I was basically a Capitalist minded person one who thinks about business and money, since I was born and brought up between business minded people. So my mind was used to think of profit in doing most of my actions. But, famous books like “Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from Indias Poorest Districts” by P.Sainath ignited me to do something for our country. They changed my mind as a business man who always thinks of profit making. And ‘my patriotic heart’ and ‘my interests in History’ had made me to watch Indian economy to a certain level. Those even drived me to know about current Indian politics. Over the last two years, these studies impacted my life and my interests to a good extent. Today’s invited talk by Sitaram Yechuri also had similar impact on my mind. The topic given to him was “Empowerment of Common man in India: Role of students and Youth”. For this issue, he explained with a beautiful example, why a student or some software engineer should know about politics. Here it is: “We know the effect of Rupee value is raising day by day. It has been increased by 30% over the last one year. Usually software companies make a profit margin of 15% on their software exports. The increase in Rupee value cuts down that profit to a great extent. Due to this increase in Rupee value, Satyam has to cut down 30% of their outsourcing projects. It decreased the employment in India to a good extent. So, why is it Rupee value increased? Due to the high inflation rate or high foreign investments in Indian stock market. Why these sudden Investments in Indian stock market? Due to the change in government policy as ‘No Capital tax on Stock Investments’, which was 15% before. So, your day to day life is dependent on the current Government policies”.
During the doubts session, all of a sudden the Nuclear deal came in to picture. And he has a clear and good explanation for that and here it is. It is clear that India need another 40,000 MW of Electric energy. So, it is increasing its energy sources. If the Nuclear deal is accepted, we will produce 10,000-12,000MW energy through nuclear power plants. The cost for producing 1MW of energy through hydro-electric power is 3 crore rupees. The cost for the same energy through coal is around 3-4 crores. The cost through gas(which reliance found at Krishna-Godavari basin) is 3 crores. And there are other sources like Tidal, Solar to produce energy. He points that we are currently using 1/5th of our capacity of the Hydro-Electric production capability and if it is utilized to the fullest, not just the advantage of energy, but also many lives can be saved from floods. It also increases the employment through construction projects and maintenance. The coal resources we have are enough for the next 60 years. But, the cost through Nuclear power plant is around 11 crores for 1 MW. The increase in cost will be between 60,000 to 70,000 crores an year. With this deal, we will be increasing the employment in US and their economy. With those 60K crores, we can construct around 10,000 AIMS or we can start 100,000 new Navodaya Residential Schools with full funding and scholarships for a student upto 12th standard.
He pointed out that he see Two Indias. One is the Shining India and another is the downing India. The Shining India, with its 45 Billionaires who occupy the 30% of the GDP and the downing India with poor many people lack of proper resources. And the gap between these two can be eliminated by the Education and Health. Over the last two years, India has seen an addition of 40,000 crores of money from taxes. The government thinks that since this came from the corporate sector, so it should give back to them with some concession in their taxes and some extra facilities to them. He says that the money can be used for Education and Health. As he says the current spending on Education is 4% of GDP and Health is just 0.9%. He says to increase both by 2% with the additional money.
Overall, we didn’t feel the time, as he is a very good speaker. And even his English accent is very good and clear. He is the most educated and talented politician I have seen so far. Good luck to him.