusion of new technologies facilitated by their respective Sectoral Systems of Innovation. The ssi of rubber consists of an articulated regulatory policy mechanism which ensured that the new technologies that were generated by the research arm of the regulatory body itself were adopted by the farmers. Contrary to this, in coconuts there appear not much evidence of diffusion of new technologies and its ssi is characterised by a lack of cohesiveness with a multiplicity of actors operating at sub-optimal scales. However, some concerted efforts have been made over the last 10 years or so to develop new technologies and its diffusion among farmers and this has started bearing fruit in the form of increases in productivity, specifically since 1995-96.

Is India Becoming More Innovative since 1991? Some Disquieting Features

India is variously described as a knowledge-based economy in the making, thanks essentially due to her high economic growth and the role played by knowledge-intensive sectors such as information technology in spurring and maintaining this growth performance. This paper looks at the empirical evidence on whether this is indeed the case since the reform process began in 1991. A variety of conventional indicators are analysed and their movements over the last two decades or so are charted to draw some firm conclusions. The results show that instances of innovation are restricted to a few areas such as the pharmaceutical industry. Further, increasingly most of the innovations in industry are contributed by foreign firms operating in the country.

Growth of India's Telecom Services (1991-2007): Can It Lead to Emergence of a Manufacturing Hub?

This paper addresses a number of issues arising from the growth of telecom services in India since the mid-1990s. It also discusses a number of spillover effects for the rest of the economy and one of the more important effects is the potential to develop a major manufacturing hub in the country for telecom equipment and for downstream industries such as semiconductor devices. The telecom industry in India could slowly become an example of the service sector acting as a fillip to the growth of the manufacturing sector.

The Dragon vs the Elephant

China and India have one of the largest telecommunications equipment markets in the world. This paper employs the sectoral system of innovation framework for understanding the differential outcomes in innovation capability building in the industry achieved by China and India. The two countries have pursued widely diverging strategies for developing their domestic innovation capability. India followed a very rigid policy of indigenous development of domestic technologies by establishing a stand-alone public laboratory that developed state-of-the-art switching technologies. The public laboratory was not given any strategic direction, even though it was technologically speaking, very competent. Consequently, the country, despite possessing good quality human resources was unable to keep pace with changes in the technology frontier and the equipment industry has now become essentially dominated by affiliates of MNCs. China, on the contrary, first depended on MNCs for her technology needs in this area. But subsequently encouraged the emergence of three national champions, two of which are erstwhile public laboratories. The country has built up considerable hardware capability in both fixed line and mobile communications technology and has also emerged as a major player in world markets.

Fr Oswald Mathias: A Personal Tribute

A Personal Tribute SUNIL MANI Father Oswald Mathias, or Ossie as he was affectionately called is no more. He passed away, after a brief illness, on December 23, 2002. He served Loyola College, Madras as a professor of economics and as a warden of the college library with great distinction for over three decades. Needless to add Ossie belonged to that vanishing breed of extremely dedicated and conscientious teachers. These teachers did not have fancy degrees attached to their names, but their dedication, hard work and selfless devotion to their duty made up for everything that they did not have.

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