Thomas L Friedman writing in yesterday’s IHT (“Tough Choices” or “Learning to Keep Learning” Pg 7, 13th/14th Dec ’06) about the many changes that China will need to make to get into the “rank of innovation-oriented countries by 2020” had a very interesting comment to make:
“…I still believe it is very hard to produce a culture of innovation in a country that censors Google – which for me is a proxy for curtailing people’s ability to imagine and try anything they want,”
As Friedman goes on to say, “You can command K-12 education. But you can’t command innovation. Rigor and competence, without freedom, will only take China so far…”
And this is where India may have an edge with its vibrant democracy, a culture of “questioning” and its tradition of free thinking…all of which gets turbo-charged when coupled with our enormous diversity…
In the long-running discussion of India vs. China, India’s “3D Advantage” (Democracy, Demographics and Diversity) may well prove to be decisive.