India best placed to tackle recession,says Infosys exec

The economic downturn has dampened the spirits of most in the corporate world. However,Nandan Nilekani,co-chairman Infosys Technologies Limited,is optimistic.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 19, 2009 1:10 am

The economic downturn has dampened the spirits of most in the corporate world. However,Nandan Nilekani,co-chairman Infosys Technologies Limited,is optimistic. At a talk on his recently launched book,Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century,at the University of Mumbai on Wednesday,Nilekani said that even though the financial meltdown was affecting countries the world over India was in the ‘best position’ to tackle recession.

Nilekani spoke at length on ‘why India should go where it should go’ elaborating on ideas that ‘had arrived’,ideas that have been approved but are faced with the challenge of execution,disputed ideas and those that need to be anticipated.

Comparing the growth of India and China over the last sixty years Nilekani said that while China had begun to age after reaching its zenith India’s demographic dividends would now start paying. “I believe for the next 30 years ours will be the only country with demographic dividends and the only young country. On one hand this could be an advantage but on the other it could also create problems like unemployment. This could in turn lead to youths indulging in issues like parochialism like in Mumbai or recent incidents seen in Mangalore.”

Nilekani said that the country had evolved over the years with its gradual shift of opinions — looking at population as an asset rather than as a burden,encouraging entrepreneurship,acceptance of English language,technology,globalisation and democracy.

Nilekani lauded the government for its recent budgetary allocation of over Rs 13 crore for its flagship programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan saying that the move was ‘setting the stage for a massive primary education’ in the country. “The fact that today the poor are aware of the necessity to educate their children shows that there is an adequate supply and demand for primary education in India.

However he slammed the government for failing to provide quality standards in higher education.

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