Internet: The driving force behind the growth of the Economy

Quoting Mr. N K Goyal n k goyal cmai
President, CMAI Association of India,

What an alteration of life! What a change in life! The whole world is changing. Definitions are changing. Even this article is written via a text-writing software on a laptop. Instead of using a courier service, I sent this text electronically by ‘E-mail’. Little did we realise the ease and comfort of the whole process. We are so used to all the electronic and computer aided programs that we hardly think of thanking James Watt and Graham Bell for playing the vital role in the life that is led by millions across the globe. Their contribution in science led to invention of the most comprehensive mode of communication called the “Internet”, a tool that has all the ingredients to bind the globe into a small community.

This thought brings a great deal of optimism in developing parts of the world like ours, making us believe that we all are well connected and are a close-knit family which may sound like a toned down approach, especially considering India’s prowess in Information Technology. The IT skills in the Country are one of the most unmatchable attainments in the world in terms of quality and quantity. But here the challenge is not in solving the problem, rather to determine the problem itself.

Plethoras of solutions are available with the enterprises and organisations, but with their approach, unfortunately few are the takers. Technology is changing at an unimaginable pace  that no one can even dream of. Who would have imagined ten years down the lane that majority of people would have mobiles in their hands? Who would have thought that letters and the postmen will become old school? Even now, even today, even in this moment, prediction of future technology is hard. Computers have reduced in their dimensions from room sized computers to desktops, to laptops to smartphones. And now we are hearing of computer screen contact lense in eyes itself?

With each passing day, new technologies and new techniques come and go. With technology, we ride high on efficiencies and usability it brings along with it, less concerned about the penetration in the society and it’s adoption demographics. We forget the essence of communication that it is in the very DNA of each and every person on this earth to communicate with each other without going into frivolous parameters decided by the Society. But we fail to observe, lest realize it. The most common example is of Iridium phones, launched a decade and a half ago to provide communication on any spot on earth. It was a satellite based system, superior at the time of its launch, yet a failure and, a nothing short of a disaster that led Company into heavy losses. Even  pagers, FAX and the so called ISD calls or international long distance calls, all fall in this category of technological calamities.

Internet has crawled deep into people’s lives since 1970s, bridging the gap between multitude and getting people more closer than ever before. The radio communication technologies in public domain are a new addition to the technology world. The rapid rise of GSM made it a worldwide favourite, with almost 80% market covered by it in comparison to other cellular technologies. More superior technologies like UMTS, IMT, 3G, 4G,LTE are also coming up. This again brings us back to the fact that just by having a solution does not mean that we will succeed. We should understand the problem, with the local flavour so that we can accordingly dish out a tailor made solution.

In India’s case and many other growing economies of the world, excitement and affection towards technology is very high in comparison to the western economies, primarily because they have matured with new technologies. This zeal amongst people should look very promising to the operators, Internet providers and the Governments alike, but at the same time it should be treaded cautiously as expectations are high. Some time it appears as if the technology experts have not been able to deliver what they promised for a particular technology and then  came up with a new technology, talking of higher speed, higher user friendly, higher secure and so on. Yet they all talk of providing High Data speed and Mobility.  All the access technologies are Internet friendly, doing away with traditional POTS system which dealt with only voice on analogue systems.

With New Generation Technology which is more core based and flat hierarchy, allowing different applications to be run on the system and access technology neutrally, it would be a major boost for Indian and other growing economies of the world. The reason is that we would be able to buy an application based device and software rather than a bundled computer. This would actually bring down the cost. The specific or few application based devices would allow a farmer to know about weather, communication over VOIP, and enable him to play a game or movie. This would enable a pervasive internet usage, accelerate more inter dependent economies.

The tremendous growth of internet has resulted in non availability of IPv IV address protocols and we are moving to IPv IV 6. Very soon we will have a connected world where even machine to machine will talk. This will result in more increased demand for IPv IV 6 protocols. Solutions for the wide number of ad hoc devices to be used is in form of IPv6, Web 2.0 again are playing a good role of networking platform for like minded people to share the thoughts and experiences.

Business demands via IT have increased over the years. Various companies are facing a cut throat competition for their survival at an exponential rate so as to gain customer attention, market share and revenue. IT Service Providers are expected to play a more significant role in the overall performance of the enterprise. IT leaders have responded to enterprise growth by reducing costs. But reduction in cost alone is no longer sufficient. IT is also a revenue driver. “Business” need to learn how to align its goals with IT by adapting itself to new technologies, making process improvements, and by aligning its IT and business strategies.

IT and IT solutions have offered India a global perspective. It has acted as our ‘window’, opening wide to the rest of the world ensuring that we in other industries like manufacturing, media, etc. see it in the same sense.  IT is also penetrating rural India now, offering opportunities to those in small towns and villages, broadening horizons and offering livelihoods where there were not any.

Those Companies that realized the importance of IT are planning to expand their IT infrastructure and are investing in hardware applications and in enterprise applications and management tools. Indian industries expenditure on IT is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 15 percent.

India is the seventh largest and second most populous Country in the world. It is also the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of PPP. A series of ambitious economic reforms aimed at deregulating the economy and stimulating foreign investment has moved India firmly into the front runners of the rapidly growing Asia Pacific Region and unleashed the latent strength of a complex and rapidly changing nation.

Today India is one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world. Skilled, managerial and technical manpower that matches the best available in the world, and, a middle class whose size exceeds the population of the USA or the European Union, provide India with a distinct cutting edge in global competition.

India’s time tested institutions offer foreign investors a transparent environment that guarantees the security of their long term investments. These include a free and vibrant press, a well established judiciary, a sophisticated legal and accounting system, and a user-friendly intellectual infrastructure.

India’s dynamic and highly competitive private sectors have been the backbone of its economic activity and offers considerable scope for foreign direct investment, joint ventures and collaborations.

Industrial Sector was among the first sectors to be liberalized in India in a series of measures. Industrial licensing has been abolished except in a small number of sectors where it has been retained on strategic considerations.

The Government’s liberalization and economic reforms programme was initiated way back in July 1991, under the new Industrial Policy Resolution. The industrial policy reforms have substantially reduced the industrial licensing requirements, removed restrictions on expansion, and facilitated easy access to foreign technology and foreign direct investment.

Foreign Direct Investment in India is allowed on automatic route in almost all sectors except some strategic categories. In electronics and telecom, India allows 100% FDI for manufacturing. As a signatory to WTO, India permits duty free imports of all components and products.

Our thought on internet will not be completed, if we do not talk of accountability part of it. There is hardly any answerability as to who has sent the message or how the internet is touted. There are associate problems of spam, fishing, data theft. Every day while we have a new solution, we also have a new problem. Our mail boxes are full of unwanted mails. The problem appeared to be insoluble. Luckily it has got the attention of ITU during WICT Conference in Dubai and thanks God a solution has been found. We can now hope of a proper routing and answerability.

Finally, it is important to understand that Internet is not a ONE TIME INVENTION rather a tool that needs to constantly evolve time and again to cater different ad-hoc tastes of people and occasionally a re-invention to change how we communicate and how we think. That’s why the Internet has to be taken as the biggest Invention than anything else on this planet, simply because it touches the lives of people and it is empowering people across globe.

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