Indians seem to possess an indispensable penchant towards the technologies imported from overseas. The reason behind the tendency to criticize the indigenous technologies and advocate imports is due to the lack of benchmarking exercise either by the developmental agency or by the government. Apart from the lack of benchmarking practices the buying agencies also seem to be ignorant towards the indigenously developed products. As a result of such ignorance the indigenous development programs are being shelved, neglected in spite of the development agencies pumping in crores and crores of rupees.
The reason for imperativeness of the indigenous technology is that it catalysts the economic growth of the country along with providing employment opportunities for a part of the labor force of the country. The initiative towards the indigenous technologies also helps the nation attain self-reliance in technological aspects. Apart from ensuring self-reliance, an initiative towards indigenous technological development also provides ample opportunities for innovation, modernization and technological competitiveness. The process of strong indigenous technology development stimulates industrial development and domestic capacity building and also creates a demand for Indian made products in the global market. Employing a strong strategy for indigenous technological development would provide the consumer with a set of alternatives for buying and also enhance the competitiveness of the nation in the global market. The indigenous technology could also impose a check on the imports from overseas and provide opportunities for exportation of technology. Chronicling and archiving the industrial development and research activities would provide for ‘no re-invention of wheel’ in the future and prevent wastage of time and cost thus enabling the achievement of competitive advantage in the global market. The development of indigenous technology would act as a barricade against liberalization and allows strong liberalization and protection rules to be made operational. The advancements in the areas of S&T would also provide a nation with enormous self-confidence which is a crucial input for the success of any endeavor in any field of nation building.
A nation like INDIA, given its current population growth has to concentrate equally on both the service sector and also the manufacturing sector because it is not possible to have a prolonged economic growth heavily relying on service sector alone. But the manufacturing sector in INDIA is losing out on several fronts thanks to the new liberalization policy that has skewed the development of indigenous technology. Since the last 40 years INDIA has made huge advancements in several technological sectors but the current liberalization policy is dissipating the advantages gained in the past. To avoid such dissipation there is a need for a strong and better indigenous technology development initiative.
In INDIA majority of the R&D activities have been supported through the government funds. The strategic alliance between the government and the technology developers would provide for
- Benefit from mutual technological, managerial and financial strengths.
- Setting up of realistic specifications, reduction & optimization of trail cycles & elimination of moving goal post strategy
- Reduction in time for development, production and induction of products that meet the service requirements.
- A mediated and reasonable sharing of costs by the alleys
- Encouragement for the development of spin-off technologies which can be applied in civil sectors.
- Encouragement for exportation of indigenous products which would create a pull for those products in the domestic market.
- The government can implement effective price-control on products developed in alliance with private technology providers.
The advantages of the government entering into a cooperative alliance with a private technology provider are
- A private firm could turn around an unhealthy project/establishment into a profitable one.
- Government could enable a healthy government R&D firm to be run on more effective and efficient lines by collaborating with private partners.
There is an immediate need to identify the areas where in the development of indigenous technology is highly necessitated. Strategically important areas such as Defense, Transportation, Infrastructure, Power and areas wherein INDIA has the potential to lead i.e., Bio-technology, Ayurveda, Information technology are to be concentrated upon and it is imperative for the government and private players to initiate and harness the development of indigenous technology. Special care must be taken in commercializing the indigenously developed products and establishing standard and acceptable procedures for testing of indigenously developed products.
It is the responsibility of the federal government to provide for sustained and focusing technology marketing efforts, initiate steps for brand enhancement and product marketing and it is imperative that the government/ government agencies is/are committed to purchase the indigenously developed products which are on par with the overseas products (But the indigenously developed products are losing ground due to lack of such commitments). The government needs to go through the trade practices, especially the buying trends of common wealth nations and promote the indigenously developed products in such a way that they make in-roads into the markets in common-wealth countries.