Why India is not going to be the next China – or anything like China ever
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) September 30, 2014
By Kanti Bajpai – Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised he would promote a ‘Make in India’ revolution. Nearly four years later, a manufacturing revolution is nowhere in sight. Make in India was supposed to not just boost manufacturing, it was also supposed to generate employment. Estimates show there has been virtually no jobs growth.
To be a manufacturing power, a country needs a strong state which identifies niche areas, supports them and encourages innovation. It enforces contracts and property rights. It also provides public goods including law and order and an efficient bureaucracy.
Nobody would pretend that the Indian state is anywhere near being a strong state. It is often violent and despotic, but that is a measure of its weakness, not its strength.
India has no history of industrial-scale innovation – no world historical inventions that it has scaled up.
It is a trading nation and a nation that does well in areas that requires delicate craftsmanship and care, areas that are (for want of a better word) human in scale. It is also a nation that does well in providing services. It could, with better laws, incentives, and technology, be competitive in tourism, hospitality, fintech, and international education and healthcare – areas where human beings still count, where more personalized attention matters and where machines and scale are less important. more>