Bangalore, India. Day 3.

Overlapping of disciplines in education, artistic work and organisations, is put forward by many we meet. At Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, they combine disciplines to learn new things. The focus is shrishti-skylt.jpginterior.jpgshrishti-gruppbild.jpgpostit_srishti.jpglong-term, to build relations and prepare students for long-term sustainable work in India. They believe in combining two strands in their training programmes: reality, and a theoretical framework that give students tools to analyse and reflect on what they meet. Srishti has a strong connection between sectors like art, design, philosophy, business. Behind their success lies an attitude of being ”uncompromisingly idealistic”.

We get the chance to meet Mr B.R Jayaramaraje Urs, Special Commissioner for Information and Cultural Affairs at the Karnataka level, and discuss the role of culture. At cultural policy level, we understand that issues like cultural heritage, identity and cultural mapping are put forward. But Karnataka also fight with challenges such as rural development and the regional inbalance in the State. In Karnataka around 70% live on agriculture, but in strict economic terms of labour requirement, only 20% of human resources is required for output.

Changes are fast and uncompromising, something very true here in India. The IT-sector is one of the fastest growing, Bangalore is often compared to Silicon Valley in San Francisco. And hopes are that it will also signify to Karnataka area, what Silicon Valley has ment to California. Urbanisation is fast, one figure presented is one person a second moving into Bangalore. Farmers have had difficulties in adjusting to these changes. Since a few years back, the suicidal rate among farmers have been growing rapidly. On a comparison between 2000 and 2008 you see a decline, but it’s still significant and far too many. Around 70%, we are told, live on agriculture, a sector that has dealt with a great deal of problems like changing weather, fertilizers that disrupt the traditional circle and methods of sowing, and now also a global economic slow-down which is likely to press prices of cotton and other farm and plantation products. The state has been slow in facing these problems, and for many farmers families are disrupted, survival get more difficult and initiatives to train farmers for other types of jobs has not been fallen out well. In The Hindu (Oct, 30) you can read that farmers are also put under ”undue pressure” by moneylenders and banks that forces them to commit suicide. Private moneylenders have grown four-fold during the past decade.

The Silicon Valley attitude was described to us on our visit to San Fransisco in June 2008. IDEO, a design firm placed in Silicon Valley describes the impact. Read about it here and here.

To read about the art scene in Bangalore, you can look at Time Out Bengaluru. Language is an issue in India, a number told to us is around 300 languages spoken, something that poses challenges on for instant the educational system. An article on the subject written by freelance journalist Margot Cohen can be found here.

For those who read Swedish, get your hands on the book ”Mahatma!” written by Swedish author Zac O’Yeah , since 15 years living in Bangalore. It’s a great description of Gandhis life and accomplishment and an introduction to India.

The delegation to Bangalore is part of the newly formed exchange of knowledge and experience between the Swedish Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka.

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2 Responses to “Bangalore, India. Day 3.”

  1. silicon valley is great because it houses some of the world’s best electronics firm ::

  2. i haven’t been on the silicon valley but i would really love to visit that place. i bet that it is a very exciting place to visit .”~

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

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