“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”Mark Twain
How India Has Changed Since Independence
India is one of the major economies in today’s modern, dynamic world and is at the forefront of being positively affected by technology. Today, after more than 70 years of independence, there have been a lot of massive improvements made in almost every field, and a significant chunk of that can be attributed to technology. Indian GDP (both overall and per capita) has increased significantly, and HDI has risen by almost 50%. Life expectancy and schooling have also improved. All these developments are easily overshadowed by one glaring weakness, one chink in India’s armour- overpopulation.
This is both a boon and a bane. It’s a boon because more population directly correlates to a higher number of scientists, technologists, doctors, and engineers that would be able to work for the country and take it towards the path of prosperity. However, more population also means an ever-increasing number of people who suffer from poverty.
India wants to become a $ 10 trillion economy soon, and this can only be achieved by leveraging the power of technology. Although the penetration of technology throughout the Indian sub-continent has been impressive, it needs to be pervasive enough in the near future to carry the entire country on its shoulders.
What India Has Already Solved
Internet penetration is now a major criterion in determining the technological quotient of a country. The internet represents the true democratization of information, and capable people can quickly turn this information into valuable knowledge without the requirement of outside help (the formal education system of a country). As mobile phone (smartphone) penetration increases, the number of internet users will increase, thereby triggering a technological wave and creating a completely new era of technological superiority.
IT Services make up a significant chunk of what Indian technology means to many (even to the outside world), but that will change soon. Indian IT services are favoured because of how inexpensive they were. With the increasing use of automation, artificial intelligence and data science, all repetitive manual work will be rendered useless, making the point of cheap labour rate moot. Indian software firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra are increasingly spending on training employees to use these technologies to remain competitive in the global environment. The pie chart shows that large IT companies like the ones mentioned are the most equipped to implement these technologies into their existing projects or to pick up new projects/clients based on these technologies.
Start-ups are so much more than just a buzzword today. They help bring in foreign investment in the form of funding, provide much-needed employment to people and ease some weight off the governments’ shoulders, making people’s lives simpler through the solutions they provide. Almost all start-ups mentioned in the image below provide solutions through technology.
The Challenges and the Road Ahead
The goal at hand is simple: using technology to leverage every industry and sector in the country to become competitive in the global scenario, eventually making India a technological, economic, and commercial powerhouse. However, the road ahead is full of obstacles. The picture taken from a PWC report highlights the goals of the country in the coming years. To reach that goal, technology can intervene in several ways:
- Government schemes like Start-up India are a much-needed boost to the technological scenario in India. In 2019, a total of more than 1,300 start-ups were added, making the total tech-based start-ups tally a massive 8,900. However, a major chunk of these start-ups doesn’t even end up seeing the light of the day, and thus governments must ensure that these start-ups are effectively incubated, thereby reducing the failure rate.
- The top engineering colleges in India need to be monitored and private players have to be encouraged to improve themselves continuously. Modern technologies must be implemented in the course curriculum, and the decades-old syllabus needs to be revised to ensure that students learn about modern technological advancements.
- Ease of business in India has seen a tremendous improvement in rankings, but it needs to be continuously worked on and improved. As old laws and policies preventing business get abolished, the ease of opening a company/start-up improves dramatically, thereby contributing to the chance of letting the start-up be profitable shortly.
As discussed previously, technologies like analytics and decision science must be implemented across industries to leverage their benefits. As these get implemented, there will be an acute shortage of employees who are trained in these technologies. Today tech startups are training their people and setting up an entire ecosystem at work in the country. The education sector needs to improve to drive technological benefits throughout the country, starting from the grassroots to the higher echelons in a complete chain of value creation.
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