Good Intentions. Bad Ideas.

Thats what my capstone is about – Good intentions, bad ideas. And that is something I need to analyze my project with, at the end, to make sure I dont fall into this category. Most ICT projects can fall under this category, but today I want to talk about a framework, written by an economist. This guy, Atanu Dey, calls his framework RISC, which translates to RISK in my opinion. A couple of excerpts from his article follow.

“The challenge is to manage the transition of a large segment – perhaps even 80 percent – of the rural population from a village-centric agricultural-based economy to a city-centric non-agricultural economy, and do so in a reasonable period .”

“By providing a full complement of services, RISC creates a ‘mini-city’ which seeds the formation of a city by drawing to it the population from the surrounding villages. Initially, those who need the services will commute to the RISC location but as time goes by, the area around a RISC will naturally evolve into a small city. RISC is the grain of sand around which the pearl of a city can develop.”

Well, agriculture is changing, and people do need to move to other forms of life. But to move to a city-centric form? His is a cold idea, with no regard to cultures, traditions, ties to the village etc. While it might make economic sense to be city-centric, there are some things that need to remain for the sake of it. This is equivalent to destroying the identity of the country. I have not been to many villages, but have visited mine on several occasions. His is a culturally insensitive design, an economist’ design, a bloody poor design. The problem is, if I do this, it will be seen as mildly amusing, stupid and short-sighted. But when a PhD in Economics, with connections to other important people does this, it is dangerous. “RISC is the grain of sand around which the pearl of a city can develop.”!!!! What!?!? Might be a great, dramatic line, but wow, open your eyes man. The link to the framework is here.

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