Humankind have been constructing temples of worship since time immemorial. They form the foundation of our heritage and culture after all. In much the same way, we also have constructed temples of knowledge and wisdom, if you will, such as the IIT, first established in 1951, which forms the technological foundation of India.
IIT graduates are known the world over for their extreme engineering and leadership skills. Which is probably why they go on to set up their own enterprises or lead global companies such as Google and Sun as their CEOs. Similar premier institutions such as AIIMS, ISRO and DRDO, came into existence during Nehru’s term, who called them “the new temples of India,” and rightly so.
While they may strictly be scientific projects, some constructions, however, hold the attention of an entire nation longer than any other. They bind the people of that country with a “glue of pride” in a manner that is for-ever lasting. In this post, let us take a look at such “temples of the new world”:
Oodi Helsinki Central Library
Perhaps, the people in Finland haven’t caught on the WhatsApp virus yet…which is why they like to read books still! In fact, 68 million books were borrowed in the last year alone, can you believe it?
Therefore, the Finnish government planned an incredible 100th anniversary gift so to celebrate their habit of reading: a 100 million Euro library in their national capital, Helsinki!
Inaugurated on their independence day, Oodi is not just a library for books but also an artistic hub of the country, where people collaborate on music, cinema and fine arts. This is, if you rightly consider, an example of progressive architecture, isn’t it?
The Palm Island
An incredible collaboration between imagination and engineering is the Palm Jumeirah of Dubai. Many people consider it the eighth wonder of the world and why’s that? Well, in short: this is a thriving civilization floating over crystal clear water, as shown below.
They have constructed an artificial city (5 kilometers in size) by using 7 million tons of rock and shaped it like a palm tree. Advanced satellite imagery was employed to give it a beautiful symmetry such as that at a cost of 12 billion USD, now imagine that!
As an investor, one should wonder, how good are the returns on those 12 billion dollars? Well, for starters, Palm Jumeirah became a “symbol of wealth” for Dubai which has so far attracted millions of tourists to the city. Furthermore, top hotels, posh apartments, renowned restaurants and clubs stretch all over the arms of the palm tree, which add to the beauty of it.
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in France, or ITER, for short, is a mega-project worth 20 billion USD, whose aim is to mimic the conditions on Sun right here on earth. Obviously, a project of such magnitude requires an international collaboration, of which India is also an integral part, yay!
The advantage of recreating Sun’s conditions on Earth is that we can harness its fusion energy to power our appliances and industries. This will automatically become an indefinite source of energy, once established completely, and replace coal and petroleum forever!
Belt and road project
Believe it or not but this is China’s 50-year plan of expanding on a global scale. In short, it is an attempt to recreate their historic “silk route” which will enable them access to different parts of the world, not only by land, but also by the sea. In fact, 130 countries have already signed an understanding which will help the Chinese spread their investments all over the world. Such a grand plan would cost them over a trillion USD, easily, yet here we are banning their minuscule apps and bickering over it among ourselves!
There’s this man by the name “Elon Musk” who has undertaken the job of landing man on Mars. In this journey, his team of innovative engineers, at his one of a kind company, SpaceEx, has come up with pioneering technologies such as “reusable” rockets. A rocket of such nature can not only place satellites in their orbit but also return just the way it had launched. It’s like watching a movie in reverse, honestly!
Furthermore, government space agency NASA has come in support of private players like SpaceEx and Virgin Galactic. For example, SpaceEx helped send NASA astronauts to International Space Station and had them return safe and sound to Earth. This shows that government and private players can not only compete but also collaborate on projects that will benefit both in the long run. While doing so, Elon Musk has become the man that has captured the imagination of tech enthusiasts in the United States thanks to his companies, Paypal, Tesla and now SpaceEx!
Projects In India: a contrast
The problem in India is that we inaugurate a mega-project with grandeur and celebration but remain absolutely unable to complete it on time. Did you know that at least 400 infra projects in India are running behind schedule and what’s worse, have costed way more than the original budget, at least 5 lakh crore more!? Examples include Dholera dam project, Bullet train project, smart city project, Navi Mumbai airport project, and so on. If India is to emerge a global “infra leader” then the country needs to lay down a strong foundation which takes up these infrastructure projects on a priority basis.