Connecting the DOTS | Agriculture, Migration, Energy & Innovation.
They say India is a land of agriculture. Why? Why are we defined that way?
In India 49% of the population work in the agricultural sector and contribute to 14% of India's economy. Where as 1% of population engage in service sector and earn 54% of India's economy.
For this we need to go through a system called LICENCE RAJ , this system had the nations economy crawl, but not sprout. But things changes in the 1990s.
The Licence Raj system was in place for four decades. The government of India initiated a liberalization policy, Liberalization resulted in substantial growth in the Indian economy, which continues today.
But this also made people to evict their rural natives and reach towns and cities looking for skilled and semi skilled jobs in manufacturing sector.
Innovation in rural India is what we need. The agriculture is underrated and ignored sector of India, the initiative NIF (National Innovation Foundation) by Mr. Anil Gupta, IIM Ahmedabad is a great boon, his compilation of grassroot level innovation can be utilised well.
By 2050, 400 million rural citizens will move to cities and towns. Their lifestyle would change, patterns would change, frequency of travel will increase, so will the consumption of energy will increase, which means CONSUMPTION OF OIL will increase by India. From 3.7 million it would grow to 10 million barrels of oil per day!!
What if oil prices spike up! What if there is scarcity in oil? It is very important as India imports 144 million tonnes of oil. The economy depends on oil.
The ONGC must buy or acquire equity stakes in foreign oil fields, so as to keep the oil prices stabilised while importing in. How? India will compensate by collecting revenue of it's overseas assets and thus things don't blow out of proportions
On the other hand if the population catering in farming sector move to urban landscapes, they will be quitting farming and it is projected that 50% of current farmers would be moving into manufacturing setup in the near future.
Keeping the socio-economic situation in mind we also see that fathers of brides would not like his daughter getting married to an uneducated, farmer who has no stable fixed income or a good quality of life. Thus the farmers would like their upcoming generations to quit farming and pursue a white collared job. And this is what exactly happening right now.
If this trend continues then where will we get food and grains from? Who is going to feed the nation? Will we have to import food and grain from outside just like oil?
Food security and energy security is of utmost importance for a country like India, our population is growing, the full potential is not unleashed, we will be the youngest country in the world soon.
India has energy subsidies, therefore the Government pays companies only partial reimbursement per oil barrel, the energy companies doesn't make profits as much as they expected.
Urbanization, globalization, migration & industrialization will definitely increase the nation's energy consumption, we need to get more energy independent and secure. We have 22 nuclear reactors as of now contributing to 3.5% of our energy needs. We must diversify our energy sources to be secure. By 2050 we might be having upto 25% energy running on nuclear power. Although clean and efficient, the factor which bothers is the safety of this system.
India's nuclear liability law holds the supplier rather than the operator directly responsible in the event of an accident. Hence Korean and Japanese are reluctant to invest in India, but Russia has stepped forward.
India has separate energy ministries for different sectors, these ministries compete for influence and power at the cost of long term good impact. Energy policies are different for each state, hence causing confusion with whom to do business with. We have a complicated bureaucratic landscape. This will need flattening, if not now, very soon.