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ashek1's avatar

Whats is difference between India and US ?

Asked by ashek1 (128 points ) January 9th, 2011

When one sees India its development and economy one finds that its not even near to any of the developed economies. With enduring poverty and increasing population india still is very far behind. But then again if one sees the Indians who drive much IT and other services work in US, it seems these are the people who are not less in any of the parameters when compared to US people in fact india more educated and talented people than US. Whats that thing that stops indian to be just like US people.

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16 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

If you’ve ever run an app that’s been written as outsourced code to India, the difference will be very apparent.

BarnacleBill's avatar

The United States is a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities. A person’s cultural identity is not as clearly defined in the US – a person may be part English, German, Swedish, Italian and Native American. Although there are a lot of different nationalites in India, people themselves are perhaps not quite so blended.

National identity is very messy in the US, with people identifying more with regional elements.

Education and intellect, while aspired to, is also looked upon with suspicion and distrust by the average person. For a country with as much access to free education as the US, one in five people are illiterate.

wundayatta's avatar

History. India was colonized and much of it’s wealth appropriated by the British. It’s people were kept from advancing. It did not have a chance to join itself into a nation; it was forced into a cobbled together nation.

The US kind of built itself. It fought for independence hundreds of years before Indians did. Each new part of the country was acquired mostly in a voluntary way, although not always. The US has a founding myth that says that all are equal in opportunity. Anyone can become the best of us all. To a large degree, we have made that myth possible.

India has a caste society that shuts the doors of opportunity on a huge portion of the people. My guess is that half or more are held back by the caste system. A huge amount of energy and creativity is lost because of it.

The US has a 200 year head start, and we’ve gotten rid of our caste system, although we do still suffer from the remnants of it. People are people, and no one people is any smarter than any other. The difference between peoples are the cultures, and the way those cultures support creativity and entrepreneurialism. Indians still have to bribe the electric company to put in service. I’ll bet the land line phone companies have put themselves out of business due to poor service. Mobile phone technology is making the land lines irrelevant.

India can leap ahead in some ways. It doesn’t have an old infrastructure to change. So it can build one right the first time. But it holds itself back due to it’s culture—as far as wealth building is concerned. But wealth building isn’t everything. India has a wealth of spiritual establishments. Then again, so does the US.

Lots of differences. Anyone who studies it could tell you much more than I have.

blueiiznh's avatar

i agree with @gorillapaws I have worked with many from India and still in India for many years.
Every counrty has a cultrue and drive of their own. Their values certainly can make them similar and disimilar to other countries.
Their culture is certainly driven to accomplish, but I also see many that just can’t cut it.
Their country is and has evolved to a higher technology and capability in the past 20 years.
The US also has a history of giving technology away so they can benefit from lower costs and pay rates. We did it with Japan, China, Yugoslavia, Mexico, India, and so many more, I cant remember.
If I keep my mind on US and India comparisons, I personally have found the quality of work and customer care significantly diminished with India technology as a whole. However, there drive to work hard and keep learning does out distance in some regards.
They have huge infrastucture issues which makes it difficult for them to natively flourish baring outside influence.
My feelings on this are only based on my experiences here as I have not traveled to India, so it is fairly limited in depth.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s not at all clear what point @gorillapaws was trying to make. Presumably @gorillapaws finds outsourced Indian software coding to be inferior (in line with the OP’s question), but that isn’t stated explicitly, and I don’t know computer coding, so I have no opinion.

Otherwise I agree with the other posters, mainly.

The US is a more or less self-made country, a country based on a shared idea, and as a young country it enticed a lot of risk-takers to emigrate to it. For that reason a lot of our national culture is based on not being too afraid to take on risk. This has led to our national myth / motto of “Can do!” If there is a job to do, then we ‘can do’ it. The more or less open competition in business has also led to a general improvement in business methods and techniques, and even our states themselves compete in various ways among themselves to offer less expensive (or more generous, in some cases) government.

Because of the ‘self-made’ nature of the country, we don’t have a lot of the ancient rivalries that exist in India, its caste system, nor the plethora of languages that persist across the subcontinent. So that has helped us to get to where we are today. (However, Europe also has ancient rivalries and a variety of languages, yet has also managed to surpass India economically.)

And since the US was founded on a revolution, and the first of our guaranteed rights in our Bill of Rights is “Freedom of speech”, we have no lack of government critics. Even though there is attempted suppression of that right, and has been since the nation’s founding, the trend is toward “more political freedom”, “more speech”, and open criticism. This takes time, but it does tend to curb the worst abuses of government. This does not seem to be the case in India (viewed from afar), and the government is still much too heavy-handed – the direction that the US is taking now, as a matter of fact, and which will hurt us unless we change it.

Getting back to competition, though, along with ‘business improvement’, this has led to an expectation of excellence in products and in methods of production, as well. The idea that “If you can build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door” is an American one (Ralph Waldo Emerson) that we continue to try to make true.

Currently my company is outsourcing much of its production to India. The difficulty in doing this is mind-boggling at times. Even though top management wants production to go to India, and my colleagues and I in Europe and in the US have to support that ideal if we want to keep our jobs, and we attempt to deliver the productivity tools, management methods, all of our technology and everything we know about our business, our Indian colleagues won’t use the gifts we offer. They nod that they understand, and then demonstrate that they don’t. They promise to do what we’ve instructed them how to do, and then fail to even attempt to do it. They ask questions about irrelevant aspects of the business, and fail to grasp core concepts, and they will not venture their own opinions, offer or attempt to take a lead in anything, and simply refuse to accept the idea of “taking a chance”.

It’s quite stunning. We’re offering them our business “on a silver plate”, and they won’t take it.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

The Indian income disparity between rich and poor is much wider – to the point of being obscene.
The level of corruption and opportunities for graft are more prevalent. I’m not saying the US is perfect but if I were to offer $20 to a US policeman odds are I would end up in prison.

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CyanoticWasp's avatar

There are some similarities between our systems, though, @worriedguy. If you offer $20,000 to a politician, then you’ll be hailed as a benefactor of mankind… by that politician. And you’ll get a lot more than just a ‘fixed’ traffic ticket, too.

incendiary_dan's avatar

The U.S. is a settler colony, while India is a neo-colonial puppet of Western powers.

JLeslie's avatar

I have never been to, or read much about India, but from what I understand there was a conscious decision to not educate everyone. I am not criticizing the decision, just stating it as a possible contributing factor regarding the differences between the US and India. It was not because India did not care about certain citizens, but simply a question of limited money I think. America has had good public education available to everyone for the last 75 plus years. Sure our education system is criticized a lot as of late, but still it is more equal than unequal, and everyone has opportunity to go to school, in fact it is against the law not to go up until the age of 16 in most states. Seems to me as I look around the world, public education stands out as a common thread in industrialized vs. developing countries, but of course there are other factors.

America was part of the industrial revolution, which brought money into the country.

America, during the industrial revolution, the people began to organize, form labor unions, and factory workers, and other laborers, demanded and received a higher wage. This grew our middle class, and that is another of the big differences between us and the developing countries.

We do not have a caste system. We definitely have social class divisions, but anybody can climb the social ladder, if they work hard. This goes back to education availability also.

Since America is a country of immigrants, it is full of people who are not complacent in their situation. Maybe it is a personality trait in the people who are willing to leave their home, their home country, and embark on the adventure of a new life. Maybe Americans are inherently more ambitious, more risk taking? Just a guess. But, I think there are people like that all over the world, not just in America.

gorillapaws's avatar

@CyanoticWasp to clarify, my earlier post for you, code written by outsourced programmers in India is notoriously shitty. There is a general sense that the code will be written to satisfy the absolute minimum bare minimum technical requirements outlined in the contract, but it can be a nightmare to maintain, improve and grow (e.g. you didn’t say the app needed a way to stop running or print in the contract…).

To echo your earlier post, in general there is a sense that Indian programmers want to meet the minimum as quickly/easily as possible without a sense of pride/ownership/craftsmanship that goes along with programming. I suspect this has less to do with individual Indian programmers and more to do with the companies that employ them, but it’s well known in the industry.

MartinDep's avatar

Currently ! Americans are innovators and inventors and Indians are the followers. Indians are doing superbly in IT field but IT was invented in USA, but who knows in future Indians are the number 1 innovators in the world.

XxSHYxxGUYxX's avatar

Comparing India and the US is like comparing Apples and Oranges. India has been independent for just over 60 years whereas the US has been independent for 100’s of years. India is waaayyy more populous than the US. India has more than 20 official recognized languages. The US has predominantly English with some Spanish in the southern states. The US is a presidential democracy. India is a Westminster/Parliamentary democracy. India is a young country (relatively) compared to the US. The Indian constitution is one of the lengthiest constitutions in the world (but unfortunately one of the least implemented). More than 40% of the people of India lack access to basic facilities like clean water, 2 meals a day, education, electricity, etc. Not so in the US… There are just soooooo many differences… Its not really a fair comparison.

ashek1's avatar

@XxSHYxxGUYxX Thanks for your reply, though you are correct the question was not abt comparison but wht stops Indians to be just like US people..in a way you have answered it correctly.

flutherother's avatar

There are big differences within India and in the south west of the country Kerala is an example of a poor state with a high literacy rate and life expectancy comparable with the west. It is less developed than the west but the way of life there is more sustainable.

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