Abridged from," Beyond the Edge" which appeared in The News International, a Pakistani Newspaper (December 14,2003). The writer, Masood Hasan, is a Lahore based columnist and well-known journalist.
India has a long experience of receiving highly critical missiles from Pakistan. Now, we notice a sudden change in attitude. Instead of the usual foul language used against India, there are words of appreciation. European and American periodicals like The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and New York Times have already wholeheartedly admired the progress made by India. Pakistan is seeing the truth now.
The learned Pakistani journalist admits that in India "things are changing at a speed that baffles the mind". He supports his statement with a good amount of facts and figures about Indian achievements, which are a resounding proof of India's potential. He looks, "It is true we are both in the gutter. The difference is, Indians are looking at the stars, and Pakistanis are looking at the gutter".
Here are some extracts, most of them common knowledge, from the pen of Masood Khan. His honesty and sincerity to bring out the truth deserve praise.
- Indian IT firms sell data-storage products to seven of the world's top 10 CD-R producers.
- 15 of the world's major automobile makers are obtaining components from Indian companies. This business fetched India $375 million in 2002. In 2003, the amount will be $1.5billion. In half a decade, it will reach, it will reach $15 million.
- Hero Honda with 1.7 million motorcycles a year is now the largest Motorcycle manufacturer in the world.
- The prestigious UK automaker, Rover is marketing 1 lakh Tata made Indica cars in Europe, under, wait a minute, its own name.
- Bharat Forge has the world's largest single-location forging facility. Its production is 1.2 lakh tonnes per annum and its clients include Honda, Toyota and Volvo, among others.
- Asian Paints now owns 22 production facilities over 5 countries and is the market leader in 11 of these countries.
- Aston Martin has contradicted prototyping its latest luxury sports cars to an Indian-based designer and is set to produce the cheapest Aston Martin ever. Suzuki, which makes Maruti in India has decided to make India it;s manufacturing, export and research hub outside Japan. Hyundai India is set to become the global small car hub for the Korean giant and will produce 25,000 Santros to start with. By 2010 it is set to supply half a million cars to Hyundai Korea, HMI and Ford.
- India is leaping and posting astonishing results in the global markets from Brazil to China. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is blazing ahead too. At $6.5 billion and growing at 8-10% annually, it is the forth largest pharmaceutical industry in the world. It exports are over $2 billion. India is among the top five drug makers and at home, the local industry has edged out the MNCs whose share of 75% in the market is down to 35%.
- The trade in medicinal plants has crossed Rs. 4,000 crore already. As for technology, India is among the three countries that have built a supercomputer on their own. The other two are USA and Japan.
- India is among the six countries that launched satellites and do to so even for Germany and Belgium. India's INSAT is among the world's largest domestic satellite communication system.
- India is one of the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing centres. About 9 out of the 10 stones sold anywhere in the world, pass through India.
- Trade has been grown by 104% in 2002 and in the first 5 months of 2003, India has amasses a substantial surplus in trade.
- India's foreign exchange reserves stand at an all-time high of over $100 billion. India is dishing out aid to 11 countries and has pre-paid its debts.
- Wal-Mart sources from India has $1 billion worth of goods, GAP about $600 million worth and Hilfiger $100 million worth.
- Costs and brains are two factors. Add to that, a determination to rise above what faces you everyday, a vision of the stars. India provides IT services at one-tenth in price. No wonder more and more companies are basing their operations in India.
- An India MBA costs $5,000, an American MBA $120,000. The development of an automobile in the US costs $1 billion. In India, nearly $500 million. A cataract operation costs $1500 in the US. In India, $50. A bypass in the US cots anywhere up to Rs.30 lakhs. In India, it is upto Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
- Over 70 MNCs have set up R&D facilities in India is the past five years. 100 of the Fortune 500 are now present in India VS 33 in China. Intel's Indian staff employs 1,600 researchers, while it has only 100 in China.
- India's telecom infrastructure in 1999 provided a bandwidth of 155 mbps. Today it is 75,000 times more and with fiber optic nyetworks in 300 cities, it will change the face of business.
- Mobile phones are growing by about 1.5 million a month. Long distance rates are down by two-thirds in five years and by 80% for data transmission The facts go on and on.
These are some minor feel good ingredients. But a major feel good major factor emanates from the facts that are some enlightened intellectuals in Pakistan who would like the world to remain in the dark about India's achievements.
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