He was narrating a real-life incident, when he was working for DRDO. India happened to request a US based company for Beryllium Diaphragms to be used by DRDO. Since these Beryllium Diaphragms were used extensively in ballistic missiles, the US company did not get the State approval, to sell the stuff to India. Later on investigation, Kalam was really shocked to know the truth. He found out that the India is one of the richest source of Beryllium ore. Cheap Beryllium ore was extracted and exported to Japan, who converted them to rods and in turn, exported to US. Thus the Beryllium ore extracted from India forms the basis for the diaphragms which the US company made!!! And now US State Government is denying its sales to India!!! What an irony!!!
This kept me thinking for a long time. I began to see an analogy between the Beryllium ore and the Information Technology. There is immense IT Talent in India and this is the only fact which could explain why some IT Majors like IBM, Intel, Microsoft etc. are shifting their R&D base to India. But are we making use of our IT Talent to the welfare of our country!!! Are our efforts & innovations in IT bringing true fame to India? Or, is it just a virtual reality? When Indian IT Majors are boasting an increase of over 50% in their profits, about 30% of our population are still in the BPL category. When revenues of these IT giants are well into a few billion dollars, about 80% of our population still earns less than $2 per day. One fine day, this very well could turn in to the ‘Beryllium story’. We are so much interested in showcasing India in the world arena, but we are very little concerned about the situation within our premises. IT can bring a lot of change to the people of our country through tele-medicine, e-Education, agricultural forecasts etc. It is very good to see that some IT companies have realized this and are spending efforts in these areas. But the current efforts are no were close to the requirement!!! We must use our IT Talent for welfare of our country and making our country an IT Major. We should put a check to the brain-drain, wherein our IT Talent is used to make a company abroad richer and richer; while India is getting poorer.
One day I would like to open my laptop bag in the morning and take out a wholly Indian made laptop. I must start an Indian home-made Operating system which is very much user-friendly and efficient to the core. My mail-client, browser and even the database must bear the ‘Created in India’ tag. This must not be the case only with me. These products should be the widely used ones, not just in India but also in developed countries like US, UK, etc. We are very well equipped to make this happen. We must realize this and use our IT talent to the welfare of India!! I hope this happens before the end of my time in this wonderful country!!! Jai Hind!!!