India and its Space Race
India and its Space Race
Indias effort to compete with super power countries in space exploration, especially with China, addresses a lot of questions from the international community. This has raised lots of criticism from different scholars and people considering the fact that India is the worlds third poorest country. In fact, India does it for prestige reasons, but not to benefit its citizens who face the poverty and corruption among other problems.
India is a developing country; therefore, it needs to focus more on improving the livelihoods of its citizens rather than competing with developed countries in space exploration.
Indias population, its diversified problems and the challenges it is facing will be explored in the current paper. This includes also, the social, economic and political situations in India. There is also an argue of why India is being weird to explore its space, while its citizens are suffering.
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In the example of China, the country is much ahead in terms of development; hence, it can participate in space exploration. On the other hand, India has inefficient systems of governance, high level of poverty, low nutritional level and high illiteracy level. This means that India lacks priority in what matters to the citizens when it engages in space competition with a superpower country like China.
India has recently launched a rocket into space destined for the red planet Mars and this action has, as expected, drawn praise and criticisms from various circles. The $70m space mission by India is seen as an attempt to outsmart China, Russia and the USA, who have been the giants in space exploration hitherto. However, as it was mentioned before, India is still on its way of development and it does not have lots of financial resources in order to compete with worlds leading countries; India should put more effort on improving the living standards of its citizens, but on space exploration.
Moreover, there are negative statistics about Indias state of economic deprivation negative statistics lead to the question of why does India spend huge amount of money on space exploration. Based on data provided by the World Bank in 2005, about 400 million of people in India live on less than 1.25 dollars as a daily base (Deaton & Kozel, 2005). This translates to approximately 33% of the total population. What is more, the number of people living under the poverty line considered to be about the 1/3 of people living in poverty globally. India's GDP increases by 4.8% each year. This is the slowest rate of growth calculated in a decade (Deaton & Kozel, 2005).
India faces issues of development needs at home and cannot afford participation in a space race to Mars at the expense of the welfare of its citizens. The resources, talent and zeal spent on the mission should have been directed on public health infrastructure and on poverty alleviation programs as well. Additionally, the space mission has diverted Indias space program from utilitarian purposes, such as environmental monitoring and telecommunications infrastructure, to space exploration which adds little to the welfare of the Indian society.
The government of India has strongly defended the mission and yet in recent times it has been faced by new allegations of corruption. Indias Supreme Court ordered the questioning of cases of alleged scheme between top bureaucrats and corporate executives. At this time, the space mission is, therefore, not a priority issue for the government which has to get rid of corruption. It is seen as a furtherance of its complete mismanagement of the Indian economy and judicial systems.
The idea of China being in space is seen as a threat by Indian government and this has resulted in cold war between the two countries. Indias idea to hold position among the leaders in space racing and keep this prestige is now countrys mission. This idea is primitive in consideration to the more important things that affect peoples lives, the government needs to focus on. Britain, being one of Indias donors, has also criticized this action. Considering the fact that 40% of children are reported in being malnourished and half of the population have no access to toilet at all. The UK gives India approximately ?300m every year in order to take care of Indias citizens and improve their livelihoods. This mission is seen as a misuse of resources and money.
Lots of time has been spent on these programs since it first sets its satellite in the earths orbit before sending its mission to Mars; also, there are lots of resources that have been invested in the space exploration already. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with its technical expertise should be utilized in developing India by creating more job opportunities. India faces the issue of overpopulation and is ranked being second in the world. In early 1970s it has implemented a compulsory sterilization program which failed. As a result, a misleading public aversion towards family planning appeared and it caused a weighed down to government programs. The government should, therefore, be focused on the researching for safer and effective means of family planning (Bruce, 1990).
As much as India wants to involve itself in space exploration competition with China, the country has got a large depopulation with low per capita income, which fails the country from competing favorably. This is unlike China, whose per capita income is rather high and gives opportunity to compete in the international market. This means that majority of the population leave below poverty level, while the government itself cannot provide the people with even basic needs. In addition, India is a big country with different ethnic, religious traditions, cultural, poor communication and various climatic conditions, geographical and social economic activities. This means also that India is a country that is prone to disasters with poor capability to respond to them.
On the same note, India, as a country, has a big gap between the rich and the poor. The poor are the majority and live in rural areas, whereas the rich are few and live in urban areas. Additionally, the poor, who live in the rural areas, mostly are women who stay at home to take care of their children. Also, the rural residents are farm laborers who probably have low education level. This is an opposite of China, which is industrialized and majority of its population live in urban areas as they have to work in the industries. More so, China has diversified development both in the rural areas and urban areas. Therefore, Indias competition with China in space exploration seems to be unreasonable due to unfinished businesses on the side within the country (Agarwal, 1991).
Furthermore, gender inequality is manifested in India as the most of its women are less educated. As a result of poor education for women, they are not able to achieve nutritional standards, prevent infants from death and access health services. Moreover, women do not access reproductive health support; hence, they tend to have many children thus increasing population. Additionally, due to ethnic disparities and languages, peace becomes difficult to achieve. The central government does not cater for some essential services such as health and education. This brings forth poverty, nepotism, corruption and unequal development. On the other hand, Chinas women are educated and the country delivers services that bring quality to its citizens. Therefore, China is far in terms of social services delivery, hence it can explore space as other sectors of the economy are not be affected by such an activity (Bruce, 1990).
In another dimension, India is divided into states with independent governance systems, but controlled by the central government. This has built challenges as the states do not have enough resources to serve the citizens. As well, the central government does not have enough resources to distribute to all the states. These resources include labor, employment opportunities and land. Mostly, the rich population tends in buying land from the poor; consequently, leaving poor people helpless. The China government controls every other sector of the economy as there are no states within it. This creates effective distribution of resources. This leaves China with enough resources to explore areas like space as its citizens are satisfied and there is unison in the way wealth is distributed in a transparent and accountable manner. When it comes to India, there is no clear flow of data as a result of the states. Therefore, poor decisions are reached as opposite to China which has to analyze itself from clear data in order to join space completion. .
In conclusion, China is much ahead in terms of development; hence, it can participate in space exploration. On the other hand, India has inefficient systems of governance, high level of poverty, low nutritional level and high illiteracy level. This means that India cannot compete on the same level with China, since there are lots of problems to take into consideration despite of space exploration.