back to article India says its brains saved the world from the last colosso-crisis – cough, Y2K – proving it can become self-reliant

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modhi has signalled that the nation intends to become self-reliant in as many industries as possible and other officials have already started saying that includes tech. Modhi yesterday delivered a coronavirus-related address to the nation that included a big stimulus package and plan to emerge …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    Great. Send back to India all those "brains".

    Guess IT will become again a better place with better applications.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great. Send back to India all those "brains".

      Sort of reminds me of the "Goodness gracious Me" comedy show with the old guy who said everything came from India...

      Superman, Indian! In which other country can a man run faster than a train :-)

      The Queen, Indian.....

  2. Mike Shepherd

    "...we have the best talent in the world"

    Well, if drivel and hype work for Trump, why not for India.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: "...we have the best talent in the world"

      Well, at least he didn't spout "Make India Great Again!".

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: "...we have the best talent in the world"

        Modi prefers "Make India Hindu Again" - don't know how it translates in any of Indian languages or dialects.

  3. Spanners Silver badge

    Are you insinuating something?

    The reason the Y2K crisis did not "happen" is that a very large number of us spent a long time doing things about it.

    I wasn't aware that we were all in India. I certainly wasn't there, but some undoubtedly were.

    We are going to get the same sort of stupid statements about Covid-19 before long - perhaps like...

    "The government said that the UK would have hundreds of thousands dead. What a waste of time."

    "I know someone who knows someone who met a bloke in the pub whose sister was a nurse and she said that there were only XXX cases." and

    "It was just a US disease. It didn't affect most of the planet."

    The health workers who are still dealing with this are like the Y2K fixers. Either you don't fix it and get blamed or you do fix it and all the stupids say that there was never a problem. The big difference is that I didn't have to wear PPE and risk my life!

    If India was a big fixer, thank you. It has certainly been since that time that we have noticed you more.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Are you insinuating something?

      Oh god... Don't get me started... You forgot the financial dig too:

      "We paid you all this goddamn money to fix the Y2K problem, and nothing happened!"

    2. cschneid

      Re: Are you insinuating something?

      The best case scenario for preventative maintenance is that it will seem a waste of time. This is true of computer systems, automobiles, and pretty much everything else.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Are you insinuating something?

        The best outcome for any identified risk is that you've pre-emptively reduced its likelihood to zero. Short of that, you've pre-emptively reduced its potential consequences as far possible. Either way, the common factor is pre-emptively.

        Most incidents arise from ignoring the signs until it's rather late in the day to act. But Nassim Taleb was right in saying we rationalise after the fact to explain the incident away (typically as "unprecedented").

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Are you insinuating something?

      Came here to say much the same. I don't remember any of my colleagues at the time were Indian, but we spent lots of time checking and making sure that everything would tick over.

      It's about time for one, so it's my round -->

  4. jake Silver badge


    All the best politicians have been telling them for thousands of years.

    There is a reason the old saw "How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving." exists. And it's not because it's funny.

    Why would anybody expect politicians from India to be any different?

  5. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    I'll believe this....

    .... when they outsource their call-centres to Newcastle!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Their wages go up, the cost to use Indian resources goes up, the "quality" remains the same. What could possibly go wrong?

  7. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Well, they're pretty much replete with scammy call centres. How long before it'll feature in India's top 10 exports? Perhaps we'll start to take India seriously in the IT community when they make it easier to hunt down and shut down these very dangerous companies that keep springing up.

  8. Stork Silver badge

    Self-reliance was fashionable!

    India in the 60es and 70es, Albania until 89, North Korea, Danish looney lefties (the ones who thought the two latter countries were the ones to learn from) in the 70es. Hmm.

    Singapore is very much not self-reliant, neither are EU countries or the US. Perhaps one should think again?

    1. Raj

      Re: Self-reliance was fashionable!

      Modi only espouses one side of 'self reliance' - blocking imports and pushing exports. Espousing overt mercantilism is a dog whistle that any sane politician would avoid stating openly. Always better to use more unoffensive language.

    2. one crazy media

      Re: Self-reliance was fashionable!

      If you and your politicians haven't learned see-ereliance is important during the Covid-19, all of you are dumb as a door nail (US saying). Didn't UK import Covid-19 test kits from Turkey that turned out to be defective and useless?

      Modi is not talking about self reliance in the way you are interpreting. Modi is saying, India needs to make the things Indians need. Reality, os India always had the brains. What it did not have is the money it takes for high-tech research and development. It is changing so the government can focus on research and building industries

  9. s2bu


    And all of those retired COBOL and FORTRAN developers that came out of retirement to work on Y2K just sat there doing nothing, right?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Sure

      Maybe not quite sitting around doing nothing ... but I got paid an awful lot of money re-certifying stuff that had been certified to be Y2K compliant some 10-20 years earlier. Same for the embedded guys & gals. By the time 2000 came around, most of the hard work was close to a decade in the past ... the re-certification was pure management bullshit, so they could be seen as doing something ... anything! ... useful during the peak of the dot-bomb bubble.

      Look for similar bullshit/misdirection during the end of the first UNIX epoch in 2038 ... despite the fact that all of the important systems that would be affected either already have been, or can easily be modified, making to so-called"problem" non-existent.

  10. Raj

    As is typical of most El Reg (and in general, British) articles on India, it is heavily coloured by successive generations of prejudice about India. Rather odd coming from a country that finds new ways to screw up its own COVID response, with its head of government contriving to get himself nearly killed in the process.

    Modi's reference is a signal of that the very large stimulus measure (approximately 10% of GDP) will be kept from flowing out of the country by those spending it on purchasing imported gear, through the application of import duties, and that businesses need to apply their smarts to expand their own manufacturing base to compensate. In the post-COVID world of stimulus actions, it's important for national policymaking to consider that a stimulus measure is useless if their own population is simply an agent taking the stimulus cash and handing it to a foreign entity.

    The appeal to ego is just a simple construct to express the fact that the stimulus is going to be accompanied by measures to impose duties on imported items and will instead encourage local production focused on the domestic market and exports. Therefore 'you're smart - figure out how to put the money to use to build capacity to feed the domestic market and export into a crippled outside world, rather than passing the money into outside hands'.

    Sounds too mercantile ? It's what everyone's going to try to do when they try to pick up the wreckage of their own economies. Getting an early mover advantage on it always helps to quickly push your way into markets when others cannot. For example, India produced no PPE gear until February (the first COVID case in India was on Jan 30). It now produces quarter of a million PPE items per day, second only to China. The paracetamol at Boots is likely to be made in India, too.

    That's what the Chinese are doing too - grabbing the opportunity to saturate the world market while others have their industries shut. Modi simply wants his share of that pie while keeping the Chinese out of India.

    1. IneptAdept

      Name checks out

      As title

  11. pgm

    Anybody notice that trying log a call these days with M$ is damn near impossible?

    The Indian tech support is so swamped that they don't answer phone calls from their partners.

    Just say try calling later as everything is being delayed.(for the past month!).

    Self reliant?

    I don't think so.

  12. one crazy media

    Rich coming from a Brit

    It is rich coming from Brits, who stole everything they got from India over 200 years of slavery called colonial rule.

    India, the richest thriving country in the world before British occupation made into the poorest country of the world when the occupation ended in August 14, 1947.

    Take a walk through the Tower of London, visit exhibits of gold, silver and jewels in castles like the Winchester Castle then, come back tell where those exhibits came from.

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