Before I get into the argument of the topic given above I would first like to talk about the substance behind the headline “Make In India”- manufacturing. To understand the importance of manufacturing on an economy & on society in general, we must look at what happened in societies, where manufacturing has already blossom. Well manufacturing has always been there starting from the first weapons & tools manufactured by the cavemen, but it happened on a large scale only in the early 1800s in the place which we today call the “home of the industrial revolution”- England. Gradually industrial revolution began to spread throughout western civilization & it happened on an even larger scale in the second half of the 19th century in Germany & United States. This is what we call today as the “Second Industrial Revolution.”
You can all go to some site like Wikipedia or somewhere in the internet, where you will find all these things in details. But here’s a view which you will not find everywhere. In the second half of the 19th century, as industrial revolution has already taken place in England, it has become a wealthy society & with that cost of production especially labour cost had risen drastically. So the manufacturing base shifted to poorer places with cheap labour. Just like in England, at first in Germany & US low cost of production meant lower quality & cheap goods. At that time England has taken over the position of higher quality goods, which require greater technological investment along with service. Soon after World War II, the manufacturing base shifted to Japan as US became wealthier thereby producing higher quality goods & services with a large educated workforce & greater technological advancement. After the 1980s, the base shifted to regions like Taiwan & South Korea & Japan became a wealthier society. After 1990s this base again shifted to China, where production of cheap low quality goods took place. This keeps happening over & over again & is the only full proof method by which societies around the world has prospered.
Every time this happens we find that the wealthier society has moved to a more service based economy with an educated workforce. Many people say that cheap labour will never run out in China, which has over 1.3 billion people. But the reality is different, China is already a middle income country about to become a developed nation in less than a decade. Already its manufacturing base is moving towards poorer regions like Vietnam & Bangladesh, while a highly educated workforce is making China move to higher quality manufacturing along with large scale service. The problem with India is after agriculture we moved to a service base skipping the manufacturing part, which led to an educated middle class based on service, while the general people remained poor as ever. Without manufacturing, none of the 50 wealthy countries of the world has become what they are today i.e. wealthy & India is no exception. We can no longer say things like “It happens only in India” or “India with such a huge population can’t achieve this”, cause China has already shown that it can be done, no matter what their method of doing it is.
Thus all I did was to give you a different perspective of the industrial revolution & the history of the world economy. Yet it is quite obvious from this perspective that “Make In India” is not a luxury India can afford to miss, it is a necessity. Otherwise the poor population will keep on expanding, as all poor & uneducated populations of the world has done throughout history & finally we will know what is the real meaning of the word “overpopulation.” Remember we have to do this now, as time is running out on us fast. With over 1.25 billion people, India is literally a ticking time bomb & “Make In India” is the only feasible way out of it.