Development, technology and nature


When I came across the concept of technology skipping evolutionary phases, I really liked it.

The concept means that there are areas or people who/which directly adopt a new technology without undergoing the earlier phases.

India is rife with examples.

A raddiwaala (the guy who buys old newspapers for recycling) told me to send a SMS when I had newspapers ready for disposal. He doesn’t have a land-line phone though.

Rakesh who used to cook at my flat a year ago, told me to transfer money to his relative in a small town in Bihar through IMPS! He had never used internet banking and I am not sure if he even had an ATM card. (Actually, I too didn’t know what IMPS was, later read that it is instant inter-bank money transfer through mobiles.)

Some Indian villages now get electricity via solar power, without every experiencing coal-powered electricity.

With digitization everywhere, my cousin’s son who clicks all pics on his cellphone, has no idea what analog photography is. (Yeah, those Kodak rolls we used to get developed once upon a time.)

These are instances of using new technology without getting exposed to the older stuff.

But I digress.

Hyderabad experienced 3 days of summer and a day of monsoon alternately for the last 3 weeks. 40C for 3 days and rains with 28C the next. Is that normal?

Don’t tell me you too don’t feel something odd about the weather in the last few years. Some say we have crossed a threshold and that there is no going back now. 

The new Government’s focus is development. I tend to agree.

But I sincerely hope that this development doesn’t come at the cost of the environment. India already tops on nearly all pollution charts. We probably don’t need more of such records.

I hope this new development skips the devastating effects of current technology and, ushers in a new era of cleaner, healthier and nature-friendly technology.

12 December 2015 update: Good news! A very strong deal was agreed upon by world leaders during the Paris climate change talks. Details here.


4 thoughts on “Development, technology and nature

  1. Nice piece on how technology leapfrogging is taking place across the society. Mostly it is contributing to the economic growth in the service class people – they are able to utilize their time productively with effective mobile communications. At the same time, we also see several of them (like our maid servant and the dobhi near our house) using these devices to just chat for any length of time, even when engaged on work, wasting their productive time in addition to increasing noise pollution.
    Good concerns raised on the World Environment Day.


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