A decade ago when I was still in high school I remember our economics teacher going over the economic issues plaguing India, at the top of the list was “population”, it seemed like all economic problems of India stemmed from it’s high population count and that lowering the population would in turn result in a solution to the economic issues.
Yesterday I was listening to a nerd TV podcast with Bill Joy and he was talking about how the distribution of smart people is uniform and if India and China has that many more people then statistically the distribution of smart people in those countries would be higher as well. This got me thinking about how the perception of India has changes because of the IT boom that has happened in India, today everyone talks about how the populations of India and China give them an edge over all other countries in terms of manpower available for both manufacturing as well as services.
In the early 1990s when India was a closed economy, it was not apparent how India’s population could be leveraged as an advantage, but with the opening of the economy to foreign investments and more importantly I feel with the Internet making global communication ubiquitous all of a sudden India was at the center of the IT revolution, earning and growing like crazy. Of course it’ll take a long time for the wealth to trickle down to the masses but once the money is there and consumerist culture is in place the distribution of wealth happens naturally.
I would love to talk to my teacher some time and see if they still teach the same theory in school now 🙂