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Third World Research, Development & Innovation

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the moving-forward dept.

Science 222

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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222 comments

Flame (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Draoi (99421) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 ....

Re:Flame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493597)

Yeah, you're right. Illiteracy, poverty, and disease are huge problems in the US just like India.

Re:Flame (-1, Flamebait)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493356)

While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news are already covered [slashdot.org] in slashdot umpteen times, sometimes her sensible achievements should be covered too."
Her sensible acheivements should be covered too? Can we mark the article blurb as flamebait? Lets keep the bias out of the story. Please.
Now hear the spoiled-child rhetoric! Perhaps it is the yankees who are overrated? Perhaps it is the yankees' lifestyle that's over-inflated? Why do the jobs go out of the US with a great sucking sound [aea.org]??? In the turd-world (so said because life there is nothing but shit, thanks to the yankees sucking-out all the wealth of the world), workers do not have four cars in the driveway and a swimming pool in their backyards.

In most of the civilized world (this is spelled E.U.R.O.P.E.), there is public transit to take the people to their jobs without FORCING them to use an expensive, gas-guzzling heap of junk on wheels which is, thanks to the inherent paranoïa [imdb.com] that is so typical of the shitheap-puritan yankee mindset, has to be inflated beyond any semblance of reasonableness [hummer.com] for it's owner to retain some kind of status amongst it's hare-brained [btclick.com] sheepish co-herders.

After a while of destroying the countryside with strip-malls, the business owners are getting tired of subsidizing the heavy car usage that is so typical of the earth-trashing yankees' lifestyle and are starting to rebel. By moving the work where the workforce do not need to have a subsidized conveyance.

The great sucking sound is nothing but the sound itself of the yankees' suckitude, it's stupid dependence on foreign oil that has done so much in the last few years to alienate most of the earth's population, all thanks to the most miserable failure [google.com] of all time in yankee politics [mindprod.com].

So, mister Anonymous Coward, your sheepish flame, shot from behind your huge cowardice (see how I am NOT afraid of you unwashed barbarians by signing my name), you can roll it, and shove it up your anus so it can give you your long-overdue orgasm thar your sheepish moronic puritanism has prevented you from enjoying all that time.

Morons. (Anybody who moderates this negatively is nothing but one of those stupid spoiled Bush-voting yankees).

Re:Flame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493583)

wow, that was a big display of an inferiority complex buddy. Please don't take it seriously, it's not worthy of commiting "jihad" (or whatever other ridiculous name it's called). Leave your resentment alone and post something useful, please?

Re:Flame (1)

Anonymovs Coward (724746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493672)

What on earth was that rant about? I saw nothing about America in the OP. Just a remark I was about to make myself, that suggesting satellite launches and outsourcing aren't "sensible" for India is ridiculous.

Re:Flame (1)

freqres (638820) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493734)

Perhaps it is the yankees who are overrated?

I think you forgot to mention that the South will rise again. Say hi to Bo and Luke Duke for me will ya? I sure do miss those guys.

Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (2, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493474)

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 learned algebra, physics, and chemistry.

The solution for India's problems is not found in hi-tech. Consider the fact that the ratio of male babies to female babies in India is 1.20. In Japan, the ratio in 1960 is 1.05, which is normal. Low-tech did not cause this lopsided ratio in India, and hence, high-tech will not fix the problem.

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 is a failure because its culture is a failure.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493674)

FUCK India.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10494007)

Mod parent up to 5, insightful.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493856)

Comparing Japan and India is the right comparison.

Japan has 3 times the population density of India. India failed because of the choices that the Indian people made.

Here are bogus excuses by an Indian.

1. India has military threats.

RESPONSE: There is no need for nuclear weapons. South Korea has a threat from North Korea. South Korea does not have a massive nuclear weapons program.

2. India has 21 official languages.

RESPONSE: What nonsense is this? That is a problem of choice. Again, Indians are huge failures because they deliberately make the wrong choices. There is nothing to prevent them from having a unified official language.

3. India earns money by selling space launches.

RESPONSE: Those launches apparently do not earn enough money to lift the Indian economy into a 1st world society. The Indians deliberately destroyed their economy (and society) by not allowing free enterprise and capitalism for 40+ years. If the Japanese had followed the Indian bigots in developing Japan, stifling the economy but developing successful space launches, Japan would still be impoverished. Note that Japan is a barren rock, lacking in natural resources, but Indian is resource rich. The Japanese made the right choices and turned the rock into a wealthy society. The Indians destroyed their own society.

Note that this Indian bigot does not even address the lopsided female-to-male ratio. That ratio is due entirely to barbaric Indian culture. No one put a gun to the head of an Indian pig and forced him to kill the female babies.

Even impoverished Vietnam has a normal ratio.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (2, Interesting)

harisheldon (664070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493881)

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 the US.

So India just was pushed much behind by the British and had a longer distance to climb.

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10494042)

Mod parent down! He's blamin' Whitey for everything. He's one of those jackasses who responds to every "Why is X people so poor, dumb, or diseased?" with the answer "Whitey is keeping them down."

This guy is an anti-Caucasian racist. RACIST!!!

Re:Why does India need hi-tech just to survive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493967)

From your post, one thing is apparent. You know *nothing* about Indian culture.

Re:Flame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493792)

Agreed! Why even care about tags like 3rd world and 1st world. It doesn't matter. Even if it were possible for the world to perceive India is a 1st world country at its current development stage, it would not change the fact that a huge part of its population is still living in the stone age. It doesn't matter if you call India 1st or 3rd world, if you open the borders of US and W Europe, you would still see a massive migration of people from India looking for a better life elsewhere... wait a minute... isn't that already happening? :)

RETARDED (1)

Postalbunny (606049) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493973)

The rca/svideo/dvi are not disbabled. HOLD the info + guide buttons down and it will switch between component and svideo/coaxial. The DVI is enabled period, he must be doing something wrong. And YES there is volume control He must have it set to "FIXED" in the settings. Grey lettering, retard has it set to "light" and not dark for the letterbox in settings. I'm going to stop now and just say

RTFM

Query: (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493071)

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: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493096)

That Americans think we should be feeding our poor and not launching satellites.

Re:Query: (2, Funny)

blowdart (31458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493098)

"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: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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?

Re:Query: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493729)

>>While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news.......

IT'S OFFSHORING! NOT OUTSOURCING!

Offshoring can INCLUDE outsourcing, but they are not the same thing. We can only thank our wonderful news media for this.

/. editors (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493082)

Are /. editors so desparate to have a flame war that they allow a post with inflammatory content right on the home page?

Newsflash!!! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493093)

India isn't 3rd world

The Sudan is 3rd world

Re:Newsflash!!! (1, Insightful)

ravind (701403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493112)

As an Indian, let me reassure you, India is very much 3rd world.

Re:Newsflash!!! (3, Informative)

jbgeorge (553617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493142)

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.

Re:Newsflash!!! (1, Insightful)

ravind (701403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493645)

Really? This place where you're from, does it have a name?

You might be an Indian elite who lives in a city, parties in Europe and drives a Mercedes to work, but all you need to do is open your eyes and you will see the slums you are driving past on a daily basis.

You need to acknowledge a problem before you can fix it. Wishful thinking will not make it go away.

Re:Newsflash!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493711)

Just becuase a country has people who exploit the destitute masses and live like kings does not mean that it isn't 3rd world.

Re:Newsflash!!! (2, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493726)

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!!! (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493174)

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!!! (2, Insightful)

haluness (219661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493178)

> 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

Re:Newsflash!!! (1)

shr1n1 (263515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493346)

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.

Re:Newsflash!!! (1)

ravind (701403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493532)

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 (3, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493191)

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 (5, Informative)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493263)

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.

Re:Worlds (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493389)

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 population is reasonably educated, and there is a stable civil society and a significant industrial base that has sensible technological achievements, and most importantly, where the median standard of living is not too removed from the average.

Re:Worlds (explained maybe) (1)

hshana (657854) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493616)

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!!! (3, Informative)

pointyhairedmba (698579) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493502)

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 (5, Interesting)

principor (754410) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Innovation, yes. But please, HP, NOT India. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493099)

From the article: "While the name Hewlett-Packard reminds many Indians of their temperamental office printers, in HP's research center in Bangalore a team is working on something far nobler. Shekar Borgaonkar and his team are building what they call Script Mail, a device that makes electronic communication easier for people who speak languages that can't be typed on a standard keyboard."

Are we allowed to (3, Insightful)

Lifix (791281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493107)

"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 (4, Interesting)

greenhide (597777) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Are we allowed to (3, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Are we allowed to (1)

shr1n1 (263515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493394)

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.

Re:Are we allowed to (1)

kaarigar (663458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493683)

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.

So, what are you doing today? Working hard or taking it easy? If you really believe what you have said, your country should take wholesome retirement from the world, and disengage from all the worldy interactions. In its centuries long existance, it must have reached its final goal (whatever it was) by now. Why, whatever made us evolve into humans? "We" should have been quite happy as apes!

The fact is, such self glorifying view on how the world operates, specially when viewed through and magnified by the small spherical beads of perspration caused by the hard work involved in that process, doesn't validate your point of view. The situation is still better than what was prevaliling in US after 50 years of independence - fighting for slaves. India is doing much better - after being ruled and looted by Brits for centuries.

Re:Are we allowed to (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10494021)

So, what are you doing today? Working hard or taking it easy?

Working, but not particularly hard. For one thing, I have time to read/write /. .

In its centuries long existance, it must have reached its final goal (whatever it was) by now.

Not final, but preferable to what it was in the past.

The situation is still better than what was prevaliling in US after 50 years of independence - fighting for slaves.

I'm not arguing that point. When I say India is backwards, I compare it to the current US. I agree that India is better than the US was in 1826.

Re:Are we allowed to (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493264)

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.

Re:Are we allowed to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493370)

"It is nice to see that countries like India are trying to research communication techniques in backward and rural areas."

It's that they are doing it in "backwards and rural areas" ... not that India is backward and rural. Don't take offense when none is meant and then don't go around saying partonising crap like "In many ways the Indian attitude towards education is superior to our own." ... Better attitude than the US education system??? Surely not!!!

Must be hard... (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493120)

... to be a nuclear power, a spatial power, to be the biggest democracy in the world and still be considered a 'third world country'...

Re:Must be hard... (0, Troll)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493198)

...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... (5, Insightful)

Reducer2001 (197985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493250)

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... (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493421)

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 materials, etc).

The schools which seem to have the biggest problems are usually inner-city schools with large numbers of minority students and immigrants -- no amount of money short of individual tutoring will help them. Anytime you aggregate all the poor kids together, they're typically going to just demonstrate the social backgrounds they live in. Bussing doesn't help -- white families simply move outside the administrative authority of the bussing regeime, and some minority leaders have also complained that integration "undermines their cultural identity" (the result being "right to be ignorant and unemployed.")

It has been suggested that inner city schools could be "saved" by shipping their students to boarding schools in rural locations. It solves many of the social background issues the kids have (crime, neglect, diet) while putting them in an environment where education is their biggest priority. Minority leaders decry it as concentration camps, and conservatives won't pay for it, and it leaves some meaningful questions about family life. Strangely it's worked well for the British aristocracy for centuries.

Overall, you're right that big-ticket weapons systems are a waste of time. Nukes are a valuable big stick to carry around, but primarily the money should be spent on mobile tacitical troops, although Iraq has taught us the value of APCs and tanks in urban combat.

I'd spend the military savings on domestic infrastructure -- urban transit, telecommunications and environmental cleanup. Spending more on the school is just too problematic to get a payback.

Re:Must be hard... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493367)

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... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493411)


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... (4, Informative)

Anonymovs Coward (724746) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Must be hard... (0, Troll)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493243)

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... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Must be hard... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493436)

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.

Re:Must be hard... (1)

tovarish (746937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493648)

not entirely true, she not only had the people's mandate but also all the supporting parties had no objection to her becoming the pm. it was really her choice this time. Some sections (read educated elite) would have been disappointed but they really dont count much in a country of a billion. i personally think her move was smart.

Third World.. (5, Interesting)

digital.prion (808852) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493285)

Back during the Cold War, "Second World" meant "Communist". For the record, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan are examples of non-white "1st World" contries.

Re:Third World.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493296)

Um. Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are definitely not considered "Third World".

Re:Third World.. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10494036)

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.

waitaminute (1, Redundant)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493140)

Since when is India a Third World country? What's next, Russia?

Re:waitaminute (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493183)

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)

Hey India: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493950)

you're my friends...So are Americans and I live in a different continent. But FACE IT: it's not only Americans that think India is a third world country, it's MOST OF THE REST OF THE WORLD!

Why everyone cries and blames America for insignificant things like these?

Priorities? (2, Interesting)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493157)

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? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493247)

" 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 the first thing that pops to his mind. Ironically, you have to get your priorities straight.

Wrong Topic ??? (4, Insightful)

allden (748789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493158)

Shouldn't the topic be "India's, Development & Innovation" instead of "Third World Research, Development & Innovation" ???

Re:Wrong Topic ??? (2, Informative)

tovarish (746937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493691)

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

THIRD WORLD!!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493189)

India a "Third World Country"!!!!

Honestly, who do you think you are?

Get a clue.

(Editors, how did this get past you?)

Definition of "Third World" (5, Interesting)

eutychus_awakes (607787) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Definition of "Third World" (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493383)

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 with those characteristics, and later still to poorer groups within a larger prevailing culture."

I'd say the the way the definition evolved is fair enough. Denying the evolution of language and the meaning of terms is often futile, especially if the evolution makes a fair amount of sense.

Re:Definition of "Third World" (2, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10494046)

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 represented 98% of population) mainly poor people (peasants for the most) and almost starving to death due to large taxes. The problematic the journalist was raising was : For how long will this "Third World" undergo its poverty and injustice ? Will it revolt like the "third state" did ?

So here it is. From this definition, I would say that the characteristics of a third world country would be that it is under-representated in global negociations and that there is a certain level of wealth to be attained. Each criterion is very subjective, India has clearly a great weight in world decisions but it has also a very important poor population, less than most african countries though...

I tend to use more the words "under-developed" countries and "emerging (or emergent, how do you say that in english ?) countries" if most of the population is poor, it is under-developed or emerging. If it has a strong economic growth (like china or india), it is emergent and, if we have faith in capitalism, it means the poverty will finally fade away.

Third world seems to have a strong "under-developed" connotation. Or maybe it is just me...

I remember a story (3, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493212)

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.

Re:I remember a story (3, Insightful)

greenhide (597777) | more than 9 years ago | (#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).

Microloans vs. Large-scale Investment (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493406)

Large scale projects that create jobs and thereby infuse new money into an economy create an environment where businesses can be successful. It seems like a combination of microloans and large investment would be ideal.

From a recent article in India newspaper... (4, Funny)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493216)

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... (5, Interesting)

bayankaran (446245) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493308)

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.

Re:What I saw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493481)



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.



The reality is more complex. Trickle down works, though more slowly than one would hope. Our maid could retire a few years ago on her savings and investments (land) because she considered it beneath her to do menial labour. For the uninitialted, this would have been unthinkable before the liberalization. That's trickle down working.

What India did right is not to let the IMF and World Bank screwballs dictate policy. The politicians had to get re-elected and the trade-offs that were made worked out OK over-all.

USA is a 3rd world country in science research (5, Interesting)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493335)

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.....

Re:USA is a 3rd world country in science research (1)

Peter_Pork (627313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493843)

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 "publications per capita". And don't give the "peer review" crap. Elsevier has a ton of dubious quality, "who-cares" science journals that are "peer reviewed". The submission they receive are so bad that they cannot really do much filtering. American Universities and the NSF are much better at maintaining standards, since the evaluation of candidates and funding proposals examines paper quantity *and* the place in which papers are published *and* the overall project/research line of a researcher.

(this is a counter-argument of the "per-capita publications"="better science" argument above; I'm not saying everything from Europe is bad -- it would be plain wrong to say that)

How come they consistently bag the science Nobels? (1)

joib (70841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493945)

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 brightest get pissed off and go to the US.

A UK scientist's perception (1)

grouse (89280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493965)

I'll probably get modded down for going against the anti-American groupthink of the day, but here goes.

I do science in the UK, which is far further to the left on that graph, and I have to say that no serious scientist here considers even the UK's scientific output to be comparable to that U.S., let alone India. And if you actually read the balanced Nature article instead of selectively picking one graph to prove your point (naughty boy ;-]), you would see that the US comes out on top in most of those graphs and tables, followed by Europe as a whole or the UK individually.

American science funding and infrastructure is our envy here and many of us would do anything to have a similar system--even go work in the U.S. I'm seriously considering doing just that in a few years.

So in terms of scientific spending, America really is the greatest country on earth, followed by the UK ;-) but they aren't "the greatest country on earth per capita wealth." I think that's kind of a narrow way to define who is greatest, but I imagine most people could live with that.

Good lord not again ! (3, Insightful)

PsibrII (671768) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493336)

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.

"people like us" (0, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493345)

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.

India's space activities, a short summary (4, Informative)

asimulator (610334) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Backward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493427)

"...trying to research communication techniques in backward and rural areas."

What exactly is "backward"? If by backward you mean a rural area or an absense of "the latest gadgets" then this is a way of living in closer harmony with the environment, like it has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, not actually backward at all.

Why stale references to MLA? (1)

MHleads (751029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493594)

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.

Re:Why stale references to MLA? (2, Informative)

tovarish (746937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493727)

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.

Go ahead mod me down (ha ha) (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#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?

LOL! They will stone you like in "The Lottery"! (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493807)

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 (1)

andyr (78903) | more than 9 years ago | (#10493847)

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 system of using a USB memory stick to carry Internet content.

Appropiate Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10493932)

I guess google for that or for sustainable developement. You get links to orgainizations that do work in that area.

As someone who spent a lot of time in an industrial surplus outlet, I watched the technology change in what you could do with it. You can't scratch build stuff like you used to be able to do with vacuum tubes in the 50's and 60's. Try doing your own microprocessor fab or even your own SMT (surface mount technology) in a hut in the middle of nowhere. You can't even hack together stuff the way you used to be able to. It's all custom propietary circuits and interfaces. Go ahead, do the equivalent of getting your Mac to talk to an alien spaceship's command and control system.

Part of it's that multinational corporations want total control and they're not going to create technology that let's you usurp it.

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