Ian McDonald’s book “River of Gods (August 15, 2047 – Happy Birthday India)”

Ian McDonald’s sci-fi book “River of Gods” which is set in India on its 100th birthday sounds very interesting.

From Boing Boing:

River is the story of India’s 100th birthday, when the great nation has fractured into warring subnations on caste, religious and cultural lines. Like McDonald’s other great novels, the story is beyond epic, with an enormous cast of richly realised characters and a vivid, luminous vision of techno-Hinduism that beggars the imagination.

A Brief Introduction To RISC — Rural Infrastructure & Services Commons

The Indian Economy Blog
has an interesting article on an initiative which is trying to prove that development does not necessarily mean urbanization. It first lays out the arguments as to why urbanization is “usual” path to development, and then goes on to suggest an alternative.

It is therefore argued that ‘village-centric’ development is not feasible because of resource limitations and because people naturally tend to migrate out of villages to cities. Furthermore, it not desirable since a vibrant economy depends on the aggregation of the population into units much larger than a small village. In short, investing scarce resources into villages is short-sighted and uneconomical.

Based on the above considerations, a model for rural development has been conceived called RISC – Rural Infrastructure and Services Commons. The RISC idea is to bring to the rural population the full set of services that are normally available only in urban locations. It works within the constraints of limited resources by focusing attention to and concentrating investments at specific locations to obtain economies of scale, scope, and agglomeration.