Although I will not contradict the evident fact that India has become and now is an ecological disaster, I would like to share some optimistic views about the improvement that the country is currently doing.
First, I would like to highlight that despite a high rate of poverty, the country owns among the most advanced high tech industries such as software development and biotechnologies. In the same time, the number of high educating engineers and R&D centres is growing very fast each year thanks to governmental initiative and FDI as well. Clearly, and more than China, Indian industries are challenging eastern Countries and try to move up the value chain thanks to innovation.
Thus, research and innovation are now serving the environmental cause. The current president Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, has an engineering background and is very sensitive to the environmental cause. His objective is to produce 30 billion tons of bio-fuel within 2030, to reduce the cost of photovoltaic cells and increase the rate of energy conversion to 50% within 3 years, to improve the storage of hydrogen, to implement partnerships between agricultural and motor sectors, and many other innovating ideas.
As a consequence, Delhi is now the city with the highest number of cars working with CNG (Gas naturally compressed), all public motor vehicles including rickshaws are eco-friendly. With high level of autonomy provided with CNG fuel, the cost (3x higher than oil) is rapidly amorted. Moreover, by June 2007, 10% of oil will be replaced by bio-ethanol made of sugar cane. Then 5% of bio-fuel taken from Jatropha vegetal oil will be introduced in Diesel Fuel. Eventually, hydrogen/Methan fuel will be provided in fuel stations within a few months. It needs no modification on cars to use it…
Of course India is far from being an ecological model, but I am convinced that the country has the skills and the will to develop better than we have.
(Image taken from http://www.blonnet.com)