New technologies can vary in understanding and form they can be understood as new medicines, new machinery or new ways to store high tech data. All these technologies hold a crucial and central part in the development of nations in particular NIC’s. These particular nations rely of rapid industrialization and continual growth, the only way they are able to maintain this is with constant research and discovery into unknown fields.
Without Edward Jenner creating the small pox vaccine in 1796 arguably the United Kingdom would not have industrialized at the scale and pace that they did, similarly if China had been without the technology for large scale blast furnaces they would have been unable to industrialize at the rate they did. However is new technology the only factor for development in china? One could argue that more new political policies would increase standards of living for those in rural areas or that if they focused more on small-scale eco-friendly projects their development would be more sustainable.
Russia, in the 1920’s, was ruled by a communist government and a dictator in the form of Joseph Stalin. 80% of government spending went to the military and thousands lived in absolute poverty. This was the case until 1928 when Gosplan, the state planning agency, drew up targets for production in accordance with Stalins main aim ‘To transform Russia into a modern industrial state’. Russia had the raw materials and the work force for this occur however most importantly, due to pre-existing inventions, they had the technology to increase output of raw materials by 30% between 1928 and 1937.
It is evident that without the technology, used in heavy industrial cities such as Magnitogorsk, Russia would have been unable to convert raw materials and man power into development. The prevalent existence of TNC’s in the modern world emphasizes the reliance on new technologies for development. India based high tech industry Jabra recently introduced two new 3. 0 mono headsets in India – Jabra CLEAR and Jabra TALK allowing better Bluetooth communication.
This is an example of unnecessary new technology purely made for economic profits, the 2. 0 mono headsets had almost identical technology however was simply slightly larger. Although this is a small scale example it typifies the TNC’s desire to improve technologies out of self interest and profitable motivations. At this point we must define what development encapsulates, the Human development index (HDI) believes there are three main ways in which we can measure development life expectancy, literacy rates and GDP per Capita.
Reliance on new technologies in the primary and secondary sector may help GDP per Capita and new medicine may help life expectancy however new technologies cannot be the answer to all development issues. We have seen that those nations who have seen the most rapid industrialization (china and Russia) have both been ruled by communist dictatorships. Although the technology was important in their industrializations surely we must look at how the two nations political policies forced industrialization upon their countries using an iron fist.
They may have helped economic development but at this time living standards fell dramatically. Due to Russia’s collective farming policy farmers where unable to legally consume their own crops, instead they all went towards the state. This resulted in thousands dying of starvation and lack of medicine, at this stage the technology was present however it simply was not being divided equally among those who needed it hence many suffered.
Change in the mind set of communities can also contribute a great deal towards development, the set up of community based eco charities such as Green Maps have helped attitudes change and so that sustainable development can be translated via a bottom up scheme. Overall I would argue that new technology is the most significant factor in development. However on its own development would not be nearly as evident, without social and political stability and fairness development would not occur. The money bought about my industrialization but be equally spent on the well being of the citizens as well as on research into new technologies.