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India's Road To The Future

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the concrete-as-metaphor dept.

Technology 278

Paul 03244 writes "Historians, economists and technologists agree that movement of ideas, goods and services are fundamental to trade & advancement of the human condition. Today's online version of the NYT has a rather lengthy but fascinating article on the construction of a modern highway system in India that details some of the social & cultural changes being brought about by this highway project." Interesting to look at the parallels between the spread of tech and services in India and the same process in the U.S.

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278 comments

Foist! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180175)

Foist!

I hear the Indians are upset (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180179)

Because the project is being outsourced to the United States.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (3, Funny)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180217)

the project is being outsourced to the United States.

yep, i hear they train these american construction workers to speak with an indian accent.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (-1, Troll)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180266)

"Because the project is being outsourced to the United States."

SIGH
I live in India. All Indians don't work for US outsourcing tech companies. In fact, a very small minority of us do. And we did have money before the 'west' started 'infusing money' into our 'economy'. And most people dont give a fuck about outsourcing. Most people aren't even aware of the outsourcing inudstry. And outsourcing hasn't made IT workers rich - it has just put them in the upper middle class. And the poor, lower class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class and the rich existed in almost the same percentages as now, before IBM created the first PC. Outsourcing is a microscopic part of our economic history.

Or, if you just want to stay in your dream, before the outsourcing industry graced us, we were all snake-charmers riding elephants and we had never seen money or a calculator.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180367)

Maybe in a few decades you'll be able to develop a sense of humor?

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (0, Troll)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180379)

I realize the parent poster was trying to be funny but it doesn't change the fact that (IMO) most Americans think our economy is completely built around serving them and that all Indians are tech support people for Dell. Not only is this incorrect but it is insulting and I just took advantage of this topic to let off steam.

P.S. - Maybe some day you'll develop the ability to realize when someone is trying to make a point and you'll listen instead of criticizing.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (3, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180446)

I realize the parent poster was trying to be funny but it doesn't change the fact that (IMO) most Americans think our economy is completely built around serving them and that all Indians are tech support people for Dell.

No. Most Americans think all Dell tech support people are Indians. Not the other way around. Dell does not have a billion tech support people.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180602)

of course what is really bad its possible to have an Smart Indian tech actually help you but a good percentage of the time even if the tech is a Born And Bred US of A person they can't help you. I actually at work (common us electronics retailer) talked with an Indian citizen that said he called in and being able to speak Indian DID NOT HELP.

It's mostly because... (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180615)

..modern electronics is more crap throw away quality than not, necessitating a lot of customer service calls. When Americans call the handy 800#, they honestly can't understand what is going on in the conversation most of the time, leading to double frustration, a broken gadget and then no way to effectively communicate. And it doesn't help that the tech support guy calls himself "Mike" either, it's just an insult to the customer because he or she knows his name is most likely not "Mike". They are frustrated because A-nothing gets fixed, B-they get insulted right off the bat, and C-they know that this used to be a US job. All of the above and more. This has created contention unfortunately.

    The US right now almost every day in the biz headlines is "more layoffs". I mean big layoffs, significant, large, important. it's *spooky* what is going on to those paying attention. The average person here is starting to get more than a bit concerned over the future. They see blue collar jobs going to china, white collar to india, and service jobs here going to illegal immigrants. Uhh-what's left exactly?

It's not personal, so don't take it personal, just there is no way to get those US bosses and politicians (who aren't sweating the mortgage payment and healthcare and whatnot) to understand that this "globalism" bill of goods they foisted on us isn't working out like they thought. Since they really started pushing it,the past 20 years or so, we've gone from the planets largest creditor nation to largest debtor nation. The middle class is shrinking fast and is exisiting on credit cards and refinancing the mortgage. This is not a good idea. Not-at-all.

  No one has anything against other folks in other lands having jobs,NONE, that isn't the issue at all, the main issue is transferring existing jobs, when they should just be creating new jobs in places like where you are at. It really doesn't have to be one or the other, it can be both if the globalist boss class wasn't such greed-jerk total lamers..and I bet it's the same in India as well.

Re:It's mostly because... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180933)

...and this somehow justifies the misplaced anger directed towards call center workers in India?

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (2, Insightful)

Ksisanth (915235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180738)

the fact that (IMO) most Americans think our economy is completely built around serving them and that all Indians are tech support people for Dell. Not only is this incorrect but it is insulting and I just took advantage of this topic to let off steam.

Remarks about what most Americans think, usually based on shallow, stereotyped views of Americans as egocentric dullards (a view which even some Americans hold, egocentric dullards that they are), can also be taken as incorrect and insulting.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (2)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180764)

That's not true at all. Anything bad about Americans that you read on slashdot is true. Anyone not American is enlightened, and likely years ahead of us technologically, socially, and spiritually as well. Plus more attractive, and overall worth more to the race as a whole.

That is all.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180772)

I realize the parent poster was trying to be funny but it doesn't change the fact that (IMO) most Americans think our economy is completely built around serving them and that all Indians are tech support people for Dell

Most American's don't care what drives your economy (I'm not saying that's a good thing, just a fact). What they do care about are jobs going to India and having to try and decipher a thick Indian accent to get some help from tech support.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180411)

SIGH
I live in India. All Indians don't work for US outsourcing tech companies. In fact, a very small minority of us do. And we did have money before the 'west' started 'infusing money' into our 'economy'. And most people dont give a fuck about outsourcing. Most people aren't even aware of the outsourcing inudstry. And outsourcing hasn't made IT workers rich - it has just put them in the upper middle class. And the poor, lower class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class and the rich existed in almost the same percentages as now, before IBM created the first PC. Outsourcing is a microscopic part of our economic history.


Just more proof that Indians lack a sense of humor. No wonder there are so few Indian comedians.

You are a fake. (5, Informative)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180491)

You are not even from India, and you are sifting the anti slash DB for high karma posts to copy and pasting them. Your comment can also be found here [slashdot.org] .

Re:You are a fake. (0, Troll)

middlemen (765373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180648)

haha.. good job dude.. good search!!

Re:You are a fake. (1, Funny)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180907)

Saying Java is nice because it works on all OS's is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders.

Best. Sig. EVER!!!

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (3, Insightful)

kjots (64798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180528)

All Indians don't work for US outsourcing tech companies. In fact, a very small minority of us do.

That may be so, but don't forget that the huge population difference between India and the US means that even if a "small minority" of you are involved in outsourcing, it is still enough to displace a significant portion of the US workforce. Not that this is a bad thing; it might even encourage them to get of their lazy, fat arses (yeah, you heard me!) and vote for someone who actually gives a shit about something other than taking over the world one oil-rich Middle-Eastern nation at a time.

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180934)

They did vote... every time they went into WalMart or some other store and bought cheaper goods, thus getting more "value" for their dollar. Time and again, for the majority of people, price and not quality was the overriding factor, and you don't get cheaper prices by hiring over-priced, under-producing workers.

Much like citizens demanding more services and fewer taxes from the government, workers demanded ever higher wages and benefits and vacation time from their companies, while at the same time demanding cheaper prices for goods and services. In both cases, however, there's a limit, and if money doesn't come in, it isn't there to give out.

There was a recent TV report on Indian outsourcing on TV, and the study in contrasts was amazing. These people realize that they're being given an opportunity, and they're willing to WORK for it. Millions of kids are studying as hard as they can to prepare for it. What happens here? No one gives a damn, and millions watch the clock, waiting until they can go home and watch TV.

Yeah, "W" is an easy target, but it's not his fault. Nor is it the fault of those greedy corporations. Americans did it to themselves. Maybe after its citizens spend a decade or so in abject poverty, America will regain her work ethic.

But I doubt it. Much more likely we'll stand on our "rights", find someone to blame, and demand we bomb the shit out of them....

Re:I hear the Indians are upset (5, Insightful)

spmallick (711060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180707)

"Because the project is being outsourced to the United States"

It might just be the opposite. Because intellectuals/planners in India fully understand that corruption can undermine the economic progress India has made since 1991, many large projects which were earlier undertaken by government bodies are now awarded based on International tenders. Same is the case with this project.

It is a pity that most Americans think that outsourcing has initiated Indian economic progress, while the fact is that we started progressing after the country was left with 15 days of foriegn reserve in 1991 and the Prime Minister invited one of the best economists in the country Dr. Manmohan Singh to join the cabinet as the finance minister. The economic growth of 6.9% that we saw this year was a result of reforms introduced in 1991.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3725357.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Yes, outsourcing does boost the economy, it probaby does not drive it.

Ofcourse we are far from what we should be after 50 years of independence, but lately we have made enormous strides and things are begining to change. 15 years back Indians could not even dream of such a project and today they are talking about linking all rivers in India; a feat if achieved would be a significant engineering achievement. Whenever, there is a discussion on how India is making progress, there are be numerous who refuse to see the glass as half full and point to corruption and poverty that rots our society. While the statements are true they fail to see the winds of change sweeping India.

The change is symbolised by the following facts. By coincidence or by design, the Prime minister of India today, Dr. Manmohan Singh, an economist, is the artitect of the biggest economic reforms in the country. The President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam, a rocket scientist, is considered to be the father of Indian missile and space programs.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/countr y_profiles/1154019.stm#leaders [bbc.co.uk]

In contrast, the President of United States is a cowboy. (No offense, but I could not resist the comparison).

Smog (0, Troll)

MacFury (659201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180182)

Good thing they will have those new highways. Now they'll have a quick way to get their kids to the hospital when the smog induced asthma attacks happen!

curry (-1, Redundant)

xXBondsXx (895786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180190)

but do they sell curry on the side of the highway? that's what india is all about

Re:curry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180321)

Americans aren't the only ones with karma around here, you know...

Roads? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180194)

We're they're going, they won't need roads.

"mile by mile"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180196)

I thought India was metric.

Booyah (grandma) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180210)

Bangalore? Gangbang some more!

In India HIV Makes Inroads (-1, Offtopic)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180211)

Spread Of HIV In India Tied To Truck Drivers [medicalnewstoday.com] Soliciting Commercial Sex Workers

Re:In India HIV Makes Inroads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180924)

lame dude... lame
what you just did is similar to whatr is talked about in the essayHow News is Made [boingboing.net] .

Great opportunity (0)

Jotii (932365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180225)

This is India's great opportunity to get modern. They've got a lot of potential sites with the .asia [slashdot.org] top-level domain.

Remember what Hihgways are (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180240)

Highways were first thought up by Hitler to aid the Blitzkrieg technique and move armies and supplies quickly around Germany. He correctly imagined that the bottleneck in modern industrial warfare was not in the factory at all but in the delivery in the goods to the battlefield.

Truman developed the US highway system to prepare for war with the USSR. The long east-west highways would be the long supply chains bringing supplies from northeastern factories (i.e. Detroit) to the Western front/staging area in California. Highways out west were designed to be wide enough and have a long enough straight line to allow for a B52 bomber to land and be refueled. They still practice this to this day.

Slashdotters are fond of posting that porn and warfare drive technology. Highway systems are driven by warfare.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180306)

Are you implying that the US is now outsourcing war?

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (5, Informative)

Scoth (879800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180329)

Close, but no cigar:
http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/airstrip.asp [snopes.com]

The highways/interstates were never intended as landing strips. Besides, when's the last time you heard of traffic being shut down/diverted for the practice landings?

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (3, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180874)

The highways/interstates were never intended as landing strips. Besides, when's the last time you heard of traffic being shut down/diverted for the practice landings?

Sweden does use public roads as military airfields. The idea is to be able to very quickly set up a temporary airfield, resupply the aircraft and then leave again. Not highways, though; it's usually secondary roads with a section straightened and widened, and with a few (normally empty) buildings in the nearby forest. And yes, I've seen a road closed off by air-force guards a few times and a fighter plane come down for landing and takeoff.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180338)

That highways were built to serve as runways for wartime is a myth according to the federal highway administration [tfhrc.gov]

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (3, Interesting)

pokstad (909813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180364)

It actually was Eisnhower who signed the bill for the Interstate System, he was impressed by Germany's autobahn when he was there commanding US forces. Interesting point though, that freeway systems were first developed for war strategies, but now for economic development.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180359)

"Highways out west were designed to be wide enough and have a long enough straight line to allow for a B52 bomber to land and be refueled."

The bad thing about American highways, which the Germans avoided, is long straight roads. In comparison the German highway system generally followed the contour and lay of the land. This helps prevent boredom and drivers falling asleep. Then again, highways going out west is going to pass through some pretty flat, straight stretches. So I guess some of it was pretty unavoidable.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180377)

For Hitler, the biggest problem was a lack of energy and manufacturing capacity. By the end of the war, the Germans had very advanced tech, but only a handful of each unit. Highways are useless if you have no goods to move along them and no gasoline to put into your trucks.

If I were planning a logistical system for use in a future war, I would try to use rail as much as possible. Rails have far higher capacity than roads and they use only a small fraction of the fuel of roads. While global warming is a minor issue in war, running out of fuel is, and in war fuel demand goes up for the war machinery while production goes down because of bombing. Both rail and road are moderately vulnerable to enemy bombing.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (2, Informative)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180617)

Rails have far higher capacity than roads and they use only a small fraction of the fuel of roads.

Rail was used extensively for moving materials in previous wars. Rail is good as a backbone, for constantly moving large amounts of materials through secured terrain (eg heavy equipment from the midwest to coastal harbors). Rail does not give you the flexibility of motor transport, requires constant control (two trains on the same track = bad), and an existing secure infrastructure (you need trucks on the front lines).

Both rail and road are moderately vulnerable to enemy bombing.

Rail is far more vulnerable to enemy bombing/sabatoge. With roads, vehicles can move off the road if needed to get around an obstacle, if rail is damaged, you can't move off the rail for a short stretch, the rail has to be repaired.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (3, Informative)

mrokkam (783202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180814)

it should be noted that India does have one of the world's largest railway system (5th as per most statistics). But it is still insufficient for the purposes of trade or transportation of goods.

from wikipedia: "It is also one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting just under five billion passengers and almost 350 million tonnes of freight annually. IR is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.6 million employees."

Some statistics [diehardindian.com]
Wikipedia article on Indian Railways [wikipedia.org]

Nonsense! Re:Remember what Hihgways are (4, Informative)

voss (52565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180416)

Many of Americas highways were built BEFORE WWII. The interstates may have been a defense related project but the Turnpikes werent. Commerce is a far bigger motivating factor than war. War is often just the
excuse to get the road built then the military abandons it.

And you are wrong about Hitler, the Autobahn projects were actually started (1926) BEFORE hitler came to power and Hitler didnt think of them he had really nothing to do with their conception. The first autobahn was started in 1929 and was completed in 1932 BEFORE hitler came to power. Oddly enough the war actually STOPPED contruction of the autobahn.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (3, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180545)

Thats a common belief, but the US Interstate system was being planned during the 1930s, but other capital dam projects tied up men and concreate. Then the Second World War hit and the plan was shelved again.

The Autobahn as a tool of the Blitzkrieg sounds good, but in fact they were thought up in the 1920s in Germany and Switzerland and they were limited in scope even during the build up of the 1930s. The first section from Frankfurt am Main to Darmstadt opening in 1935. This straight section was used for high speed record attempts by the Grand Prix racing teams of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. During World War II, the central reservation of some autobahns was paved to allow their conversion into auxiliary airports. However, for the most part, the autobahns were not militarily significant, and most military and economic freight continued to be carried by rail. Thousands of kilometers of autobahns remained unfinished, their construction brought to a halt by 1942 due to the increasing demands of the war effort, as Germany always had manpower issues even with all the slave labor they used.

The interstate system was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and championed by Eisenhower. In 1919 Ike had been involved in a National Defense planning operation to move units across the United States and it took months, similar operations by Patton before the war showed a need for better highway infrasturcture in the US. One potential civil defense use of the Interstate Highway System is for the emergency evacuation of cities in the event of a potential nuclear war.

http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/mayjun00/onemileinfive .htm [tfhrc.gov]
"I have no idea where the one-out-of-five claim originated. Perhaps it is giving too much credit to whoever originated this "fact" to suggest that it began with a misreading of history. Under a provision of the Defense Highway Act of 1941, the Army Air Force and the Public Roads Administration (PRA), now the Federal Highway Administration, operated a flight strip program. In a 1943 presentation to the American Association of State Highway Officials, Commissioner of Public Roads Thomas H. MacDonald explained how it worked.

"A flight strip consists of one runway, laid down in the direction of the prevailing wind, and a shelter with telephone for the custodians at the site and for itinerant flyers in an emergency. Fuel storage facilities are not provided unless airplanes are based there permanently. Instead, oil companies will keep stocks of aviation gasoline at gas stations along the highway and truck it to the flight strip as it is needed."

The flight strips were designed for easy access to public highways and to provide unmistakable landmarks that could be followed easily by a pilot. Flight strips varied in size. The smallest -- 150 feet (46 meters) wide and 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) long with the length increased by 500 feet (152 meters) for each 1,000 feet (305 meters) of elevation -- were designed for tactical aircraft such as medium bombers. A larger flight strip could accommodate heavy bombers such as the B-17 and B-24, while still larger strips were designed for heavier classes of aircraft.

The benefits weren't expected to be entirely military. As MacDonald explained, "The close coordination of our highways and airways is becoming a vital necessity to assist the economic growth of this country."

In that spirit, Congress considered including a flight strip program in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 -- the law that authorized designation of a "National System of Interstate Highways." However, the 1944 act did not include the flight strip program."

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

saifatlast (659446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180572)

I'd like to add to this that bridges heights were determined by the height of a truck carrying nuclear missiles. This truck had to be able to pass under a bridge.

OT:Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180628)

A little offtopic, but does anyone remember that homemade film released in the early days of DivX ;) where there was some guy driving on a highway with no trafic only to be landed on by a plane ? The highway was cleared out because the Boeing had to make an emergency landing... The name of the film was something like "highway 411" or something like this. I can't finding back even with the omniscient google :(

"405" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180773)

It was called "405: The Movie".
http://www.405themovie.com/ [405themovie.com]

Re:"405" (1)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180894)

Thanks, anonymous saviour.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180734)

Wouldn't it be cool, though, if it were driven by porn?

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (3, Interesting)

Compuser (14899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180757)

The idea of building roads to aid movement of military units and
war-related shipments is rather old. The Romans built the roads
in Europe for that purpose. Indeed, it was the Roman army that
did most of the building. So ascribing this idea to Hitler is a bit
much. In fact, had this been Hitler's thinking, he would have never
invaded the Soviet Union, since that place had a lot of land and only
a few very bad roads. Many of those roads would become impassable
during rains so fall through spring the road system was terrible
and merely usable in the summer. So no, Hitler as visionary of road
building is kind of a laugh.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180759)

Truman developed the US highway system to prepare for war with the USSR.

First off, the US highway system (US 1 on the East Coast to 101 on the West Coast, and 2 to 98 north-south) was created in 1926.

After WWI, Eisenhower took an army caravan on the Lincoln Highway across the nation and saw first-hand the horrible condition of the nation's roads, especially in the Plains and Rockies. Twenty-five years later, with his glimpse of the Autobahns in Germany, was where he got the idea for controlled-access multilane divided highways. The Interstate Highway System (with a numbering pattern perfectly opposite that of the federal route system, low numbers in the south/west and high numbers north/east) was signed into law in 1956.

But there were plans under consideration for "Interregional Highways" during WWII. In those plans, you can see a proto-interstate system, including early drafts of major arteries (I-80, I-95, etc.).

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (1)

Ugmo (36922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180767)

Off topic I always wondered about post WWII suburbs:
Right after WWII, a war marked by bombings of cities with both nuclear and convential bombs from both sides (London Blitz, firebombing of Dresden, Hiroshima & Nagasaki among many,many others) that the U.S. built its highway system and also developed suburbs all along the highways. The suburbs made it harder to wipe out a city's population as they were now more spread out. This probably helped national security though I do not know if suburbs were a deliberate plan or just happened.

Now, the very fact that most post WWII construction was spread out and depends on automobiles is harmful to National Security because it increases our dependence on foreign oil supplied by nations hostile to US and US policies.

Re:Remember what Hihgways are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180790)

I thought the Romans were one of the earliest in western civilization that understood the role of highways in war and growth. The civilizations that came later used that as a model.

No Open Defecation By 2010 (2, Interesting)

IEBEYEBALL (827052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180250)

No Open Defecation By 2010 [bbc.co.uk] . Puts a whole new spin on the phrase "outsourcing".

Manufacturing Consent for more H1Bs & outsourc (-1, Flamebait)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180263)

This article looks like "warm and fuzzy" corporate propaganda intended to manufacture consent for more globalist-neoliberal policies iike higher H1B importation and outsourcing.

Re:Manufacturing Consent for more H1Bs & outso (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180557)

You sir, are an idiot.

Use some common sense and critical thinking before pointing to your favored boogeyman of the week.

'nuff said.

Re:Manufacturing Consent for more H1Bs & outso (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180785)

whoever modded me down is a solid gold pussy

Its Jesus LOL MySpace Suicide (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180273)

Corruption... ? (3, Interesting)

geneing (756949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180289)

I came across an article in the Economist. They are much more cautious about the economic development in India. They mention corruption, bureaucracy, strong communist parties in parliament as the major threats. I'm hoping that someone with first hand experience could say more about this...

Re:Corruption... ? (2, Insightful)

toetagger1 (795806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180456)

To your point of corruption & bureaucracy, it doesn't seem to have stopped the US, so why should this stop India?

Re:Corruption... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180888)

corruption and bureaucrcy, no doubt, are rampant in india. But left parties presence is needed as so called customer friendly "corporates" use their mighty power against people aka RIAA, MPAA etc etc. Yes, right now india suffers from lack of will and corruption among bureaucrats and politicians. But some how the last and present prime ministers are cleaner than rest of the politicians in the party and have some vision in development. I wish india can get rid of its corruption, at least in day to day operations like in govt offices.

Re:Corruption... ? (4, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180645)

Yeah, there is a significant amount of corruption and bureacracy in the system, but for the most part, privitization has helped cut down on that significantly.

However, there is no real strong "communist" party in India - the existing government is being supported by the Communist Party of India, they have minimal say. The thing is, until about 30 years ago, India and the Soviet Union were fairly close. And as a newly independent nation, a government that had equal parts public and private sectors seemed like a good idea at the time.

However, gradually, the public sectors began to be privatized. Sure, the Communist party of India occasionally throws a tantrum, but nobody listens to them anyway. If at all, they have some semblance of power in all of two states, only one of which is consistent.

To be fair, there are some politicians who're above this, and who really understand technology and the need. For instance, the President is a rocket scientist (quite literally) and the Prime Minister is a renowned economist (he was awarded his Ph.D. in economics from Oxford and has been a professor of economics).

Of course, like any system, there are corrupt folks, and folks who refuse to change or adapt to the new system, particularly since it undermines their power and authority. But most of these are at the state level, and the Central (equivalent of Federal) government has a lot more power, and is a lot cleaner, too (relatively speaking, of course).

So, to answer your question - there is some definite corruption and bureacracy, but it's on the decline. More privatization and media exposures have largely made it harder, and folks who're at the helm are a lot more knowledgeable and capable.

Here's hoping for a better India in the days to come! :)

Re:Corruption... ? (2, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180655)

And I must also mention that the left in India isn't left by a lot of standards (i.e. say, Europe). In some policies, they are quite centric and are even fiscally conservative. And in certain issues, such as privatization of all government assets, they tend to hold more leftist views.

Re:Corruption... ? (3, Informative)

rite_m (787216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180812)

First hand experience from an Indian..

Corruption and bureaucracy are there. But we don't really worry about the communists so much. Their say is limited to their ruling states of West Bengal and Kerala. Also, even though they are part of the ruling coalition, everyone knows that they cannot withdraw the support to the government as they fear the opposition parties (BJP et al) coming to helm.

The recently [persmin.nic.in] enforced Right to Information Act [rti.gov.in] should help us alot in fighting corruption and red-tape.

Re:Corruption... ? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180879)

Corruption in much of India is pretty endemic at all government levels. I think it's somewhat different from Western standards of "corruption" though..it's different standards.

As an example, frequently cited is corruption on the local level--ie, if your house gets broken into, you go to police, you get told wait in line (which can be LONG--India has a HUGE bureaucracy, and for the most part, a well running one). However if you slip the person a some money, well there you go, head of the queue. Baksheesh. It's really not seen as corruption (though perhaps increasingly so?). It's almost like a tip--how we in the west tip in restaurants. You want police help, give them a tip. You want to get a cab now, versus waiting for an available one, slip a tip. Baksheesh. Pretty endemic. Doesn't sound terrible...but once it starts happening on the upper govt level, and instead of a "tip" you're getting hundreds of thousands of dollars etc, it becomes much more of a problem.

All in all though, personally I don't think corruption will end up being a huge deal. It's a cost of business in India, and something that is increasingly (at least at upper levels) being cracked down up.

Editorial Content (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180304)

They should note that it was in the Times, not just the online edition. Some stories do only make the online edition, this one was published. It makes a difference, and should be noted. But hey, it's /., so we should just be happy its not a dupe, eh?

Re:Editorial Content (1)

Paul 03244 (220512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180442)

I only mentioned the online version because I typically don't get the Times 'dead tree' version, & didn't know if this story was also printed.

Fairly good article (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180316)

It's a fairly good article really, and a lesson the ancient Romans taught the world. Having a reliable, fast public road system is critical for the rest of society to build on. From Africa to Asia, economic prosperity is dependant on and will literally follow the road made available to it.

Yes roads will shape the dynamics of communities, they will change, remove and add culture, but the greater of the whole will benefit for it. It's called progress, things change, get over it. It's good to see the road actually being built there, perhaps someday places like Africa will also see this.

Let's face it, the hiway has done more to benefit the economies of the west than any other invention of the twenieth century. The east and other parts of the world want that same benefit, and there is no reason they should not be able to have it.

Ok, ready for the anti-car nuts to flame me for not wanting everyone to live in a village or highly condensed metro area where people walk everywhere.

Re:Fairly good article (1)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180363)

Yeah, it's only a matter of time before we start seeing rash consumerism in huge swathes taking hold of their country. Then we can safely chant: "ONEOFUS ONEOFUS ONEOFUS"

Re:Fairly good article (0, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180401)

Consumerism? Did I say anything about goods or markets? Nope. Did I say anything about politics or government? Nope. I was talking about economic prosperity. Your talking about an area of the world so poor that people are stealing /wet concrete/ to cover the dirt floor of the one room house they live in. You did read the article, right?

Please, do tell me how bringing some economic prosperity to what is one of the poorest regions on the planet is harmful? Please, I want to see your insitefulness on the benefit of living in absolute desperation for generation upon generation. I want to know the benefits of the absolute conservatism that decries progress for the rest of the world.

Re:Fairly good article (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180579)

This is true. One of the problems in Africa is that they have few navigable rivers, very little highway and very little railroad nets.

The Interstate system was a boon to the US and the high cap road nets in Western Europe were boons to rebuilding after the War.

Re:Fairly good article (1)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180660)

Good point, you didn't see the Romans wasting money on useless boondoggles like high speed rail and bike paths. Of course, towards the end of the empire, around 400 AD, they started getting infiltrated by liberal hippie barbarians who wasted money on precisely these kind of ill-fated wastes of taxpayer money.

Re:Fairly good article (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180810)

Consider how long they lasted and the times that they lived in. The Roman empire lasted longer and brought prosperity to a larger portion of people for a far longer period of time than any nation alive today. That they eventually fell is moot to my point. My point has to to with their prosperity and success, and for that the roads were critical.

Couple historical points for you though. Most roads did not "lead" to Rome [ket.org] anymore than most roads today lead to Washington DC. Most roads connected disparate parts of their empire with other disparate parts. The result being that many of these disparate parts became far less disparate.

As for why did they build the roads? It certainly wasn't to bring troops to Rome itself, in fact they were forbidden from crossing the Rubicon and coming to close to Rome (something Julius Ceaser famously defied). Roads were built to help them manage their far flung empire and keep their standing professional army busy during times of peace. The natural byproduct of the road system was the economic flourishment that the empire enjoyed.

Idle troops can be very dangerous, and building the roads served as much to keep their troops busy as they did for troop transport. Rome was pretty much alone in having professional troops intead of conscripts and understood the importance of a standing army. It was on of those minor details that led to both the size and longevity of their empire.

Re:Fairly good article (1)

billy reuben (667186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180700)

I'm not a professional historian, but I've done a bit of reading about Rome and its economy. I think the Roman highways were all about enriching Rome, the city -- that's why all roads led there. With roads connecting Rome to its provinces, Roman leaders could send out troops quickly to keep the provincial populations busy growing wheat that could then be sent back about as quickly the armies were sent out. The improvement of the rest of the empire's society was an unintended consequence, although a welcome one, from the point of view of many people today.

Monsoon Railway (4, Interesting)

matt me (850665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180354)

If you do ever get the chance to see this documentary, do!

It's called Monsoon Railway and documents how the staff at one station do their best to make the best out of a imposibly overcrowded and out-dated system through one seasons. It's incredibly uplifting. The people work through the night to keep it going. They have hospital trains manned with volunteers to send out in the event of any accident. There's one guy has only the smallest crummiest room himself to live in, but he feels so priveleged that he makes a shelter with his hands for the Indian railway children.

Seriously, if you think there's no hope, no ove, no humanity in this world, watch it. If you feel the third world is corrupt, hopeless not somewhere you can connect with, you're wrong. It made me want to travel, just to meet those people who commit such acts of kindness as if there was no other choice.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/feature s/monsoon-railway.shtml [bbc.co.uk]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/feature s/photogallery/indian_rail1.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

Outsource it! (1)

VeganBob (888165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180361)

There are a load of US programmers that are willing to pave the roads. I saw it in Office Space.

Does this mean that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180382)

Does this mean that a respectable life in India will be consider something that includes minimum three cars per household and every trip over 20 meters travelled by car?

--> wages increase, population growth halts due technically crummy sex-in-the-car culture, national health goes into overweigth problems, government starts to spend money on ridiculous military budgets to conquer oil resources for nation's cars
--> international competitivity comes down and hard

Familiar?

(--> outsourcing from US to India becomes outsourcing from US to China/Malaysia/whatever?)

Goddess of Irony? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180431)

But the temple and tree thwart even greater speed, and a passing contractor says they soon will be removed.

Kali, Hindu goddess of destruction, thinks otherwise.

Just a bit Ironic, eh?

Re:Goddess of Irony? (1)

dotslasher_sri (762515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180683)

This has been repeated in the western media many times, but Kali is NOT the godess of destruction. She only destroys bad guys.

More info here kali [wikipedia.org]

It's Just A Highway! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180454)

Christ! You'd think it was the interplanetary causeway or somethin'.

We all know what highways do to the landscape: they route around old centers, create new growth and new powers on their edges and speed up commerce.

Highway service points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180494)

I hope inventories of highway service points are not limited to curry. And keep elephants off the road!

Aryan Invasion? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180506)

the article mentions aryan invasion as one of the significant events in India's history.... wasnt that theory debunked as fantasies of colonial occupiers? really, one would think that NYT would do a much better job of researching before publishing....

Re:Aryan Invasion? (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180775)

Yes, Hitler never even got close to India; he was stopped in North Africa. Those movies of German troops goose-stepping in front of the Taj Mahal were proven fake years ago.

Re:Aryan Invasion? (5, Insightful)

CaptTofu (4109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180921)

The term 'Arayan' means people who came from the Northern part of India, those who practiced the Vedic society (Sanatana Dharma) not blonde Europeans (who in Vedic scripture were refered to as Mlechas - barbarians).

Hitler, who also hijacked the Swastika (inverted/perverted from it's real direction) as the symbol of National Socialism, was a Vedic symbol of good luck, prosperity. Just as with the Swastika, he also hijacked the term 'Arayan'. Interestingly enough, Vedic culture for the most part were vegetarians, which Hitler also was.

He probably read a bit about India and Vedic Culture, and incorporated perverted misconceptions of these ideas he fancied into his whole sick, concocted philosophy.

Re:Aryan Invasion? (3, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180938)

the article mentions aryan invasion as one of the significant events in India's history.... wasnt that theory debunked as fantasies of colonial occupiers?

The replacement of indigenous Dravidian languages in the north by an Indo-European dialect brought from an Anatolian or North Pontic urheimat is upheld by nearly all reputable scholars. Now, it's not certain that the speakers of Proto-Indic came with the sword, there instead could have been a more gradual cultural influence, so "Aryan invasion" is a poor choice of terminology.

I Don't Think I Read It Here... (1, Interesting)

spudwiser (124577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180567)

But India's highway system also allows it to have an HIV rate comparable to south africa. Married truckers, truck stop hoes, and long routes have lead to an epidemic spread of the virus. Go figure. I'm glad condoms are $1 in the US, where a dollar doesn't matter.

Re:I Don't Think I Read It Here... (2, Informative)

dongshu (844329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180704)

Condoms are free in India, even the priced ones are less than a buck.

Good to hear. (5, Interesting)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180611)

I am a big believer in India, rather than China being the country to watch for growth and development. A great deal of this surrounds India's legal system, which closely follows the English common-law system, with a great respect for precedent and contract law. Take a look at the econmic success of both the U.K. and the United States, and you can clearly see the benefits of this system.

Re:Good to hear. (1)

audi100quattro (869429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180758)

You're right, but until those laws are enforced in a timely manner, without bribes. Only then will the benefits of the system help the billion people.

Re:Good to hear. (1)

h2d2 (876356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180910)

Excuse me, but China's strict one party system keeps corruption in check, something that's as much part of Indian culture as hotdog is to America.

Re:Good to hear. (2)

Paul 03244 (220512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180922)

You may be right--along with their tradition of recognizing the rule of law, they have a very good technical education system. India turns out scads of top-notch engineers, mathematicians, physicists, economists, researchers & business executives. It's fairly likely that long term, India will outpace China.

Capitalism Works? (3, Interesting)

Dausha (546002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180708)

FTFA: "The real start came in 1991, when India began dismantling its state-run economy and opening its markets to foreign imports and investment."

So, what you're saying is that when India ditched Socialism and hopped on the Capitalist highway, then their economy really picked up speed? Fancy that. Next you'll be telling me that China abandoned Communism and became one of the world's fastest growing economies. Of course, adopt a bloated welfare/medical system, and there goes growth.

Re:Capitalism Works? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180769)

China is slowly becoming more open and democratic. They may say they are communist, but they are not as communist as they used to be.

As a very big example: they recently allowed people to own land (sometime in the last year).

Personally, I think China will always be "communist". They will just get closer and closer to a market economy and maybe even a democracy until it is almost a meaningless label. In other words, they won't go all at once, it will be slow but steady. To use a Simpsons line: "FOX became a hard-core porn channel so gradually I never even noticed."

Intels roadmap to the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180719)

Thats what i thought it said as it HAS been released here...
http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20051203/index.htm l [tomshardware.com]

Wrongly addresses 'India' on all issues (3, Insightful)

dongshu (844329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180732)

The intensity of the issues mentioned here is less in South India. If you encounter 10 cows driving 150 kilometers in North India, you would only encounter 1 cow driving that far in South India.

Golden Quadrilateral's Insider Information (-1, Flamebait)

managedcode (863136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180745)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee then Prime Minister of India, took this amitious project. Don't hesitate to commend the bold step taken by this old and experienced politician. He kept himself incharge of the project and the first phase was all scheduled to be completed by Dec-2005. But early 2004, his party lost the general elections and the state of so called "Golden Quadrilateral" is in apathy.
The NY Times article is over-hyped. Trust me India is a backward country and will always remain one, they can never think big and can never compete with western powers when it comes to INFRASTRUCTURE. Why do you think so many Indians are desperate to leave and settle down in America and Europe ?
Also the NY Times failed to mention about this Martyr Engineer (Dubey) http://www.skdubeyfoundation.org/index.php [skdubeyfoundation.org] who was murdered by CORRUPT and HEARTLESS assholes. Till now no arrests have been made and those criminals are free.
Finally,the outsourcing wave is behind us, its only then when we saw india making headlines everyday. Its the innovation BUG that has bitten corporate America and you will hardly see any slave trading companies like Infosys shine in this. Maybe Indians will because of their knowledge and the education they get in Berkeley and MIT.
Long Live Innovation!

Why not more rail? (2, Interesting)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180752)

Does anyone -- perhaps an Indian -- know why India is building roads, and not rail?

If they built rail, they could transport more goods and people at a lower cost -- but with greater latency and planning required.

Because India is a poor country, don't they need more bang for their transportation buck, and not necessarily more convenience? Are they at least going to make the people who use the roads responsible for paying for them -- e.g. the cars and (especially) trucks that wear them out?

Why would they want to commit to a gas-based transportaiton system when, if they built trains, they could generate electricity and use that to power most of their transportation?

This looks like pretty bad public policy.

Re:Why not more rail? (1)

martalli (818692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180816)

While they could add more rail, they are completely deficient in roadways. Having lived in Bangalore previously, and travelled there frequently since, I can attest that the roads outside the main cities are terribly inadequate. The well maintained Mysore-Bangalore highway was still only two lanes, linking a city of 8 million with another city of 500k - 1 million. Here in Illinois, my town of 5k is linked to the next town (2k) with a better two lane highway.

They continue to improve their railways, but the roadways are *completely* inadequate to their needs.

Re:Why not more rail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180831)

The railway system is controlled by the government of india through the indian railways corporation. Due to the various policies over past 50 years, the rail system has become a highly subsidized passenger transfer system. This subsidy to a very large extend is paid by very high cost of good transfer tarrifs. In addition to that the rail system gives higher preferences to passenger transportation rather than good transport which has resulted in low faith on the railways ability to transfer goods quickly and in time. This may be the basic reason why the road transport system is being developed.

Re:Why not more rail? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180835)

India already has a major and extensive rail system (one of the world's biggest)--the legacy of the Brits. Quite an experience to ride on.

I on the otherhand was somewhat terrified riding on the highways. The driver drove incredibly fast, the car didn't seem to have seatbelts, and given that once you leave the big cities, it gets rural FAST, there were frequently animals in the road (think cows, lots of cows) which the driver didn't appear too concerned about missing. Also dancing bears (ugh)--which he actually swerved towards. An interesting experience for sure :-p

Indiana's Road To The Future (2)

dlmarti (7677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14180849)

Indiana, thats how I first read it.
I think its more unlikely the way I saw it first.

Roads in India (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14180876)

I'm an american who has been to India. One of the scariest things I have ever done was take an eight hour bus ride in India from Varrinessia to The Border of Nepal. The rule for driving in India goes like this, smaller vehicles cower to the side of the road when something bigger is coming. Any two lane road connecting towns in India has tons of people walking on it, bicycles, three wheel bicycle taxis, donkey carts, stray cows, motorcycles, taxis, private cars, dumptrucks and buses all in the space of two lanes. Since these modes of transportation have different speeds you can imagine that the faster vehicles are often on the wrong side of the road to pass the donkey carts, pedestrians, cows, bicycles, etc. Once it becomes dark then it really gets dangerous. We couldn't see more than 75 feet infront of the bus because of all the people who burn cow dung for fuel. The buses lights would hit the smoke on the road and almost completely obstruct your view. Our bus driver was a maniac, but I can almost see how you would have to be to get anywhere on those roads.
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