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Third World Research, Development & Innovation 222

Posted by Hemos
from the moving-forward dept.
tovarish writes "It is nice to see that countries like India are trying to research communication techniques in backward and rural areas. While tech savvy people like us enjoy the latest gadgets it is quite a challenge to develop gadgets which actually help the poor and illiterate. While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news are already covered in slashdot umpteen times, sometimes her sensible achievements should be covered too."
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Third World Research, Development & Innovation

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  • Flame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:42AM (#10493048)
    Her sensible acheivements should be covered too? Can we mark the article blurb as flamebait? Lets keep the bias out of the story. Please.
    • Re:Flame (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Draoi (99421) * <draiocht@@@mac...com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:55AM (#10493165)
      Considering how many satellites are launched in the US and just how much of *that* goes to "actually help the poor and illiterate", given how many poor and illiterate people there are in the US. Using terms like 'backward' and 'third-world' are just a little offensive, no?

      Glasshouses and stones and all that ....

    • Here is an assortment of some Slashdot articles about India?

      1. GPS to coordinate the trains.
      2. low-cost broadband into remote villages

      In 1960, Japan was low-tech. It was just emerging out of a textile-based economy, yets its quality of life is much higher than the quality of life in India in 2004 (40 years later). Japan had no GPS to coordinate the trains, yet they were always (and still are) on time. Educational levels in Japan at that time were high. Kids in remote farming enclaves in Hokkaido

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:53AM (#10493721)
        India:
        Population: 1,065,070,607

        Japan:
        Population: 127,214,499
        (from wikipedia).

        Please keep these facts in mind before saying anything.
        Look at India's huge investment in the space program and nuclear weapons. In 1950, Japan had almost no investment in such wasteful programs. The Japanese were committed to a program of emulating the West and engaging in practical enterprises to raise the standard of living as quickly as possible

        India faced three wars immediately after partition. Two with Pakistan and one with China. Japan didn't face any. Nuclear weapons were a necessity for India.

        India has 21+ different official languages. Japan has one. The space program helped put educational and weather satellites in place. And India now sells satellite launches.

        It's extremely convenient to compare India and Japan, but it's really a wrong comparison.
      • Ya, but Japan wasn't looted to the extent India was by the British either. The British left India only after they had finished stealing all the wealth that was in India. In 1950 just after the British were done looting, the female life expectancy in India was pushed down to 38 years. In Japan in 1950 it was 63.1 years. In 1998 in India it increased to 63.7 while in Japan to 83.3.

        In 48 years, the female life expectancy went up by ~26 years in India while in Japan it went up by 20 years and ~12 years in
        • You realize life expectancy is not linear right? 20 up to 83 is a hell of a lot more than 26 to 64.
  • Query: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:44AM (#10493071) Homepage
    While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news are already covered in slashdot umpteen times, sometimes her sensible achievements should be covered too.
    Query: What's so darned not-sensible about a satellite launch?
    • Re:Query: (Score:2, Funny)

      by blowdart (31458)
      "What's so darned not-sensible about a satellite launch?"

      Ground control staff have to wear groucho mark fake glasses and moustaches. It's the law.

    • Re:Query: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:59AM (#10493199)
      While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news are already covered in slashdot umpteen times, sometimes her sensible achievements should be covered too.

      Outsourcing too .. what's not sensible about creating employment and encouraging education ones country ?

      Can you imagine a country refusing outsourcing? How stupid would *that* be?

      "No thanks, we want our economy to be shit and our people to starve so we dont want money and jobs."

      What would our own congress do?
      • I can imagine a country refusing outsourcing quite easily.

        Keep in mind that these are not permanent jobs going to India and staying. Outsourcing/offshoring is a race for the bottom. As soon as a cheaper country presents itself, those jobs will be just as gone as they are in the US. Mexico learned this the hard way when manufacturing went there, then left for other countries, and eventually settled in China (for the moment) at US$0.16 an hour with no worker rights, time off, or perks.

        Given that a country h
  • Newsflash!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:47AM (#10493093)
    India isn't 3rd world

    The Sudan is 3rd world
    • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

      by ravind (701403)
      As an Indian, let me reassure you, India is very much 3rd world.
      • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by jbgeorge (553617)
        As an indian.. let me assure you.. the place you are from might be 3rd world.. but where Im from definitely not 3rd world..

        peace.
        • India is really big and has over a billion people! Some areas are advanced, but most are every bit a third world country.

        • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:3, Informative)

          by metlin (258108) *
          Well as an Indian, let me assure you that you both are in the third world. Third world refers to which side you were on - capitalist or communist. India chose neither, and therefore is a third world.

          D'oh! Perhaps you meant developing/under-developed/whatever?
          • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:3, Informative)

            by gray peter (539195)
            No, you're wrong. That was initially the meaning, but in the 21st century 3rd world refers to "developing" nations, that is, those nations which still have a huge percentage of their population living way way way below the poverty level. India is absolutely 3rd world. Maybe when the rest of the country more closely resembles the developed areas (Bangalore for example...) it will become a first world country, but are you really going to tell us that the average person in India lives at the same level as the
      • Yeah, I was always under the impression, that while life in the major cities is pretty much like everywhere else; a large majority of Indians are incredibly poor, and have no access to any kind of amenities.
      • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by haluness (219661)
        > As an Indian, let me reassure you, India is very much 3rd world

        Maybe in infra structural terms (that too in certain parts). But attitude wise, I don't think so
        • It is unfair to compare the progress to other countries. Considering it is just 50-something years since it is independent, it is quite remarkable. Also the term "Third world" is wrong. You can characterize India as "Developing" but certainly not third world.
        • This was modded as insightful?!! What does attitude have to do with anything?

          I didn't come up with the term, I don't particularly like the term, but the criteria that were applied by those that originally coined the phrase still apply to India, and "attitude" wasn't one of them.
    • Worlds (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:58AM (#10493191) Journal
      What qualifies a country to be in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd world? You always hear about 1st and 3rd world contries, but what is a 2nd world country? Are there any examples? China and India have bustling cities that have the comforts of a 1st world contry, but also areas of vast poverty. So where do they belong? My gut would say that should be the definition of the 2nd world countries that we never hear about.
      • Re:Worlds (Score:4, Informative)

        by savagedome (742194) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:00AM (#10493210)
        Click here [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Worlds (Score:5, Informative)

        by mOoZik (698544) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:09AM (#10493263) Homepage
        It goes back to the fifties and was coined by the French Alfred Sauvy, being analogous to the social classes in pre and post-revolution France. The first world is the U.S., Canada, W. Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc: they have highly developed economies, relying very little on agriculture, are very industrialized, and I'll venture to say democratic. The second world at the time was the U.S.S.R. and perhaps even E. Europe, depending on how you define it; they were also heavily industrialized. Thus, there no longer is a Second World. And finally, every other country was third world, which are often countries which are rural, not heavily industrialized, and generally poor.

      • What qualifies a country to be in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd world? You always hear about 1st and 3rd world contries, but what is a 2nd world country? Are there any examples? China and India have bustling cities that have the comforts of a 1st world contry, but also areas of vast poverty. So where do they belong? My gut would say that should be the definition of the 2nd world countries that we never hear about.

        Second-world was the Soviet-Union and soviet Eastern Europe... That is, any country where the populat

      • I believe the designations have to do with birthrates, which are a reflection of social and economic stability. Third world nations have high birth rates and low life expectancy. First world nations have high life expectancies and low birth rates. I don't really ever hear much about the "second world", but I think that referred to the old Soviet bloc. Apparently, there is now a "fourth world" as well: http://www.cwis.org/fourthw.html .
    • Re:Newsflash!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      India: Over 25% of India's population is under the poverty line. India is 62 out of 221 nations in infant mortality India is 152nd (out of 236 nations in per capita GDP 9.3% of kids in India die before age 5 (54th out of 193 nations) Sudan: Sudan is 52 out of 221 nations in infant mortality Sudan is 186nd (out of 236 nations in per capita GDP 10.7% of kids in Sudan die before age 5 (46th out of 193 nations)
  • Economic Uses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by principor (754410) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:47AM (#10493095)
    There's a book that gives a good use of communication in developing nations. It's by CK Prahalad, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. [amazon.com] It gives the example of how installing an internet terminal in rural Indian villages has helped them set the market for their livestock. They can log on, check the prices for the day and then head to market as more knowledgeable sellers. This keeps them from being taken advantage of and does a lot to help both their confidence and economic prosperity.
  • Are we allowed to (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lifix (791281) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:49AM (#10493107) Homepage
    "It is nice to see that countries like India are trying to research communication techniques in backward and rural areas." Who are we to call part of India "backward"? The Indian people are making enormous progress in a comparable short ammount of time. The Indian people have launched satalites for purley educational purposes and are determined to fight illiteracy in their country. In many ways the Indian attitude towards education is superior to our own.
    • Re:Are we allowed to (Score:5, Interesting)

      by greenhide (597777) <jordanslashdot@@@cvilleweekly...com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:03AM (#10493224)
      In many ways the Indian attitude towards education is superior to our own.

      Unless things have changed drastically in the past few years or so, while the attitude towards education may be great, their willingness to supply the funding behind that attitude is not.

      In my opinion, technology does not, in and of itself, solve any problems. There must be attitudinal changes, particularly in the government. Closer to (my) home, this explains why, despite spending more and more each year on computers and other technologies, the US continues to lag behind other countries in education and in how much most current students know and how well they apply that knowledge. It's an attitudinal problem. We train our children to be too focused on education as a means towards a high-paying job, so they don't value knowledge unless they feel it directly translates into acquiring wealth. And that's the *successful* students. Many others, mostly raised in poor environments with limited educational resources and households were both parents *must* work in order to feed their children, have resigned themselves to working in the service industry for the rest of their lives and thus don't take any interest in education.

      I'm not sure if these same psychological dynamics have started up in India yet.
    • by qbzzt (11136) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:05AM (#10493234)
      Hi,

      Who are we to call part of India "backward"?

      We do this because a large part of India is still where the west was centuries ago. Shortage of clean water, primitive communication, small scale inefficient agriculture, etc.

      The Indian people are making enormous progress in a comparable short ammount of time.

      I agree, and I'm also very impressed with that. But the fact that they are working hard to get close to where we are now means they also identify their current situation as backwards in many ways.

      In many ways the Indian attitude towards education is superior to our own.

      Poor doesn't mean stupid. The richer the country, the more the people think they can afford to be stupid. That's one of the reasons that previously rich countries tend to lose their status.

      • We do this because a large part of India is still where the west was centuries ago. Shortage of clean water, primitive communication, small scale inefficient agriculture, etc.
        Correct - Many nations took hundereds of years to get where they are now. It is unfair to compare progress with these countries.
    • In many ways the Indian attitude towards education is superior to our own.

      Get back to me when India is even attempting [ambedkar.org] to provide equal education to all its citizens (barring those who can afford private schooling of course, who won't be interested) and I'll agree with you.

  • Must be hard... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:50AM (#10493120) Journal
    ... to be a nuclear power, a spatial power, to be the biggest democracy in the world and still be considered a 'third world country'...
    • ...and to still expect handouts from first world countries because they're so poor.

      India has always struck me as a bizarre place: one of the poorest places in the world and yet they still feel they can afford to have nukes.

      • Re:Must be hard... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Reducer2001 (197985) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:07AM (#10493250) Homepage
        What about the US? How about we stop building weapons and educate our children? I mean, come on! Who are we going to use our nucular tipped bunker buster bombs against? A couple of tired 'terrorists' hunkering in a cave on the Pakistan border? Seems like using a shotgun to kill flies to me.

        I think a few well trained special ops teams could do the work of many of our over-powered weapons.

        You know, or not.

        • Re:Must be hard... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by swb (14022)
          What about the US? How about we stop building weapons and educate our children? I mean, come on!

          It sounds like a great analogy, but I think most studies have demonstrated that increased per pupil spending doesn't accomplish very much.

          Besides, in the US at least, the increased spending generally goes for social welfare type programs (meals, social workers, kids dubiously labeled "learning disabled") within the schools instead of increasing the quality of education itself (better teaching, better teaching
      • India has always struck me as a bizarre place: one of the poorest places in the world and yet they still feel they can afford to have nukes.

        Just like all those guys on welfare driving around in Escalades.

      • Re:Must be hard... (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        India has always struck me as a bizarre place: one of the poorest places in the world and yet they still feel they can afford to have nukes.


        It's not a question of affordability, but a necessity. At least if you want to prevent a "regime change" forced down your throat. I bet North Korea, for all it's fsck-ed up condition would not have that happen to them...

      • Re:Must be hard... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymovs Coward (724746) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:59AM (#10493781)
        ...and to still expect handouts from first world countries because they're so poor.

        Rubbish. India has been self-sufficient in food since the early 1970s. Some aid for health, education and infrastructure does come in, but even that is mostly loans, not "handouts". American and Japanese aid comes with too many ridiculous strings attached, India learned long ago not to get too entrapped with it. As for the nukes: America was worried about war with a country on the other side of the world. India has gone to war with two countries on its borders, one of whom (China) is truly the 800lb gorilla of Asia with whom there continue to be unresolved border disputes, and is an acknowledged nuclear power. You saying India has less right than the USA to nukes? I don't like nukes either, but let's abolish them all, maybe step by step, rather than say the big five can keep what they have and make more while they're at it.

    • Democracy? Sonia Gandhi got elected, pressure groups forced her out and replaced her with their un-elected leader. That's no democracy.
      • Re:Must be hard... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:22AM (#10493377)
        You need more education on Indian Politics. We DO NOT elect an individual. We elect a party and then it is the decision of the party to field a candidate for the PM's post.

        We also cannot have an un-elected leader so our current PM has to win a seat in either our lower house (Lok Sabha) or the higher house (Rajya Sabha).

        Please keep to the topic.
        We are a democratic country. As for achievements is concerned, here is one - Electronic Voting Machines that was used for our last general elections without any trouble. While a developed democracy is a laughing stock of the world because of its 2000 presidential ballot problems in Florida.
      • There has always been pressures from political groups. That is the norm. I must confess that I haven't followed the whole issue about Sonia Gandhi but from what I understand, her party won the elections and they chose someone else than Sonia (who had the disadvantage to be communist IIRC) and that was unexpected but hoped by businessman. I don't think there have been any irregularities, constitution-wise.
    • Third World.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by digital.prion (808852) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:07AM (#10493251)
      really just means Non-White.. I say this not to be abrasive but true.. Take a look at your nearest world map and start pointing at every place that "qualifies" as THIRD WORLD (what ever that means) - then to contrast point at all the places that qualify as "FIRST WORLD". BTW.. Where is the Second World?
      • Re:Third World.. (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Back during the Cold War, "Second World" meant "Communist". For the record, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan are examples of non-white "1st World" contries.
      • FYI -- Switzerland is also third world, since it did not side with either side (Capitalistic/Socialistic blcks). I think the Swiss Caucasians there would have a problem or two with your argument.
      • Japan is a third world country by your definition, i.e. non-white. I guess the US must be at least partially 3rd world too since it's 23% non white.

        The real reason for the correlation has nothing to do with racism and more to do with geography. The 3rd world nations are almost exclusively in the tropics where it's a bitch to live because of the lack of one thing... winter. A constant growing season means insects and disease are a constant threat that never has a chance to die off every year. People li
      • Where is the Second World?

        Nowhere, anymore. Back in good ol' days Second World was used to describe The USSR and industrialized countries under the Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. I guess nowadays many of these countries can be categorized as First World countries with no doubt (Poland, Czech, The Baltic States and other new EU member countries). And some of them have been "downgraded" to be a Third World country, Vietnam for instance. Now in which slot would Russia, A
  • waitaminute (Score:1, Redundant)

    Since when is India a Third World country? What's next, Russia?
    • Re:waitaminute (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      India invented the term 'third world' to
      refer specifically to itself. They INVENTED
      the term.

      US + NATO == first world
      Russia + Warsaw pact == second wold
      Non aligned == third world (including the swiss)

  • Priorities? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BigChigger (551094)
    Wouldn't it be better to not teach these people to read and help them with water and food qualiity first?

    At least do that before we can get them electronic gadgets like CD and MP3 players so they can transfer they money to the RIAA.

    BC
    • Re:Priorities? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      " Wouldn't it be better to not teach these people to read and help them with water and food qualiity first?"

      RTFA. Ok I know this is slashdot and everything. But I am tired of yet another clueless american telling us about our priorities without knowing what is going on here. There are people without food granted. But these programs are trying to correct that. And these programs are not about supplying Mp3 players to people who cant read.

      I dont know why the moment technology is mentioned, mp3 players are
  • Wrong Topic ??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by allden (748789) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:55AM (#10493158)
    Shouldn't the topic be "India's, Development & Innovation" instead of "Third World Research, Development & Innovation" ???
    • Re:Wrong Topic ??? (Score:2, Informative)

      by tovarish (746937)
      though this article does highlight India's r&d other countries like brazil and china are also doing quite a bit of research in these areas
  • by eutychus_awakes (607787) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:58AM (#10493190)
    Here [google.com] is a short list of web definitions for the "Third World". You might be surprised - it wasn't originally meant to mean what we now think it means.
    • It doesn't seem so clear-cut. The most descriptive entry at dictionary.com has this:

      "Underdeveloped or developing countries, as in The conditions in our poorest rural areas resemble those in the third world. This expression originated in the mid-1900s, at first denoting those countries in Asia and Africa that were not aligned with either the Communist bloc nations or the non-Communist Western nations. Because they were for the most part poor and underdeveloped, the term was transferred to all countries w
    • Ok, I don't have the exact quote, I am not a specialist of the domain but here is what I learned, in France, about the expression "Tiers-Monde" (Third World) :
      It would have been coined by a french journalist who made a parallel between the poor countries of the World and the "Tiers-Etat" (Third state) which were the official representation of the french people before the revolution (the 1st state was nobility and the 2nd was the Church) it was under-represented (1/3 of the voices in debates but it represen
    • It basically goes by the following:

      1. number of nuclear weapons
      2. kill count
      3. military size
      4. countries destroyed
      5. number of broken treaties
      6. skin lightness
      7. number of deaths by pollution
      8. number of McDonalds establishments

      Add them up and if you score high enough, congrats! You're a first-world country. Let's go kill some Iraqis.
  • I remember a story (Score:4, Interesting)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@yaho o . com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:01AM (#10493212) Journal
    About a microloan program, where very small loans would be given to poor individuals in remote areas, who wanted to start their own businesses. One woman in a remote village used such a loan to buy a cell phone. Prior to this, there were no phone service at all. She would charge her neigbours to place calls using the phone, hence becaming the defacto phone company.

    • by greenhide (597777) <jordanslashdot@@@cvilleweekly...com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:07AM (#10493252)
      In my opinion, well-managed microloans are *the* way to bring developing nations out of poverty -- not necessarily large-scale foreign investment. Large-scale projects generally seem, to me, to have a 50% chance of failure, with the cost of failure being rather high. In contrast, these smaller ventures tend to be more successful because they are more compact and can deal more quickly with changing conditions (which is also the reason that small businesses in the United States pretty much power the economy even if they only make a small fraction of overall revenue). Also, the cost of failure for these ventures is much lower (although generally the failure is on a more personal, tragic level).
  • by Infinityis (807294) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:01AM (#10493216) Homepage
    infinityis writes "It is nice to see that countries like United States, etc. are trying to research communication techniques in nerdy and technical areas like http://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]. While rural people like in India enjoy the simlple life it is quite a challenge to develop technology that gives Americans more time to relax. While the USA's lack of shuttle launches and outsourcing problems are already covered in news outlets umpteen times, sometimes her senseless technological advances should be covered too."
  • What I saw... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bayankaran (446245) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:14AM (#10493308) Homepage
    Last year I was travelling the length and breadth of this vast country.

    In the last ten years, the biggest changes in India are the spread of ATM's and mobile phones. When the state run BSNL started cellular services in 2002 in rural Indian towns, there were stampedes to get the application form.

    What you dont find is decent broadband and good roads. Broadband may happen soon with Reliance Infotech putting fiber. But no chance of roads getting better.

    And the country proves the trickle down theory favored by World Bank and IMF will not work. I am yet to see anything trickling down. And the country is liberalising for the last 10 years.

    Does that mean liberalisation is bad?
    No.
  • Yes, it is true. America does less science research per capita than do many of the European nations, especially the countries that Rightwingers love to call "socialist", i.e,. Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, etc. All these countries and some others in Europe publish more science papers (in peer reviewed journals) than does America (some of them publish TWICE as many papers per capita as does America). Gee, I guess that blows away that neoliberal/laisseiz faire argument about America capitalism being the "driving engine behind improving technology, quality of life" etc., and how all those welfare states in Europe are just parasites on America....yawn....

    Also, America is even behind 3rd world countries like India & China in terms of science research papers when looked at on a per-capita-wealth basis (numbers of papers per unit of wealth per country). Note on the graph how much to the right America is when compared to, say, India. India publishes more peer-reviewed science papers more capita wealth than does America.

    THis is all based on the study entitled "Scientific Impact of Nations" by King for 2004. You can get a link to the pdf version of the paper and see a graph of science papers per per-capita-wealth here [gnxp.com].

    Well, you learned something today, huh? Now go watch the debate Wednesday and listen to Bush and Kerry tell us about how America is the greatest nation on earth.....

    • Yes, but (BIG BUT) the quality of science in the US is generally higher. No kidding. I'm a computer science researcher, and I'm tired of reading the low quality stuff that comes out of European countries. University systems in most European countries are very rigid and focus on the number (not the quality) of publications, so I see way too many rewrites of the same paper, too much theoretical non-sense that solves no problem whatsoever, and other useless stuff that completely inflates the number of "publica
    • The US must be doing something right, since so much of truly world-class science is done there.

      One thing could simply be university management. Here in Europe we're constantly complaining about the academic brain-drain to the US. One reason could be super-hierarchial university culture here. Basically, in the US you get your $XXX grant and you do whatever you wish with the money, whereas here in Europe you have to fight the bureocracy for 2 months to get a pencil sharpener. Which means that the best and br
    • Also, America is even behind 3rd world countries like India & China in terms of science research papers when looked at on a per-capita-wealth basis (numbers of papers per unit of wealth per country). Note on the graph how much to the right America is when compared to, say, India. India publishes more peer-reviewed science papers more capita wealth than does America.

      Until India is able to pave their roads to a reasonable extent AT LEAST consistent with the Roman Empire of approximately 2000 years ago,
      • Until India is able to pave their roads to a reasonable extent AT LEAST consistent with the Roman Empire of approximately 2000 years ago, then we can talk.

        So what if India has more papers per unit of wealth (whatever that means), they dont even have enough wealth to pave their roads! This entire planet is rock. They can't find a million unemployed people and have them start digging?

        I believe this is where you explain why paved roads are a prerequisite for researching and publishing papers. As much fun

        • I believe this is where you explain why paved roads are a prerequisite for researching and publishing papers. As much fun as it is to compare apples and oranges, your comparison here is only a couple of baby steps beyond "oh yeah? Well, you're funny looking!"

          I think it is quite relevant, and I think you ad hominem attacks are rather uncalled for. What you are implying is that the US should be spending on research at least as much, on a per unit of wealth basis (still as of yet not defined to my satisfac
          • I think it is quite relevant, and I think you ad hominem attacks are rather uncalled for. What you are implying is that the US should be spending on research at least as much, on a per unit of wealth basis (still as of yet not defined to my satisfaction)as India is currently doing.

            I await your pointing out where I said any such thing. I'm a patient man, but I suppose I'll be waiting for some time.

            There are some highways, but it is not a comprehensive national system by any means. Highways in India are

            • I await your pointing out where I said any such thing. I'm a patient man, but I suppose I'll be waiting for some time

              So your discussion about per unit of wealth research spending was relevant to this discussion in what way? You just decided to point out some facts?

              Yeah, I'm going to call bullshit on this one. 500km out of 3.3 million kilometers of highways are more than two lanes? Puh-leeze. Give me more sources to back that up and I'll consider it accurate, but until then I'm gonna flatly reject this.
              • or buy an ipod (Score:4, Insightful)

                by samjam (256347) on Monday October 11, 2004 @05:48PM (#10497482) Homepage Journal
                Some standard is being set in India which prioritizes how work is expended. Right now, that standard is NOT the well being of the people of India. Who cares if 100,000 people get to research all they want when 300,000,000 can't even read? Who is advocating ignorance here?

                Which is like saying I shouldn't buy an ipod while there are people starving anywhere. Or wait, I should't buy a cell phone. Or a CD. Or even another pair of shoes if my first pair has any wear left - as long as someone somewhere is hungry.

                If one of the 100,000 was going to do research in USA or India, let them choose to do it in India. Don't make them be a primary school teacher, they make hate it and put people off learning altogether.

                Its a tempatation when dealing with figures to step too far and make decisions regarding peoples lives and freedoms - remove an arm here, make someone work in a coal mine there - as if its OK because the over-all picture is neater.

                I think the other guy had it right.

                Sam
                • Which is like saying I shouldn't buy an ipod while there are people starving anywhere. Or wait, I should't buy a cell phone. Or a CD. Or even another pair of shoes if my first pair has any wear left - as long as someone somewhere is hungry.

                  No, its like saying the State shouldn't provide you with free college education when most roads in your country aren't paved! We are NOT talking about the freedom to perform research, ie to sit down and study whatever you want. We are talking about institutional resea
                  • No, its like saying the State shouldn't provide you with free college education when most roads in your country aren't paved!

                    What is your fixation with paved roads? (Don't answer that)

                    We are NOT talking about the freedom to perform research, ie to sit down and study whatever you want. We are talking about institutional research

                    Good, they might invent a cheaper way to pave roads since McAdam all those years ago in 18th Century Britain.

                    Keeping intellectuals in the country is GOOD. The more smart brain
    • America does less science research per capita than do many of the European nations, especially the countries that Rightwingers love to call "socialist"

      This is based on citations-per-capita. There is a big question whether citations-per-capita or articles-per-capita really translates to "science per capita".

      The US has as many Ph.D.'s per 1,000 population as France, the UK, and even the EU in general. And the US has more full-time researchers per 1,000 population than any EU country or the EU as a whole.
  • by PsibrII (671768) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:17AM (#10493336) Journal
    Come on guys, why do you even bother posting this stuff on here ? Everything on 3rd world tech turns into a huge troll for all the knuckleheads who say they don't need technology or electricity, they need food, water, english and some form of the xtian religion noone finds too offensive.
  • by Gothmolly (148874)
    Please don't assume that you know anything about me, my motivations, my tastes, or my purchasing habits. Just because I read Slashdot, I am not an iPod-owning, MP3-downloading, PDA-using geek.
  • A recent Cover Story [outlookindia.com] in Indian weekly.
  • by asimulator (610334) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:26AM (#10493417)
    It appears to me that atleast a section of the slashdot crowd seems to think that satellite launches in India are a recent phenomenon. At the risk of repeating the obvious, let me say that India launched her first satellite back in 1976. And has been launching satellites regularly since. The largest number of them are weather and communication satellites (the INSAT series). There are also remote sensing satellites (the IRS). The INSAT series satisfies all of India's communication transponder needs and some transponders have been leased to other entities, bringing in money. INSATs were largely responsible for the communication revolution India experiences in the mid-80s.

    India also launches satellites meant for polar orbits (the IRS series, for instance) from her own soil, has been for some years now.

    The latest news in India's space program is the launch of a geo-synchronous satellite (Edusat) that seems to have gotten attention at /.

    But that's just the latest news; as I said, India's been in space for nearly 30 years now.

  • Media Lab Asia is dead. Well, almost. They are hiring [medialabasia.org.in] MD/CEO.

    Last year, MIT asked Indian Govt. to cough up US$ 5m for using the name "Media Lab" and Govt refused to oblige and deal was called off.

    MIT-style research has failed in India.
    • There were other reasons for this. The employees at MLA were earning lot more than the average salary and not producing enough. A friend of mine working there was fired and then rehired for much less.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:54AM (#10493733)
    I had occassion to look beyond my nose this morning, and you won't believe what I saw! There's a whole world out there, not just America, and there's many things in it. Like , countries !?! and they have *gasp* different forms of government!! and telephones, and TV? And the youngsters go to places like school and college and all. I didn't know college existed outside the good ol' US of A. God knows what they teach there. Should we bomb them out of existence before they become a threat to world peace, you think?
    • Or was it "THe Monster on Maple Street"? Anyway, yeah, the American corporate media has built this little delusionary, fantasy world for us, in which we sleep while the corporate neoliberal pirates strip us of our wealth. But don't ever wake the sleeping sheeple--they might get angry!

  • Wizzy Digital Courier's [wizzy.org.za] mission is to radically drop the cost of Internet access in every aspect, from equipment, to phone rates, to remote access, to the point that most schools in the world can now consider it for their kids. In most countries the Internet, that is EMAIL and WEB, is not available in schools. For kids to graduate without an intimate and second nature experience with the Internet leaves them seriously unprepared. The "Digital Divide" is actually only an economic divide. We have a novel
  • India is not the only place where hightech can leapfrog the usual progression of roads, electrification, waterworks and other infrastructure development. Though Worldchanging.org [worldchanging.org] is relatively overexposed on /. , you may enjoy reading a short and inspiring piece [worldchanging.com] there about how much a modest budget and some dedicated nerds can do to bring the internet to remote villages in S.E. asia [and what people who haven't got two floppies to rub together or even electricity find useful about internet connection.] A
  • by ShakuniMama (785662) on Monday October 11, 2004 @01:03PM (#10494615) Homepage
    When you're surrounded by China and Pakistan, in probably the most hostile region in the world (I'm discounting Israel because Iraq, Iran, etc DO NOT have WMDs), you have to innovate to survive. Just because some sections of the society don't hae adequate food, water and shelter doesn't mean that funding into scientific research is completely stopped before all come up to speed. Most of the time, science is what uplifts the poorer sections of the society.
  • Just $3200 ?? !!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by dwipal (709116) *
    "Priced at about $3,200, a single K-yan can tutor a large classroom of nearly 100 students in schools that cannot afford multiple personal computers."

    $3200 is insanely high for any indian school to afford. this is probably more than the entire IT spending budget in an year for a small school. u can buy cheap computers in india for around 250$, but computers are still cheaper in USA for similar configuration.

    The main problem with india is there is that most of the people in rural areas dont even know what
  • Which third world are we talking about? According to Bush in his latest debate, there are apparently several third worlds.
  • by PaneerParantha (713034) on Monday October 11, 2004 @04:43PM (#10496932)
    It is my considered opinion that the editors of Slashdot deliberately post stories about India's achievements and their sole reason is to invite slashdotters to make fun of India.

    Stories about China's achievements get applauded as "humankind's" achievements while the same about India are booed as someone trying to achieve high status. A projection's of the reader's thoughts is what it is.

    You guys and girls don't even know the history of India and you don't know what a belief her people have in her "tryst with destiny" (Nehru's speech on midnight of India's independence). Why are these two things important? Because
    (a) history teaches us something. For those whose concept of ancient-ness is 200 years, this concept would probbaly have no meaning. Consider this, for most of its history, India was a rich country which was a subject of invasions and immigrations. It was called a "bird of gold." But Indians became complacent and gave more attention to arts, poetry (and probably sex - an ancestor of mine wrote Kamasutra). It got invaded so much that it was under non-Indians' rule for 1000 years.

    And now when we develop nuclear weapons to prevent repeat of history, you history-less people have the gall to tell us we are wrong!

    (b) we achieved higher things before and by doing technological innovation we are only going back to the same level, we don't aspire for any high frikkin status. That will come with time and accomplishments.

    Here is the bottomline, take it or take it.
    We will continue to use technology.
    We will continue to develop further technology.
    We will continue to do whatever it takes us to protect the borders and peoples of India.

    If you dislike it, close your eyes, stop reading about India, and keep licking China's a$$.
    • I totally agree here. Never in India's history has India ever seeked or waged a war against another nation in the hopes of enslaving/gainign territory.
      Indians have lived for over 1000 years under foreign rule and yet have managed to maintain their languages, religions, culture and lots more.
      India always was a golden bird, to many people from the persians to the British.
      Hence to label India poor is incorrect, especially since most of it wealth was literally stolen by the British during their 200 years r

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