Economy
India needs to tread the innovation path to progress
Innovation worries us. At one level, many perceive it as a threat to their jobs and, in fact, to their way of thinking and behaving. It challenges what they are used to. At another and more profound level, there is genuine fear of failure. After all, not all innovations succeed. Indeed, most fail. A combination of these factors is often the cause why governments and institutions are usually averse to innovation and thus change.
 
Today, disruptive change has become a buzzword that CEOs and politicians have incorporated into their vocabulary and feel compelled to use, as if not doing so would project them as not being futuristic. We are literally badgered to "think different". Indeed, the pressure has become so oppressive that many have started to complain of change-fatigue which has come, in fact, as a big relief to the naysayers of innovation.
 
Can we truly afford to shun innovation?
 
To answer that question, we first need to decode or understand what innovation really is. In my view, innovation is not restricted to the searching for a better idea or thinking outside the box. It is, in fact, that next big step that makes all the difference! Innovation is figuring out how something can be done better. It is the leap from idea to execution. Google, for instance, is a great idea because it exists and works. In other words, unless innovation makes the transition to becoming a compelling business proposition, it remains only an attempt at trying to be different.
 
According to data, the average life span of most companies is around 20 years. This is because they stick with what they know -- the tried and tested. They refuse to learn how to see through the fog and what pitfalls lie ahead. In corporate culture, competition is the biggest pitfall that companies have to cope with. Companies fail because they refuse to embrace change and redefine themselves.
 
This is not restricted to business enterprises alone. Indeed, as Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson demonstrated in their seminal book, even nations fail. They point to Joseph Schumpeter's "creative disruption" as the key to survival and success. Countries survive and thrive because they learn to change and to adapt.
 
Today, India stands at the crossroads of either a transformative upliftment or an abysmal downslide. The route opted for will determine the future for generations to come. The choice is a no-brainer but it entails tough decisions and a clear departure from past practice. 
 
One of India's great failures has been the lack of investment on R&D as a percentage of GDP, which stands at 0.63 compared, for instance, to Israel, which is 2.61. The telling point is that Israel has a population of eight million people compared to India's one billion plus. Further, Israel has 12 Nobel laureates, including several others of Jewish descent in various parts of the world. This is a telling statistic because it is reflective of the low priority India gives to research.
 
Take China by contrast, which is often referred to as a country in a perpetual state of innovation. Shenzhen, for instance, was a factory city churning out cheap goods for the world. Today, it has pushed boundaries and is home to global giants. It is expanding further and hopes to soon emerge as the gateway to 5G and the Internet of Things. Chengdu is, similarly, another powerful story where the interface of science and technology drives the passion for innovation. Indeed, as many have documented, China's economic story is built around innovation.
 
But the China innovation map has started to extend beyond its borders, as Beijing starts to tap into international researchers. A week ago, China agreed to take its flagship TORCH programme, which is credited with generating 10 per cent of its industrial output and 16 per cent of its export value to the first TORCH technology precinct outside China. The partnership is with the University of New South Wales and exposes UNSW to a funding pool estimated at $40 billion. It is this hunger that constantly seeks new partners and ideas to fuel the innovation flame that will spur the Chinese economy.
 
For India to take advantage of its current growth trajectory and address the myriad developmental challenges that are holding its take-off hostage, it needs to embrace the innovation challenge. This requires unwavering political will and commitment.
 
At the same time, it is critical to recognize that ideas need to be monetized. For this, corporate venture capital is a pathway. Incubators or hatcheries need to be set up with corporate sector funding and government support, which funnel and encourage innovation. Unless new ideas and new ways of doing things become part of our DNA, we face another lost opportunity.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

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SC ignored as dahi-handi celebrated with protests, black flags in Maharashtra
Despite a Supreme Court order on height restrictions, several organisations in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai celebrated the dahi-handi ritual on Janmashtmi with protests, black bands and black flags on Thursday.
 
Several politically-backed organisations of the estimated 1,500-plus groups who conduct the event flouted the apex court order. The court had set a 20 foot or four-tier height limit for the human pyramids formed the occasion of the festival that marks Lord Krishna's birthday. It had also ruled that minors would be excluded from acting as the Govinda at the top of the pyramid who is tasked with breaking the pot full of curd, milk and other goodies.
 
While one Dadar organisation built a 'horizontal' pyramid on the ground and then broke the pot at a height of more than 30 feet, but the Govinda climbed a ladder to break it.
 
The participants of some organisations sported black shorts and arm-bands to protest the apex court ruling and after breaking the dahi-handi, the topmost Govinda waved a black flag.
 
In Thane, an organisation backed by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) erected the dahi-handi at a height of 49 feet in an attempt to create a new world record which will be broken later in the day.
 
One of the main organisers and MNS activist Avinash Jadhav told mediapersons he was prepared “to go to jail” but would take orders only from his leader, Raj Thackeray.
 
Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said that the police were photographing and videographing the celebrations across the city.
 
“All those found flouting the Supreme Court norms shall be prosecuted depending on the kind of violations,” Dudhe warned, though police have not directly intervened to stop the celebrations.
 
Some other organisations also constructed pyramids that had more than four tiers or exceeded 20 feet and even deployed minor boys to break the dahi-handi pot.
 
On Wednesday, a division bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Uday U. Lalit and Justice L. Nageswara Rao had upheld an earlier Bombay High Court ruling on the issue of height restrictions and participation of teenagers below 18 years during the celebrations.
 
The Bombay High Court order on April 11, 2014, had come in response to a PIL filed by social activist Swati S. Patil's Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sanstha citing hundreds of injuries, some permanent, and deaths, of Govindas when the human pyramids came crashing down.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

3 months ago

Even Gandhiji defied the rulings of courts to fight unjust laws and spearheaded civil disobedience movement. So?

D S Ranga Rao

3 months ago

Could you cite a few court rulings wherein ''Already thousands of kids have died as direct result of court rulings.'' Shall join you in seeking compensation from the courts, if true. Any activism should not end by merely activating the masses and leaving them in the lurch. What about those more than a hundred kids reportedly injured in the dahi handi celebrations of Aug. 25, 2016 in Mumbai/Thane? Any plans to seek compensation for them from the courts, as per your view point? (in reply to somebody's comment below)

REPLY

In Reply to D S Ranga Rao 3 months ago

Will definitely do so, but I need a public platform. Let Moneylife provide me a public platform, I have been trying to bring this to the attention of stake holders for years now, but people could not care less.

D S Ranga Rao

3 months ago

Did the Supreme Court ask the Maharashtra Police/government to first let the Dahi Handi organizers have their way and say and then haul them up before law for alleged violations or enforce its ruling by banning the celebrations from violating the norms laid down by it? What could be the answer of the government/police to the Court if any of the dahi handi participants lose his/her limb or life while playing it? At this rate, why any need for courts or enforcement machinery; let a bunch of goons rule the roost?

REPLY

In Reply to D S Ranga Rao 3 months ago

Check out whether the mandals were given an opportunity to explain their stand in the matter. Also I can cite instances of the court's own judgments leading to death and injury on a much wider scale.

D S Ranga Rao

In Reply to 3 months ago

Yes, one, a stake-holder is always welcome to seek clarification from the courts on their rulings. Deaths and injuries may occur with or without court rulings. So saying, no one has a right to tempt or attract the innocent children only to make them lose their life or limb and to forget them later. If the organizers are wiser than the courts, let them give an undertaking before the court that their own children will lead the pack from the front.


In Reply to D S Ranga Rao 3 months ago

Already thousands of kids have died as direct result of court rulings. Let the courts first compensate the parents and near and dear one's of the deceased children and adults/

In Reply to D S Ranga Rao 3 months ago

That is exactly what earlier court rulings in the matter which I can cite, if you give me a public platform did , "lose life or limb" etc.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

3 months ago

Strongly urge readers on Moneylife to read the no.1 National Bestseller 'Breaking India' authored by Rajiv Malhotra & coauthred by Aravindan Neelakandan.

Will we ever wake up?

REPLY

In Reply to Nilesh KAMERKAR 3 months ago

Please elaborate, connection is not clear.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

In Reply to 3 months ago

The above is with reference to larger context.

There seems to be a problem with regards to the way particularly most Hindu festivals are celebrated. Diwali creates noise pollution, Holi leads to damaging environment and wastage of water, Ganeshutsav & Navratri are criticized for noise pollution so on and so forth.

If there is a larger design to make Hindu feel ashamed about their customs, then it is time to see through the plot.

In our own country, there's no reason to apologetically practice Hinduism just because few don't approve of it . . .

In Reply to Nilesh KAMERKAR 3 months ago

Yes there definitely is differential logic that is being systematically implemented to ensure that Hindu festivals are not allowed to run smoothly. There needs to be an inquiry into this.

D S Ranga Rao

In Reply to Nilesh KAMERKAR 3 months ago

Think the rulings were given by judges belonging to Hindu religion only.
In any case, people are still unaware of any scripture or epic which enjoined upon the Hindus or followers of any other religion to celebrate the festivals in a noisy manner, much to the detriment of health and safety of themselves and others, nor with an attendant risk to life and limb of the participants. It's only the whims and fancies of a perverted few, according to which such distorted versions of the festivals have come to stay. It's time the glory of our festivals that are the hallmarks of peace and harmony and universal brotherhood is restored sooner the better.

Facebook, Twitter, Google failed to tackle terrorism: British panel
In the first-ever widespread criticism of US technology giants and social media platforms, the British Home Affairs select committee has slammed the internet behemoths of becoming a "recruiting platform for terrorism" and "passing the buck".
 
Led by Keith Vaz, the British parliament's longest-serving Indian-origin MP, the panel rapped Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, saying the companies were deliberately failing to stop terrorists from using their platforms to promote their sinister agenda, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
 
"Huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter, with their billion-dollar incomes, are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror," Vaz was quoted as saying.
 
According to the committee report, "It is alarming that these companies have teams of only a few hundred employees to monitor networks of billions of accounts and that Twitter does not even proactively report extremist content to law enforcement agencies".
 
They specifically mentioned the case of hate preacher Anjem Choudary, stressing that Twitter and Youtube refused to remove his posts praising violent extremism despite repeated requests by the police.
 
Choudary, 49, was convicted of terror offences last week and faces up to 10 years in prison. He was set to be questioned by French and Belgian security services over his links to Islamic State (IS)-affiliated terrorists.
 
The British panel also warned that social media platforms are becoming the "vehicle of choice" for spreading terrorist propaganda.
 
"If they continue to fail to tackle this issue and allow their platforms to become the 'Wild West' of the internet, then it will erode their reputation as responsible operators," the report added.
 
Reacting to the report, Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook UK, was quoted as saying: aceTerrorists and the support of terrorist activity are not allowed on Facebook and we deal swiftly and robustly with reports of terrorism-related content."
 
Last week, the micro-blogging website Twitter has announced it had suspended an additional 235,000 accounts for violating its policies related to promotion of terrorism in the last six months.
 
Twitter had announced the blocking of more than 125,000 accounts earlier this year which were primarily related to the IS terror group.
 
"This brings our overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015. As noted by numerous third parties, our efforts continue to drive meaningful results, including a significant shift in this type of activity off of Twitter," the company had said in a blog post.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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