Thursday, May 05, 2005

Slashdot | India Launches World's First Stereo Imaging Satellite

Slashdot | India Launches World's First Stereo Imaging Satellite

A pretty informative comment (Alas, I didn't have any mod points to mod up the poster)

Since you asked for a clarification.... (Score:5, Insightful)
by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday May 04, @04:29PM (#12435117)
( | Last Journal: Tuesday March 22, @06:42PM)
I know it's all hep and stylish to bash India as a "third world country" nowadays, because many Americans perceive "offshoring" our "outsourcing" as a mean scheme by Indians to "steal aar jaabs", but I would like to mention a few things:
1. The Indian economy [] happens to be the 12th largest in terms of GDP and 4th largest when adjusted for PPP (Purchasing Power Parity []). I quote from the Wikipedia article:

With a GDP of 568 billion (B$) ($3.096 trillion (T$) at PPP) India has the world's 12th largest economy (and the 4th largest when adjusted for PPP). However, the large population means that per capita income is quite low. In 2003 the World Bank ranked India 143rd in PPP per capita income and 160th in real terms, among 208 countries and territories.

2. India has (through the Indian Space Research Organization []) pursued a pretty widespread (and largely non-military space program) since the 60's. From this relevant Wikipedia article: []

# 1962: Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR); formed by the Department of Atomic Energy, and work on establishing Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Trivandrum began.
# 1963: First sounding rocket launched from TERLS (November 21, 1963).
# 1965: Space Science & Technology Centre (SSTC) established in Thumba.
# 1967: Satellite Telecommunication Earth Station set up at Ahmedabad.
# 1972: Space Commission and Department of Space set up.
# 1975: First Indian Satellite, Aryabhatta, launched (April 19, 1975).

It's also fruitful to note that India was a British colony till 1947. IMHO, starting a space program in about 1.5 decades after gaining independence is a laudable achievement. The major problem which India faces today is it's large population, which pretty much negates all the economic advances, and causes it's perception as a "thirld world country" to continue.

It is also worth noting that India seems to be spending substantial amounts of money to improve it's people's lot and advancing education, science and research, rather than spending it instead on aggressive military tactics, which seems to be the trend nowadays. If you read up the history of the nation, you'll see that it's one of the few countries that has never pursued invasion/colonialism, and has instead been frequently invaded by conquerers (Mughals, British, etc) who looted the wealth of a formerly rich region and left it in a state that it's trying to dig itself out of now.

PS: Posted this because I perceived a derogatory slant in the Parent's use of the term "third world country". I find the practice of using wealth to rank nations (especially so when used to diss poor nations) quite abnoxious. I have nothing against using the term in a scientific/neutral sense.

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