There is an urgent need to bring politics, business, and science together in the times of de-globalization. One wonders if we might ever appoint a businessman as our top diplomat. Imagine Mukesh Ambani
Sharad Pawar (India’s richest man), running India’s diplomatic business and sitting in the cabinet committee. Quite unlikely!
The bonafide and powerful argument is that businessmen would bring their “narrow commercial interest” to national governance that ought to perform for the public good. Taking a cue from President Donald Trump in the U.S.A. …
Our unwelcome attitude is not limited to businessmen. The powerful permanent bureaucracy is wary of allowing any alien body into the government. Over the years, we have learned to induct a few technocrats, but our central ministries have been kept shut to the outsiders.
In contrast to the above, the U.S.A. has developed a system for letting outside professionals into the middle and senior level of bureaucracy. Albeit, it keeps rigorous checks and balances on the potential conflict of interest for nominees of the government post.
In India’s case, an era of reform that began from 1991’s New Economic Policy, there has been a sustained effort to connect diplomacy with business. Although it was tried by it’s former Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, with the appointment of Mr. Arun Nehru, a businessman in the home ministry, it failed terribly.
In the absence of an in-depth and dynamic three-way engagement between politics, business, and science, we might find ourselves losing ground in the new era of deglobalization and technological transformation. Over the previous quarter of a century, we had the luxury of reacting at our own pace to the imperatives of the economic globalization. This time around, the devil of de-globalization is bound to consume the hindmost.