Towards a Competitive Nation Summary Notes
Towards a Competitive Nation Author
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born on October 15th, 1931, and passed away on July 27th, 2015. He is an acclaimed personality, born and raised in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. He studied Physics and Aerospace Engineering. He was the 11th President of India. (from2002-2007) He was a scientist and Science Administrator in DRDO and ISRO. He is known as the Missile man of India. The present essay is an extract taken from ‘Turning Points’—A Journey Through Challenges, the inspiring sequel to ‘Wings of Fire’.
Towards a Competitive Nation Summary
The essay ‘Towards A Competitive Nation’ is an extract from the autobiographical book ‘Turning Points-A Journey through Challenges’ written by the former President of India, Dr. AP. J. Abdul Kalam. The book ‘ Turning Points ’ is a blueprint for making India a developed country, where he suggests measures to make Judiciary, Parliament, and Executive more efficient in their functioning.
Dr. Kalam begins the essay ‘Towards A Competitive Nation’ by drawing the attention of the scientists while urging them to use the inventions in technology to uplift the lives of750 million people who live in the villages. Dr. Kalam reveals that in his fifty-year career in the fields of Science and Technology, he had realized that a country can only develop through progress in agriculture and technology. In his opinion, the three key areas that need to be focused on are Nano-technology, e-governance, and Bio-diesel. So in order to give impetus and a conducive environment for innovation, he decided to start experimenting in Rashtrapathi Bhavan itself, when he was the President of India.
According to Dr. Kalam, complex innovations require combined thinking of various specialists, the consideration of different opinions, and an efficient team to execute missions and actions. Hence, three unique conferences on nano-technology governance and bio-diesel were organized in Rastrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi and the presidential retreat in Secundrabad. These Conferences provide be beneficial for the future development of India.
Dr. Kalam had extensive discussions with Prof. C.N.R. Rao, the honorary President of the Jawaharlal Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bengaluru, and another specialist in India and abroad about the future course of research and development of nano-science technology and its uses in agriculture, medicine, space, and energy. Dr. Kalam was impressed and inspired by such discussions that he organized a full-day conference in Rastrapathi Bhavan. As a result, the Government of India planned to invest Rs. 1000 crore in a coordinated program involving the three fields which lead to many important advances and innovations in the respective fields of technology.
Dr. Kalam was delighted to know that the scientists of Banaras Hindu University had developed a simple and cost-effective method to produce carbon riano- tube filters that efficiently removed micro- to-nano-scale contaminants from water and heavy hydrocarbons from petroleum. The combined tealri of scientists and the private company, Dabur, had succeeded in discovering a drug delivery system in treating cancer that directly attacked cancer tumor cells.
Dr. Kalam believes that efficient, result – oriented and transparent governance is a priority for a developed India and to its transition to a knowledge society. This can happen through the integration and localization of central and state government departments and agencies. The state and central governments of Indian Union must strive to plan and implement such schemes with the active participation of private and public sector companies. With this idea in mind, an e-govemance conference was organized, and as a result an e-govemance system was first implemented in Rashtrapathi Bhavaa Dr. Kalam foresees a future in India connected with e-govemance system with every Indian citizen having a smart I.D. card to access effective services, which will also curb extremism and terrorism.
Dr. Kalam is sure that water and energy are two key resources that will lead to conflicts in the future. A Governors’ conference was organized,to identify and resolve problems in maintenance of water bodies, conservation of natural resources and inter-connecting rivers within the states and the Union of India. Dr. Kalam writes that he has always been campaigning against dependence on fossil fuels and the importance of finding alternative sources of energy. According he advises developing bio-fiiel as an altemate.energy resource. A bio-fuel conference was organized in the Rastrapathi Nilayam in Secundrabad to highlight and consider all aspects of developing alternative sources of energy. Among the others, formers who had relevant experience in bio-fuel resources were invited to the conference to share their views and experience.
raised issues rekted tp-albtrpent of non-fertile agricultural lands for growing crops from which Bip-ftiel can be extracted. The automobile designers assured that there wouldn’t be any immediate need to develop new automobile diesel engines and that only a small percentage of bio-fuel was needed to be mixed with diesel to run the existing engines which run on diesel, but if a higher percentage of bio-diesel were to be mixed with diesel, changes in the engine design was required. Business representatives talked about investments required for producing bio-diesel and profit percentages Dr. Kalamhad also presented his concept for the use of biofuel. The recommendations of the conference was printed and circulated among all concerned Stakeholders, Dr. Kalam is happy that the efforts lead to the government to evolve a Bio-diesel Policy.
Dr. Kalam writes that the Rastrapathi Bhavan was instrumental in initiating a path-breaking technological event i.e., India’s moon mission. In the year 2006 the then chairman of ISRO had discussed India’s fixture space missions such as Chandrayaan. Dr. Kalam was sure that Chandrayaan would be the first step towards further planetary missions and space exploration. The ISRO Chairman had informed Dr. Kalam that the proposed moon mission would enable Indian space scientists to collect scientific information on the chemical, mineralogical and geological characteristic of the moon. Dr. Kalam had advised the chairman to adopt a combined entry package to the moon with at least one telemetry channel with density or pressure measurement or tone ranging that would enable the scientists to collect data directly from the moon’s surface. Dr. Kalam’s suggestion led to the birth of the Moon Impact Probe which became a part of Chandrayaan mission. Dr. Kalam writes that he was delighted to know that the moon – probe landed safely on the moon on 14 November 2008.
While studing the Global Innovation Report of the year 2011, Dr. Kalam found that India ranked at 62 in the GIR. Dr. Kalam explains that the Innovation Index and competitiveness are linked to each other. In 2010-11 India ranked 56 in the Global Competitiveness Index. So if India has to gain a ranking within the top 10 countries, it has to build indigenous design capacities. Dr. Kalam explains that India’s growth was achieved using the outdated technology developed by other nations. The latest technologies are closely guarded as well as patented and unavailable to India immediately. So it is invariable for India to develop its own Research and Development infiastructure to be one among the top ten ranked countries in the Global Innovation Index.
Dr. Kalam gives on instance where India has successfully developed an indigenous technology where we crossed a milestone in technological advancement. It was the successful test launch of the Agni V missile, wholly developed in India in 2012. The Agni V missile was the result of a Rs. 400 crore IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme) established in the year 1983. In addition to the development of missiles such as Akash, Trishul, Prithvi and Nag, the programme was intended to show the re-entry characteristics of a long – range missile. This technology was first demonstrated in May 1989. Many long range missiles under the category of MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) where tested by the scientists and engineers ofDRDQ. These missiles nor their technology is not for sale because it is the result of years of research and development.
Dr. Kalam ends the essay indicating that the successful testing of the missiles is significant in terms of self-reliance which enables India to follow an independent foreign policy.
Towards a Competitive Nation Glossary
prerequisite – extremely necessary
integrated – unsegregated
propagating – grow or cultivate
evolved – developed /progressed
endeavor – try hard to achieve
splashing – a sound made when something that strikes water
IGMDP – Integrated Guided Missile Development Program
Nano Technology – The branch of technology that deals with dimension and tolerance of fewer than 100 nanometers especially the multiplication of individual atoms and molecules
E-Governance – The application of communication and information technology for providing Government services –
Bio-Diesel – Abio fiiel intended as a substitute for diesel.
Towards a Competitive Nation Questions & Answers
Which are the two areas, according to Kalam that is crucial for a developing nation to become a developed nation?
Nano-technology, e-governance, and bio-diesel.
What was one supposed solution to the water crisis in the country?
Maintenance of water bodies; conservation of water resources and networking of rivers both within states and nationality.
What is India’s ranking in the Global Competitive Index?
India ranked 56 in the GCI in 2010-11.
Name three major areas required to be focused on, to create a favorable environment for innovation.
Research in basic sciences, Indigenous design capability, Al¬location of funds from research and development.
What is E-governance?
E-governance or e-governance or Electronic Governance is the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchanging of information, communications, transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to-citizen (G2C) government-to-business (G2B) government-to-business (G2B) eg -filling of tax returns, renewal of ID, passport or driving license.
The two key areas that will be a source of conflict in the future are _______
Water and Energy.
Mention top three countries on Global Innovation Index,
In the Global Innovation Index, the three top-ranking countries are Switzerland-1, Sweden-2, and Singapore – 3.
What was the amount secured by IGMDP in 1983?
Rs. 400 Crore in 1983.
___________ ‘ ___________ ‘ __________ ‘ are the conferences held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Secunderbad.
Nano-technology, e-governance, and bio-diesel.
Which country ranked first in the Global Innovation Index?
MTCR: Missile Technology Control Regime.
Write a short note on Chandrayaan Mission.
India’s Moon – mission or Chandrayan Mission was envisaged by the ISRO in the year 2006. According to Dr. Kalam, it is the first step towards further planetary explorations and manned missions. The spacecraft would orbit the moon and transmit scientific information on the chemical mineralogical and geological characteristics of the earth’s moon, the spacecraft would carry a variety of scientific instruments, which ISRO was in the process of finalizing. Dr. Kalam has suggested the spacecraft should include a combined entry package to the moon with at least one telemetry channel, with density or pressure measurement or tone ranging, which would enable the ISRO scientists to gather data directly from the moon’s surface. Dr. Kalam’s suggestion led to the birth of the moon. Impact Probe landed on the Moon’s surface on 14 November 2008 exactly in the predetermined area.
How would the application of nanoscience technology benefit fields like medicine and energy?
The application of Nano-technology led scientists from the Banaras Hindu University to devise a simple method to produce carbon nanotube filters that efficiently remove micro-to nanoscale contaminants from water and heavy hydrocarbons from petroleum. The Scientists andtechnogists of Delhi university in partnership with a Private Company, Dabur, have successfully developed a drug delivery system that directly targets cancer tumour cells.
Why was IGMDP sanctioned?
The IGMDP was sanctioned at a cost of nearly Rs. 400 crore in 1983. This program envisaged the development, production, and deployment of four missile systems namely, a surface-to-surface missile (Prithvi); a medium-range surface-to-air missile (Akash); a short-range quick-reaction surface-to-air missile (Trishul); and an anti-tank missile (Nag). In addition, a technology demonstration missile (Agni) was also a part of the program, which was in¬tended to show the re-entry characteristics of a long-range missile. This technology was first demonstrated on the Odisha coast in May 1989.
Subsequently longer ranges of Agni I, II, III, and IV were demonstrated during the last two decades with increasing range capabilities. And finally, the scientists and engineers of DRDO facilitated the fight testing of Agni V, which is a 5,000 km range missile. All these missiles come under the category of MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) and other sanctions. Hence, neither the missile system nor the technology needed for these systems will be available for purchase for a price. The system has to be realized in a hard way only through systematic research and development.
Hence, the successful testing of this missile holds a special significance in terms of self-reliance in critical technologies and empowers the country to follow an independent foreign policy.
How did Biofuel policy evolve?
Dr. Kalam believes that the two key areas that will be sources of conflict in the future are water and energy. One of the governors ’ conferences addressed the water issue in terms of maintenance of water bodies, conservation of this resource, and the networking of rivers both within states and nationally. I have been propagating energy independence from fossil fuels as the need of the hour. One key initiative in this regard is developing biofuel. To highlight this and to consider all aspects of the initiative in an integrated way, we hosted a conference at Rashtrapathi Nilayam. Among others, the conference was attended by farmers who have experience in this field and are also potential users, The vice-chancellors of agricul¬tural universities explained the research on different aspects like seed characteristics and irrigation needs of plants which could be used as sources of biofuel.
Government officials raised issues related to the allotment of non-fertile lands. Automobile designers talked about a mix of biofuel and diesel that could be used without any changes in engine design and the changes required if the percentage of biofuel used were to be higher. Business representatives talked about investments and breakeven points. I presented my concept for the use of biofuel. At the end of the conference, recommenda¬tions were drawn up and circulated to the concerned parties biofuel policy has now been evolved.
Why does Kalam consider the launch of Agni V a milestone?
Dr. Kalam considers the successful testing and launch of the Missile Agni V, a milestone because it demonstrated the capability of India Scientists in the field of Defense Research and the Develop¬ment of arms technology. The launch of the Agni V Missile is a step to¬wards advancing India’s global competitiveness to the desired level, these Indigenous technology helped to score points to also reach a higher rank in the Global Innovation Index. The successful testing of the Agni V Missile holds a special significance in terms of self-reliance in critical technologies and empowers the country to follow an independent foreign policy.
What is the advantage of achieving self-reliance in critical technologies, for a country?
India is a developing country. The present growth and development of India have been achieved by the use of technologies essentially developed in other countries based on scientific discoveries and patents generated ten to fifteen years earlier. These are rather outdated technologies that are unsuitable for India to compete in the world market. Moreover, the latest technologies resulting from scientific advances are not available from developed countries to India at least for a decade. As these technologies are patented, the selling price is unaffordable for a developing country such as India.
These technologies would be made available if India tweaks its International trade policies and its foreign policies to the benefit of the supplier country. Moreover, India ranks 62 in the Global Inno¬vation Index and 56 in the Global Competitive Index. If India has to advance its ranking in both these Global Indexes it is necessary to develop indigenous Research and Development in technology.
Dr. Kalam considers the successful testing and launch of the Missile Agni V, a milestone because it demonstrates the capability of Indian Scientists in the field of Defense Research and Development of arms technology. The launch of the Agni V Missile is a step towards advancing India’s global competitiveness to the desired level. This indigenous technology helped to score points to also reach a higher rank in the Global Innovation Index. The successful testing of the Agni V Missile holds a special significance in terms of self-reli¬ance in critical technologies and empowers the country to follow an independent foreign policy.
Discuss the Global Innovative Index report for the year 2011.
While Dr. Kalam was studying the global innovation report for the year 2011, we find that as per the Global Innovation Index, Switzerland is ranked 1, Sweden 2, Singapore 3, Hong Kong 4, and India 62. There is a relationship between the innovation index and competitiveness. While India is 62 in the index, our ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index was 56 in 2010-11. If India has to gradu¬ate from 56 and become equal to the developed nations (within the top 10), it is essential that we build indigenous design capability.
The present growth has been achieved by the use of technologies essential-ly developed elsewhere based on scientific discoveries and patents generated ten to fifteen years earlier. The latest technologies resulting from scientific advances are not available from developed countries to India at least for a decade. Hence, research is vital, particularly in basic sciences, to take up India’s global competitiveness to the desired level.
Explain the achievements of ISRO.
India’s Moon – Mission or Chandrayan Mission was envisaged by the ISRO in the year 2006. According to Dr. Kalam, it is the first step towards further planetary explorations and manned missions. The spacecraft would orbit the moon and transmit scientific information on the chemical mineralogical and geological characteristics of the earth’s moon. The spacecraft would carry a variety of scientific instruments, which ISRO was in the process of finalizing. Dr. Kalam had suggested the spacecraft should include a combined entry package to the moon with at least one telemetry channel with density or pressure measurement or tone range, which would enable the ISRO scientists to gather data directly from the moon’s surface. Dr. Kalam’s suggestion led to the birth of the moon. Impact Probe landed on the Moon’s surface on 14 November 2008 exactly in the predetermined area.
In what way does Global competitiveness help a country?
COMPETITIVENESS is considered a key criterion for assessing the success of countries, industries, and companies. The World Economic Forum defines competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity. Competitiveness enables the government to generate Prosperity for its people. Competitiveness forces the governments to lower the level of regulations in a particular country that hinders the ability of a country to increase productivity. Governments are forced to invest in education, infrastructure Research, and development to improve the quality of the life of their citizens and bring it in par with international standards. Trade relations with other countries of the globe improve through competitive¬ness.
What vision does Abdul Kalam have for India?
VISION OF APJ ABDUL KALAM
’’Transforming the nation into a developed country, five areas in combination had been identified based on India’s core competence, natural resources and talented manpower for integrated action to double the growth rate of GDP and realize the Vision of Developed India”.
Agriculture and food processing: Aimed at doubling the present production of agricultural and food processing.
- Infrastructure with reliable electric power: Providing urban amenities to rural areas, and increasing solar power operations.
Education and Healthcare: Directed towards literacy, social security, and overall health for the population.
Information and Communication Technology: For increased e-governance to promote education in remote areas, telecommunication, and telemedicine.
- Critical technologies and strategic industries: The growth of nuclear technology, space technology, and defense technology.
- A nation with faith in God.
- Decrease the rate of poverty and illiteracy, make people educated through media, communities, social networking sites and increase the Indian market rate currency rate by purchasing Indian manufactured goods.
- A nation where the rural-urban divide has been reduced to a thin line. All parts of India will become developed.
- A nation where there is an equitable distribution of, and adequate access to, energy and quality water.
- A nation where agriculture, industry, and the service sector work together with the symphony.
- A nation where education with a good value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
- A nation that is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors from around the world.
- A nation where the best of healthcare is available to all citizens of India
- A nation where governance is responsive, transparent, and corruption-free.
- A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed, crime against women and children is absent, and no one in the society feels alienated.
- A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy, and continues on a sustainable growth path.
- A nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.
- A nation should develop places visited by pilgrims in India and capable leadership.