ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Performance of Indian Information Technology Sector

In this age of computers, the development and advancement of the information technology sector can push a developing economy into the developed countries category. The present study found that the IT sector of India has experienced boom and prosperity during the first decade of this century. Therefore, the supportive policies and acts, such as the Information Technology Act, 2000, National Broadband Policy, 2004, and Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 have favourable impact on the information technology sector. Meanwhile, it is moving towards recession in the second half of the second decade of this century. However, the study confirms good performance of India’s information technology sector in terms of its contribution to the gross domestic product, foreign exchange earnings, and employment generation in the Indian economy.

‘Kaalia’

Much before the cell phone, the ubiquitous black rotary dial telephone sparked the imaginations of children in 1980s’ India.

The Transition to Big Data in India

Lives of Data: Essays on Computational Cultures from India edited by Sandeep Mertia and foreword by Ravi Sundaram, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2020; pp 160, price not indicated.

Technological Federalism

“Technological federalism” or the interface of the landscape of technological and data governance with the federal structure, as enshrined in the Constitution of India, needs to be ideally adjudicated upon. Till the time it happens, it needs to be theorised and understood in detail. The centralisation of data, digital architectures as well as decision-making will be inevitable in the absence of a new perspective.

Professionalising Election Campaigns

The 2014 and 2019 general elections in India were referred to as “WhatsApp elections,” which had IT cells, bots, and political consultants strategically using data mining tools to build resonant narratives to tell voters what they wanted to hear. By the 2014 national election, the industry was reported to be worth $40–$47 million. Between 2014 and 2018, industry specialists approximated that the number of firms in this market had at least doubled. These unprecedented tools of technological campaigning come with new forms of identifying, targeting, and defining issues of political importance. This article suggests that such developments are turning electoral politics into a thriving business being data-driven, technologically oriented, and having far-reaching implications for democratic processes.

Making Data Count

The Uncounted by Alex Cobham, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2020; pp 227, price not mentioned.

Reforming Public In-service Teacher Training Systems

The in-service teacher training provided in the public schooling system has often been criticised on grounds of both inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Two principles that can overcome these weaknesses are a “third-space” curriculum built around problem-solving practices of teachers and leveraging the adaptability of online mechanisms for professional development. We describe a large-scale experiment based on these principles. The main lesson is that our training establishments need to develop new technical and academic capabilities, or at least partner with institutions having the necessary expertise.

Managing Transition to a Low-carbon Electricity Mix in India

Demand for electricity in India is growing due to the increase in GDP and quality of life along with structural changes in the energy sector leading to the increase in the percentage share of electricity in the total final consumption of energy. Decarbonisation of the energy sector is a necessity, and it should be achieved without negatively affecting economic growth of the country. It can be best managed by having a diverse portfolio of technologies as diversity provides supply security, resilience, and hedging against price fluctuations. Therefore, all low-carbon technologies—hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind—should be exploited and provided with a level playing field.

Plantation Workers and the OSHWC Code, 2020

Welfare provisions for plantation workers in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 are subject to how respective state governments frame rules and can have wide variations too. A basic standard template from the central government would have been better, preventing wide variations, as well as ensuring a basic threshold. Further, there is a need to recognise the use of technology in ensuring better occupational safety and health outcomes.

Making Digital Financial Inclusion a Reality

Technology has had a disruptive effect on the delivery of fi nancial services, and adoption of digital solutions could help accelerate fi nancial inclusion. This article creates a road map for digital fi nancial inclusion in India using the framework based on the eight high-level principles of G-20 nations. While evaluating the progress under each one of these principles, the article concludes with policy recommendations both on supply and demand sides to achieve the coveted digital fi nancial inclusion.

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