At the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, when trade between ancient Rome and India had already been stable for more than 500 years, the Indian astronomer Aryabhatta demonstrated the importance of zero in algebraic equations and in other mathematical operations. He did not imagine to lay the foundations, from the combination of this number with the other binary digit, of the digital revolution and the current development of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in your country. Aryabhatta, without knowing it, had written in the past the history of the future, that is, of today’s India. Since 1991 India, with the start of the liberalization of its economy by two protagonists of the government of the time, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Finance Minister Manmohan Singh (now Prime Minister in office), has been writing its success in the present and also in the future, as an emerging knowledge leader. This is thanks to the huge investments made in education, higher training, high basic and applied research, and in the development of the electronics, computer and software industries as well as the massive advanced use of information and communication technologies.
India is now the fourth largest economic power in the world. In the last four months of 2006, growth was 9.2%, while the state of Gujarat (the second most important in the Union after Maharashtra) reached 13% in the same year. Statistical forecasts say that the Indian economy could grow on average at a rate of at least 6% for the next 15 years and could become the third largest in the world, after China and the United States, in 2030 (Goldman Sachs, World Bank and IMF; according to the research department of Deutsche Bank, by 2020). For India geography, please check franciscogardening.com.
Since 2000 India, as a true new world power, has had a clear ‘country vision’ projected to 2020, which the government planning commission has explained in a 970-page book, written by the best institutional and entrepreneurial minds of the Union. (India vision 2020, 2002). In the field of ICT, India has for years now been at the top of the world with certification and specialization records that the World Bank illustrated in June 2005 in the book India and the knowledge economy, presented worldwide on Webcast TV.. On this issue, however, the same planning commission had already published the report India as knowledge superpower in 2001 . Strategy for transformation, while the scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, president of the Indian Union from 2002 to 2007, indicated the precise design of the nation towards the knowledge economy in A vision for the new millennium (2002).
In the era of globalization, India has not closed itself in defense as it did in the 1880s. For more than 15 years, its home market has become a vast consumer market, which is opening up faster and faster. There are about 45 million super-rich, with a high per capita income of an American-European type, followed by a middle class that takes the form of a ‘pyramid’ of about 300 million people in which about 12 million ‘affluent’ citizens are pushed to the top every year. They appear to have an ever-increasing purchasing power, as shown by the dynamic growth in sales of luxury and consumer goods, durable and semi-durable, as well as the tumultuous granting of loans for luxury homes and ‘first homes’. At the base of the pyramid, the average income of citizens is similar to that of the Euro-African-Mediterranean context (Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Tunisia, etc.). About 600 million residents are then represented by the variegated rural world of over 588,000 villages, generally not very poor as in China, slum of large urban centers. The Indian diaspora in the world is represented by 20 million people, mainly settled in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland and Russia. Returning to their homeland, the wealthy businessmen swell the ranks of the richest in the country, bringing back ever greater investment capital and savings, often then employed in the real estate sector or invested in new local business ventures in the manufacturing sector or services, as well as in the form of venture capital in start-ups in the ICT field.
Investments by Indian private and para-public companies abroad are also rapidly growing, unpredictable until a few years ago . In 2006 alone, acquisitions or mergers of Indian companies totaled more than US $ 20 billion, most of which was used to acquire or have majority stakes in as many as 307 international or multinational companies. It is expected that at the end of 2007, the Indian foreign investment for mergers and acquisitions (M & A) will be not less than the figure of 2006. The wealth also stems from the habit business to go public, which dates back to the times of Queen Victoria. The BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), established in 1878, was the first stock exchange in Asia: it was born four days before that of Tokyo. An electronic stock exchange system is now active (15th in the world by capitalization), which includes 23 national stock exchanges with 9,918 listed stocks, many more than those listed on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), even if the NYSE boasts a very high capitalization. superior. The BSE and the NSE (National Stock Exchange) are the two most important Indian national circuits, respectively in 2nd and 4th place in the world for the number of daily transactions. 5% of the BSE was bought by Deutsche Borsa, while 5% of the NSE was bought by the NYSE, a sign of how attractive India has become also for the financial markets, and in particular the international stock exchanges. Other institutional investors include the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Competitiveness and innovation on national and international markets are driven by the intensive use of information and communication technologies, by the enhancement and protection of intellectual and industrial properties, which project intangible or ‘intangible’ assets to factors of strategic importance for businesses, markets and the economy. The same problems related to competitiveness between systems of both industrialized and emerging countries are included in the range of these factors. In this field, in New Delhi on February 8, 2007, during an India-European Union ministerial conference on science, the president of the Indian Union formalized a series of projects with the EU, the African Union and with the Russia. Already in 2004, on the occasion of his official visit to Africa, APJ Abdul Kalam, inaugurating the session of the parliament of the African Union, he had proposed to create a pan-African network to provide electronic connection to all 53 countries of the continent. The idea was to use India’s expertise to assist these countries in the field of information technology, providing for the supply of at least one hub in each nation, through which various electronic services can be provided, such as remote education, telemedicine and e-governance. The project includes the Panafrican Network, with the connection of the terrestrial network between India and Africa through an international undersea network of fiber optic cables, and the African Satellite Network. Since the first half of 2007, 20 countries have been connected, the rest will be operational in early 2008 for a total cost of 100 million US dollars.
With Russia, on the other hand, India has drawn up the BraMos project, already operational in the form of an international joint venture that has made it possible to jointly create a missile system for the Indian Armed Forces with the realization, thanks to common technological skills, of a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from any land, sea or air platform and is capable of producing a highly lethal final impact. In use in the Indian Navy, the missile already has a vast world market of reference.
It was these experiences of extensive international cooperation that convinced the President of the Indian Union APJ Abdul Kalam to launch a World knowledge platform to bring together the skills of many nations in the field of science and technology, aimed at developing unique systems for global applications, with moderate production costs and fruitful marketing of products on international markets. The World knowledge platform will undertake various missions, in different areas, such as energy, water, health, agriculture and food processing, knowledge products, transport systems, habitat, disaster prevention and management, capacity building.. The project offers a unique opportunity for cooperation between India and the European Union. The Indian president, in fact, invited the EU to collaborate in the development of a virtual center to define the participation of the countries that collaborate in the first 25 missions. The aim is to express globally competitive human resources, part of a Global human resource cadre functional to the needs of India and Europe in the 21st century.