India and the ‘resource intensity of knowledge’

Below is illustrated the conflict inherent living within the confines of the ‘One Planet Equation’ for all of us, but particularly for a such a populous country as India and of course China

India has the need to reduce the ‘resource intensity of knowledge’ to enable the mass education that will liberate the ingenuity to drive process improvement, but together with this comes the desire for the personal mobility the West enjoys.

However, reducing the purchase cost of a vehicle does not necessarily reduce the ‘resource intensity of mobility’ of a society.

This is the paradox we face; education has the power to liberate the ingenuity to enable solutions but also the desires to destroy us.

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India to follow $2,000 car with $20 laptop

India’s “Sakshat” laptop is intended to boost distance learning to help India fulfil its overwhelming educational needs. It forms part of a broader plan to improve e-learning at more than 18,000 colleges and 400 universities. However, some analysts are sceptical that a $20 laptop would be commercially sustainable and the project has yet to attract a commercial partner.

A prototype will go on show at a National Mission on Education launch in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, tomorrow. Pioneered in India by scientists at the Vellore Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and at the state-controlled Semiconductor Complex, the laptop has 2Gb Ram capacity and wireless connectivity.

R.P. Agrawal, secretary of secondary and higher education, said last week that the cost of the laptop was about $20 a unit, but he expected that to fall. He also said he expected the units to be commercially available in six months.

India faces the huge challenge of finding ways to equip its large population, more than 550m of whom are under the age of 25, with contemporary skills. It needs to sustain high economic growth and spread development across the country.

During the next six years, by some estimates, India will need to create another 1,500 universities. Educational institutions in the UK and US are lining up to become partners to help with this huge projected tertiary-level expansion.

Pressure is building on the government to permit foreign investment into the sector and use public-private partnerships to meet some of the demand. Leading universities across the world, such as Kellogg School of Management in the US and Imperial College in the UK, are exploring different models, including faculty partnerships, distance learning and setting up campuses.

But the government appears to favour turning to technology ahead of international partnerships to bring people into higher education.

Complete article at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ecf1eae2-f092-11dd-972c-0000779fd2ac.html

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