Overview for India by the Turn of Millennium
What is India? Is it philosophy or thought? Is it a way of life? Will we prefer to identify it as a conglomeration of population groups with different identities? How it has been understood over centuries? These questions are very pertinent since we would like to study this country in a very particular historical context, i.e. its status by the turn of the second millennium. India aroused as phoenix from ashes, securing political and economic freedom, which strengthened the vibrant democracy. Its experience, through centuries, in every aspect of life covering agriculture and irrigation industry and physical, chemical and medical sciences helped in marching towards the next millennium with kaleidoscopic variety of rich culture in the spheres of religion and spirituality, language and literature, art and culture, music, dance and drama, which has blossomed 3000 years ago. India, the land of enchanting beauty from the graceful Himalayas in the north to the rolling oceans on the three sides along with deep delve forests possesses innumerable tourist spots with historical and heritage sites along with seasonal fairs and festivals. The position of India in this fast transforming world is unique. Development and underdevelopment do co-exist in all sectors. Compulsions, priorities and practices and their combinations have resulted what India is today. India is itself a model. Nevertheless, it is interesting to analyze the development paradigm in the second largest populated country of the world which is also the largest sovereign, socialist democratic republic being administered by a parliamentary system of government. When the development is galloping at a very fast rate, growth of one sector will definitely influence other sectors. The expertise, experience and technology now available in the country are leading towards convergence of development strategies. The progress in telecommunication, infrastructure development, space, medicine, science and technology has led us to believe that India has poised to become a global player in all sectors of economy and technology. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has prepared a prescription to transform India by the year 2020. The large young, educated enterprising and technology savvy population base can set and even upset the global trends and arrangements. This is the India we are looking forward to in very near future when its culture, philosophy, geography, economy and technology become its internal strength. They will be based on absolutely different parameters--not on caste, community, religion and region but on the foundation of Indian tradition, Indian imagination, Indian knowledge resource, Indian technology and Indian action.
P Nag (Editor)
Dr. Prithvish Nag is Director at the National Atlas & Thematic Mapping Organisation, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Kolkata.