Industrialization & Knowledge System-Part 2

This is the 2nd part of Knowledge & Information Series:   First Article on Knowledge & Information System

I will start with a set of self-explanatory images.
Inter-industry relationships
This image gives an introduction to any working (industrial) process in which the process starts with some raw materials; it undergoes some processes; intermediate steps and finally becomes a consumable product. This consumable product may further be processed or value may be added to it by some other industries before it is finally consumed by end users. This entire process requires continuous participation of Governance Institutions; consultants/service providers; academia/R&D institutions and NGOs which carry forward the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Now let us apply this understanding to the work of a blacksmith. A blacksmith uses 5-10 types/sizes of iron & wood; performs some processes; and finally manufactures upto 80-100 diff types of products. See Image below:
RM: Raw Material; ISP: Intermediate Step Product; FP: Final Product

Now if we standardize the Final Product (FP); it means the measurable characteristics or quality of the FP is fixed and accordingly FPs of same type are defined as Grade-1, Grade-2, Grade-3 and Grade-4 Products; then there will be two set of effects.

Effects of Type-1: The market of products of a Blacksmith is no more a Market of Lemons (Market for Lemons means a market with uncertain quality & price). This will help in fixing of price of FP of diff grades. It will empower both producers as well as consumers.

Effects of Type-2: When we have fixed quality of products then we can reverse map the entire production process; dig out the intermediate steps and can do following things:
a. Specify the entire process (process specification)
–  substitute/club some of the processes
–  automate some of the processes
– develop study material which can be imparted for skill-building & skill upgradation
b. Optimize entire process
c. substitute some of the technologies
d. substitute some of the raw materials

Now all these activities generate a lot of Knowledge & Information which can be further converted into Intellectual Properties (Patents, Copyrights, trade secrets etc.). This generated knowledge can be further standardized and used for:
i. Formal Education System
ii. Transfer of knowledge to industries to increase their quality, productivity and make them innovative

This entire process has been put in the image below:

Effects of Knowledge Mapping

This basic ideas described above is the core of industrialization or industrial progress or innovation or development of diff products/services.

Further, we can introduce assembly line on the whole work of blacksmith and employ one person for each manufacturing step. Statistics shows that productivity of each blacksmith increases by up to hundred times!!! All the poverty and miseries of blacksmith will vanish and they will become power economic agents.

Industrial cluster is a large group of industries working in same sector and preferably located at same place. For example, Firozabad has hundreds of bangles or glassware manufacturers then they together can be called as a cluster. If knowledge mapping and knowledge & information is generated at cluster level then there is sufficiently large number of supporting & encouraging factors. Any country needs to work on its traditional clusters and transform them into modern manufacturing industries so that they can compete globally as well as support such a large population of India.

Now Let us examine the role played by IITs or hundreds of colleges & universities in this process (discussed above). We can clearly see that none of these great institutions have ever reached out to traditional industries and tried to create/develop any knowledge out of it (except few which I don’t know or may may ver rare people know). It is very painful that none of these institutions have any vision or perspective or approach in this direction. If we take the case of UP, it has large number of industrial clusters even in 2013, after witnessing 250 years of instability, anti-industry governance and gross negligence by educated/intellectual class.  Painfully, there are many definitions of “cluster” each used by diff set of institutions. For example, trade bodies recognize more than 80 clusters in 2012, Planning Commission recognizes only 42. On the other hand, real estimate of no of active + dormant (& about to die) clusters in UP is more than 250.

If IITs or any of these great institutions are asked questions that why have they not created any knowledge or done anything for industries in India, IITs always try to blame others including governance, industries etc. IITs never recognize that they have been given extra privileges and resources in a poor nation; so they must give back something.

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