Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “High Technology for the Mass Market” by Prof. ArogyaswamiPaulraj on Wednesday, 8thJanuary, 2014 at 6.30 PM in collaboration with IIT Alumni Centre, Bengaluru.
Prof. Paulraj believesthat India needs to be more aggressive in building a high-tech industry that addresses our mass market needs - telecom, computing, civil jets, precision instruments,Not so much to become self-reliant as to become an equal partner with other leading countries in what is becoming a global enterprise. This talk raised several provocative issues. The view of Prof. Paulraj that India has by and large ignored high technology issues was challenged on the ground that India had achieved remarkable success in nuclear and space technologies. The response of Prof. Paulraj was that while India has indeed achieved remarkable success in those areas, these have by and large had hardly any impact on the lives of common men. As a contrast, he gave the example of countries like China, Korea and Taiwan which have achieved remarkable success with innovations on consumer items. He also opined that the cultural milieu within the country with its implicit emphasis on obedience and acceptance, along with the insensitivity of the bureaucracy-politician nexus to technological innovations were possibly behind the lack of progress in high-technology areas. As expected, this opinion of Prof. Paulraj also elicited a contrary views from the audience. All in all, it was an evening of a stimulating talk, followed by an equally stimulating interactive session.