By Sandy Gordon (auth.)
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Costs for software development in India are therefore 25-30% less than they are in developed nations. The government has, moreover, treated the sector Indian S&T and the Defence Industries 35 liberally, allowing for unlimited importation of hardware for software exporting firms. 82 Indian software exports have been rising steadily, as indicated by the figure below. 84 Figure 12: Domestic and export sales of Indian software, 1988-89 to 1991-92, in crore of rupees. 800 r700 "" F 1 Exports Domestic 600 h- 500 400 300 200 100 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 4 Source: Higher overseas sales for India software', Times ofIndia, 4 June 1992.
72 In fact, if we review India's access to 'critical technologies' for modern defence industries, we find that most reside in the public sector in the defence-related industries. We also see that the Indian effort in the public sector is reasonably closely aligned with the requirements of forefront defence technology, at least in its aims, if not in its actual capabilities. Critical technologies and defence The Pentagon's critical technologies plan was intended as a means of identifying those technologies that are likely to be at the fore-front of defence production.
To complicate matters further, it appears increasingly evident that instability in India is not an isolated phenomenon, but is closely related to the wider problem of instability in South Asia as a region. Increasingly, domestic political problems seem to 'wash back and forward' across permeable borders within South Asia like so much political flotsam and jetsam, contributing to tension between nations along the way. How serious a problem this process of interactive instability is likely to become, and how it is likely to be affected by economic liberalisation throughout the region, will be important determinants of India's future as a regional Indian Ocean and global power.