In mid 2008, India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) announced a new strategy for addressing India’s child labor problems: it asked state governments and export promotion councils to monitor supply chains, and to certify that no children had worked on products heading for export markets, clearly hoping to offer some protection from international consumer boycotts designed to punish companies that exploit children.
A consensus on issues of national concern can sometimes be hard to reach, particularly in a democracy of more than a billion people; one that has countless social markers. In India, however, there seems to be a consensus of an exceptional order on the question of economic reforms. The country’s two main political blocs: the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance are closer to each other on economic reforms than not. Even the Left-ruled West Bengal is embracing economic reform despite its ideological pretensions.
The rapid growth of the Indian economy, the movement of technology jobs to India, and the emergence of a strong Indian software industry have raised questions about whether India could emerge as a serious rival on technological innovation to the United States. But these fears are premature as the gap is large and unlikely to be bridged soon.
The primary purpose of physical infrastructure, even by a narrow economic viewpoint, is to support economic activity, while that of social infrastructure, such as education and healthcare, is to build and maintain human capital. Sadly, the infrastructure policy of the Indian government, both past and present, seems to be concerned with reducing fiscal costs, to the detriment of those two core objectives.
After over a decade of rapid economic growth in India, the biggest challenge facing policymakers at both central and state levels is to ensure 'inclusive' growth so that the gains from increased national income are shared by all sections of society.
It is commonplace to call Bangalore India's Silicon Valley. Many Indians and non-Indians alike seem to be quite ready to believe that India's software success story is just a variant of American success.