chandrasekhar-1

Chandrasekhar-1 - ICT in a Developing Country Context An Indian Case Study C.P Chandrasekhar Centre for Economic Studies Planning Jawaharlal Nehru

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ICT in a Developing Country Context: An Indian Case Study C.P. Chandrasekhar Centre for Economic Studies & Planning Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, India. I: The Perceived Opportunity India’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is seen as epitomising the opportunity that globalisation offers a low-income developing country. The success of Indian techno-entrepreneurs in the US and the rapid growth of the Indian software and IT-enabled services industries, especially its export segment, have buoyed expectations of the potential for growth and human development that ICT holds out. If India-trained hardware and software technologists can dominate the industry in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the US and if entrepreneurs of Indian origin can play a leading role in the new wealth being created in the new economy there, the argument goes, it should be possible for India to harness these skills to earn foreign revenues, spur domestic growth and ensure substantial welfare gains. Implicit in such reasoning are judgements about the potential that ICT holds out, about the ability of a developing country like India to exploit that potential and about the possibilities of overcoming any constraints to the realisation of that potential. One of the objectives of this study is to examine the basis for each of these sets of judgements. Developments in three directions are expected to help realise the potential that ICT holds out for a developing country like India. First, given her presumed advantages in this rapidly growing sector, India is expected to register significant export gains that would result in substantial increases in income and employment. This opens up the possibility of a period of rapid, ICT-led growth that facilitates the effort to improve upon India’s limited human development achievements. Second, the use of relatively cheap ICT skills in the restructuring and reorganisation of the “brick-and-mortar” economy and in diversifying the structure of economic activity is expected to ensure the horizontal diffusion of these benefits. This would ensure that sectors transformed by the ICT revolution do not become “enclaves” and that there is a cumulative spread of the benefits derived from the new technologies. Third, the new technologies are expected to directly improve human development through the application of highly developed and dispersed ICT skills to improving governance, facilitating the empowerment of poorer households and communities and rendering the delivery of the benefits of extension programmes and welfare schemes more transparent and efficient. A second objective of the study is to assess possibilities on each of these fronts, examine the constraints to the realisation of such possibilities and discuss the policy initiatives that may help further that realisation. The Potential
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course IT 2201 taught by Professor Chandrasekar during the Summer '09 term at IIT Bombay.

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Chandrasekhar-1 - ICT in a Developing Country Context An Indian Case Study C.P Chandrasekhar Centre for Economic Studies Planning Jawaharlal Nehru

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