Knowledge Based Infrastructure in DMIC Centre for Urban Research

Knowledge Based Infrastructure in DMIC

Extensive educational infrastructure and resources are required to meet the challenge of producing quality trained personnel in sufficient numbers in the country in the arena of research and development, vocational education/ engineering/manufacturing technologies, agricultural research, science and technology services and health and management services. Over the years Governments of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, U.P, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are increasingly investing in Knowledge based infrastructure for various industrial sectors such as engineering/ industrial technology, IT-enabled services, agriculture, marine training, aviation, management, medical, and Biotechnology and they are making constant endeavors in the direction.
Some of the initiatives that have been undertaken in this regard are setting up of educational institutions, investing in Research and Development/ Setting up R&D
Centres, improvement in infrastructure and undertaking policy initiatives for developing such knowledge hubs. Following are the key observations from the existing inventory of educational institutions and unemployment status of various states:
. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are the top three states in terms of existing training / education opportunities.
. Unemployment rates in Haryana and Rajasthan are among the highest across both rural and urban areas
. Facilities for education and training are not as developed as in Maharashtra or Gujarat.
. Both Maharashtra and Gujarat hold potential for industrial growth - Haryana is already a major producer of automobiles in India while Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are fast becoming major destinations for investments.

Recommendations of National Knowledge Commission
The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was set up by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India to prepare the blue print and effectively tap the enormous knowledge base of the people of the country to face challenges of 21st Century. NKC has submitted its recommendations to the Hon'ble Prime Minister on five key areas as Access to Knowledge, Knowledge Concepts, Creation of Knowledge, Knowledge Application and Delivery of Services.
Recommendations made by the NKC on Vocational Education and Higher Education and observations of NKC on the prominence of Creation of Knowledge through the 'Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)' and the brief overview of the potential for Knowledge Applications sector are as follows:

Vocational Education
An important dimension of India's rapidly growing economy is the development of a skilled and educated workforce, and a demographic advantage over aging Western societies. Technicians and other skilled workers and craftsperson form the backbone of manufacturing and infrastructure development.
There is a growing demand for skilled workers but data suggests that this demand is not met by the existing system, since the skills imparted do not match employer needs. For the system to become more relevant in the changing context and to leverage this demographic advantage in the future, there is a need to create a model of imparting vocational education that is flexible, sustainable, inclusive and creative.

Proposed Delivery Models for Vocational Training for Capacity Expansion:
. Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model
The PPP model should be explored in order to exploit the benefits of private delivery in training and enhance linkages between ITIs and industry to solve the problem of disconnect between skills required by employers and skills imparted to ITI graduates.
. Decentralized Model
To maximize the utility of existing underutilized infrastructure, Government could allow stakeholders to implement the following model
- Identify skills required in local markets and local aptitudes to devise courses at the district level.
- Use existing infrastructure by holding workshops and training sessions in schools, colleges or training institutes.
- Develop curriculum to be in line with local needs.

. Distance Learning
Distance learning enables increased access, as well as an option for continuing education and skill upgradation by workers. Therefore NKC recommends that the option of providing vocational training through the internet should be explored.

. Computerized Vocational Training
Computerized vocational training courses should be introduced at all levels. Advantages include low cost, easy adaptability to changing needs, uniform testing, paced learning, and expanded access. Existing infrastructure in schools, colleges and training institutes can be utilized.

Higher Education
Higher education has made a significant contribution to economic development, social progress and political democracy in independent India. It is a source of dynamism for the economy and created social opportunities for people. For a meaningful higher education system in the country, following recommendations are put forward by the NKC with respect to Private Investments and Public-Private Partnerships:
. Private investments in higher education
Private investment in university education is to be recognized as a means of extending quality educational opportunities. Investments from private sector also facilitate massive expansion of opportunities for higher education with/ without assistance from government.
. Public private partnerships (PPP)
Public Private Partnership format in University education is to be recognized as an opportunity to leverage public funding, in the form of land grants, and facilitate attracting more (not-for-profit) private investments. It helps genuine educational entrepreneurs and encourages setting up modern universities offering quality higher education where the government provides the land and private sector provides the finances.
PPP format helps promoting university-industry interface and in strengthening teaching and research.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
According to the National Knowledge Commission Annual Report-2006, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has been considered as an emerging indispensable strategic tool in today's knowledge economies and societies, particularly in the context of economic globalization.
As the ability to compete in the global market depends to a large extent on the capacity to generate new ideas through innovation in science and technology, where such ideas are transformed into wealth-generating products, IPR, by conferring exclusive monopoly rights to its owner for a limited duration, has emerged as a significant factor in creating incentives for innovation and generation of economic value. NKC considers that an effective IPR system is also a constituent of a reliable legal environment, which in turn becomes an important factor for decisions on foreign investment and technology transfer.
In a developing country like India, there are various sectors in the economy where India has the potential of achieving competitive advantage, in which substantive policy-legal issues connected with IPR, along with its manifold dimensions, assume significance. Thus the NKC believes that IPR is a factor of enormous strategic significance in the context of knowledge creation, application and dissemination in the 21st century.
The National Knowledge Commission has identified following systemic issues in regard to IPR:
. Clearly defined contractual rights and obligations enshrined in the law; respect for law; development of effective legal systems for enforcement; availability of accurate and detailed ready-to-use IPR information;
. Opportunity for continual training of IPR professionals across sectors; creation and development of modern infrastructure, including human resources in the various IPR establishments;
. Harmonization and streamlining of administrative procedures of the different IPR offices and perhaps most significantly, the development of a vibrant IPR culture in the processes of knowledge creation, application and dissemination, all of which are connected with market demand and rewards.
Knowledge Applications
With respect to Knowledge Applications, the National Knowledge Commission emphasizes that the Knowledge can be productively applied to promote technological change and facilitate reliable and regular flow of information. It also identifies that productive application of knowledge requires significant investment in goal-oriented research and development along with access models that can simplify market transactions and other processes within an industry.
Accordingly, the NKC recommends that initiatives in the areas of agriculture, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and traditional knowledge should be prioritized so that knowledge can be very effectively applied for the betterment of the rural poor.
Agriculture Sector
Agriculture provides the principal means of livelihood for over 60 per cent of India's population. Despite a steady decline in its share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it remains the largest economic sector in the country. Low and volatile growth rates and the recent escalation of an agrarian crisis in several parts of the Indian countryside are a threat not only to national food security, but also to the economic well-being of the nation as a whole.
In order to promote the application of knowledge in agriculture and enhance farm incomes and productivity on a sustainable basis for rural poor, the NKC has identified four focus areas namely post-harvest infrastructure, organic farming, integrated pest management programs and energy management agriculture.

Telecommunication Network
Review of subscriber base in cellular and basic telephony indicates that project influence states cater to 45% of total subscriber base of the country, with about 119.4 Millions by the end of March, 2006. It also indicates that number of cellular subscribers exceeds the number of subscribers of basic telephone. While the overall tele-density was at 12%, Delhi caters to highest tele-density with 62% followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Initiatives for Urban Infrastructure Development
In order to cope with problems emerging as a result of rapid urban growth and to devise a coherent urbanization strategy, Ministry of Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation, Government of India has launched the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in 2005-06 for implementation of urban infrastructure projects in select cities. Brief details of the envisaged JNNURM initiatives and relevance to the influence area of DMIC are discussed hereafter:

JNNURM Mission Statement
Reforms driven, fast track, planned development of identified cities with focus on efficiency in urban infrastructure/services delivery mechanism, community participation and accountability of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)/ Parastatals towards citizen.

Mission Objectives
. Focused attention to integrated development of infrastructural services in the cities covered under the Mission.
. Secure effective linkages between asset creation and asset management so that the infrastructural services created in the cities are not only maintained efficiently but also become self-sustaining over time.
. Ensure adequate investment of funds to fulfill deficiencies in the urban infrastructural services.
. Planned development of identified cities including peri-urban areas, out growths, urban corridors, so that urbanization takes place in a dispersed manner.
. Scale up delivery of civic amenities and provision of utilities with emphasis on universal access to urban poor.
. To take up urban renewal programme, i.e., re-development of inner (old) cities area to reduce congestion.

Duration of the Mission
The duration of the Mission would be seven years beginning from 2005-06. During this period, the Mission will seek to ensure sustainable development of select cities. An evaluation of the experience of implementation of the Mission would be undertaken before the commencement of Eleventh Five Year Plan and if necessary, the programme calibrated suitably.

Mission Coverage
Keeping in view the paucity of resources and administrative constraints in taking up all cities and towns under this intensive urban infrastructure improvement programme, it is suggested that under JNNURM only selected cities/Urban Agglomerations (UAs) as per 2001 Census will be taken up, as per norms/criteria mentioned below:

Category of Cities Total Cities/UA in India Cities/ Urban Agglomerations Within DMIC
A. Cities/UAs with 4 million plus population as per 2001 census 07 03 (Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Ahmedabad)
B. Cities/UAs with 1 million plus but less than 4 million population as per census 2001 28 07 (Faridabad,Jaipur, Nashik,Pune, Meerut,Vadodara, Surat)
C. Selected Cities/UAs (State Capitals and other cities/UAs of religious/historic and tourist importance) 28 02 (Mathura, Ajmer-Pushkar)
  Total 63 12

Scope of Mission Programme
The main thrust of the sub-Mission on Urban Infrastructure and Governance will be on major infrastructure projects relating to water supply including sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management, road network, urban transport and redevelopment of inner (old) city areas with a view to upgrading infrastructure therein, shifting industrial/commercial establishments to conforming areas, etc. In addition, implementation of reforms for institutional strengthening (Property Tax, Accounting, E-governance) for the Urban Local Bodies are also eligible for funding from MoUD based on implementation of reforms as stipulated under the guidelines.

Total Envisaged Investment for Major Cities/ UA in DMIC States
For the twelve major cities/ urban agglomerations, identified under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme of Government of India, and located within the influence area of DMIC, the size of overall investment approved for providing quality urban infrastructure improvement in next seven years is estimated as INR 58,700 Crore.