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Towards A New Model Of Development - 2
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Towards A New Model Of Development - 2

By R.G. Srinivasan 

The beginnings of the economic and societal collapse points us towards an urgent, well co-coordinated and effective action around the world by individuals, policy makers and voluntary development agencies to build capacity of self sustainable communities.  The cornerstone of these communities should be based on three focus areas.

  • Knowledge, skills and education must be taken to every individual in all corners of the world and made available freely.
  • Poverty must be tackled at micro levels through skill building
  • Employment generation through co-operative efforts rather than capital intensity.

Knowledge, skills and education are no more a luxury.  Universal education will be an indispensable component of developing a new milieu.  Recorded history is witness to development of human consciousness and economic prosperity primarily through knowledge and skill systems.  The last decade is a proof of how knowledge can propel nations into the forefront of economic endeavor and resultant benefits.

Knowledge as a tool of transformation has been well understood by the wise men from ancient times.  They have skillfully interwoven all knowledge into religion.  All over the world every culture has adopted religion to propagate knowledge.  But today in the emergence of religion as a political tool and religious fanaticism fuelled by disparate elements in every society, we need to find a new rational model of dispensing knowledge freely to all who desire it without the limitation of religion and communal forces polarizing universal knowledge.

The experiments in modern education has not found the right solution as they have been lopsided in developing a wide divide through stress on literacy and numeracy more than knowledge and skills.

The answer lies in evolving a holistic education based on universal values with stress on building skills over literacy alone.  Such a system of education will provide skills to bring about competency in creating livelihoods through self-employment and with dignity. The dependency on a system of employment generation by govt. or large organizations may not be self-sustainable in the age of technology and automation.    Already such leaders are emerging who are talking of skilled human labor coupled with technology as the prime source of wealth creation in a borderless world freely offering skills to the highest bidder independent of corporate and governments.  The change is already visible and accelerating with corporations too realizing the benefits of outsourced skill workers cutting on costs while the labor realizing a higher value for time.  The trend will gather momentum as we continue to improve skills of the available labor force.

In such a society literary accomplishments are not the only criteria for attaining social status and wealth.  A more equitable distribution of wealth is the key to thinking of such men.  In such a society man will find dignity and honor as well as wealth not on literacy alone but on wisdom compassion and human endeavor.

In the next two articles we shall explore the other two dimensions of development.