An outdated administrative system and a knowledge elite who have soaked up prestige but not delivered the facts are the biggest hurdle between us and a material society with a modern accountable state.
The ministry of roads, transport and highways has seen a 30 per cent rise in its budget. But states like UP and Maharashtra have a poor record in converting state funding to welfare and mobility for citizens.
The next phase requires a widespread understanding of the disease, of less fear and better governance. And a schedule of relaxations and tightening of rules which aim to meet infrastructure constraints and not merely to promote virtue.
The epidemic has underlined that publicness and decentralisation of science and governance is the only way to atma-nirbharta, of creating knowledge and the professional ability to solve our own problems. Without this, the post-corona Indian society would be an unhappy attempt at making the old arrangement work in a degraded reality of fearful and angry people.
As a developing country, India faces many challenges. The systematic study of such problems and their solutions will lead not only to better development outcomes, but also new science, enterprises and jobs.
Today, various top universities are redefining engineering education, for instance, ‘Engineering+X’ at University of Southern California, or Development Engineering at UC Berkeley, and other innovative UG programmes at several universities.