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Submitted by Subramanian on
Ms. Kochhar is absolutely on the mark. Indian government did not play a role in the development of India’s IT software industry. I would say it was a blessing. India’s attempt with hardware industry is well summarized by Ms. Kochhar. The government did involve in software industry only after it realized that there is a success story and it wanted to be part of it. The government had setup IT parks, other related infrastructure and revised tax policies. But it was catching up with the IT industry and the government was surprised that a robust industry was in place before it got involved. By then the IT industry was a foreign currency cash-cow. So the government stayed away. Its role has been limited to bringing up the customary H1-B visa issue with the U.S. government. Mr. Lin is right in that a government could play a proactive role to create conditions for a successful industry. But in India, they fail more often than they succeed. Clean energy industry is a good example. So far India’s attempt has been a failure. GOI did play a nominal role in textile export industry but countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam have done much better job in this sector. The underlying point that Mr. Lin touches on without elaborating is whether top-down industrialization is still the way for rapid economic development. It did work for China but not necessarily for others. India’s top-down IT hardware industry failed but IT software exploded because government had no role. So there may be other ways a country could advance. Regards, Subra