What are the indicators that a country (India) has developed?

The standard answer is 'GDP'. But, this doesn't give an intuitive sense of the change. Here are the few indicators that depict a country's development.
  1. People don’t see IAS as major path for public service: The narrative of 'implementing the policies well and to touch the lives of the poor' is still the most cited reason of IAS aspirants. You don't hear this in Japan or US. It is sad that even after 70 years, IAS still seems to be the major avenue for bringing change in India. This is partly because there is much left to do here and partly also because it isn’t possible to do much by being outside the system, due to rigid structures and opaqueness in policy making. Things are changing slowly but not to the desired extent.
  1. More people aspire to build products and companies than doing MBAs: The standard path to success (high paying jobs) in India is IIM, even after one goes to top rated undergraduate college. Lot of precious talent from across fields is opting for this path, the opportunity costs being huge for the nation. The students aren't to be blamed here because there are few promising venues outside. A country can be called as developed, when more people see solving problems by building products and companies as a promising career.
  1. More entrepreneurs than NGOs, development organizations, and research projects: Development problems are like a coiled thread. The knots gets complex as it is delayed. This will bring in NGOs, researchers etc. Where do you see scores of development researchers running field trials? US or Africa/India? Even in India, where are the majority field trials run? Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan. This isn't to mean that one shouldn't carry out research. Special problems, special contexts demand special treatment, but their reduction is an indicator of improvement. In a developed country, one sees more entrepreneurs than NGOs and development organizations running their interventions.

1 comment:

  1. If I may add a point:
    - Preference for government jobs gives way to private jobs or entrepreneurship