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Southern States - Karnataka-Bangalore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

`Bangalore model of development dangerous'

By Our Staff Reporter

Bangalore Jan. 4. Bangalore is widely known as the Silicon Valley of India. However, according to James Heitzman, associate professor of History, Georgia State University, this may only be a product of imagination about the city and may encourage a dangerous pattern of urban development not only in Bangalore but elsewhere.

In his book, Becoming Silicon Valley: Information Technology and the Imagining of Bangalore", Dr. Heitzman traces Bangalore's history as a "technopole" or an urban area of high technology related industrial growth over the past 20 years.

Participating in a lecture organised by CIVIC Bangalore, Dr. Heitzman said planners had projected Bangalore as an IT hub long before it was a reality. He pointed out that in the early 1990s when Bangalore's IT industry was estimated to have taken off, the biggest single employer in the city was the textile industry whose growth was independent of IT.

The projection of Bangalore as a world IT capital was the product of efforts to globalise the city in response to globalisation in the late 1980s, he said.

"Even today, Bangalore is primarily a manufacturing centre. Of the 54,000 enterprises registered in the city only 30 per cent are IT companies and a majority of them are not connected directly with IT. We have to ask why Bangalore is persistently called the Silicon Valley of India," he said.

Dr. Heitzman warned against the trend of other Indian cities copying Bangalore's "technopole" planning model. "The problem with the model is that it is based on a concept of a highly advanced information society which is not the situation in India. The model makes no provision for ecology or economic distribution that is the urgent concern in India and needs to be addressed in any plan of development," he added.

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