India’s big breakthrough in technological skills now!
Yes, this is no exaggeration! Indians now seem to be achieving highest world class skills in a variety of technological skills. There is now a revolution unprecedented. I mean the IT revolution. A new generation of highly skilled engineering graduates, a few lakhs, who have transformed into a software super power.
Of course, the industry leaders like Narayanamurthy had cautioned us, pointing out we are still a miniscule software exporter, considering the world market. China’s IT export is to touch 200 billion dollars! But the point is that this achievement, reached so far, had transformed the minds and imaginations of the new generation. India is now the “call centre” of the world, the 1,00,000 young men and women are earning in figures what their elders couldn’t have imagined all their government service jobs, just a generation ago.
In Bangalore the averge billing by software companies for their American outsourcing clients is, roughly, Rs. 3.5 lakhs per engineer! So, an average software product engineer can earn as high as one lakhs per month! So, India is doing cutting edge technologies, competing with America in high technology. The momentum is the point.
The terrible Tsunami tragedy only shows technology further needs to be put for early warning systems. The UN and our own government must put in place such technologies that cost just 2,50,000 dollars each tsunametres. Our education also needs latest new contents. One is future studies. I just now had gone through a book, appropriately titled “Futurewise”!
I just then muttered to myself: “What with our missiles and much else, we couldn’t predict the tsunamis that were long anticipated by countries with 26 of them in the early warning network. Indian Meterological Dept has 58 seismic stations but only 17 of which digital and networked. All we can say is : please, S&T establishment act!
Indian towns and suburbs, 20 years down the line looks rather so enchanting. One has to look at the faces of young people these days. There is so much hope, expectation and an eagerness to know opportunities that are opening up everywhere, both in the cities and in the country sides. Two examples. One, the telemedicine thanks to IT – enabled delivery of the best medicare through the ISRO INSAT link. So the EDUSAT linked delivery of education everywhere, through the satellite.
Now, thanks to telecommunication revolution and the growth of Internet our education can be revolutionised. IT had brought into our public domain the concept of e-governance. A visiting Nobel Laureate in chemistry said the other day thanks to Internet, education is no more reading the texts, as our forefather did when they read their religious texts, it (Internet) is now an effective and powerful resources tool.
IT industry now employs around eight lakh professionals. Europe is now in need of Indian talents, says Kiran Karnik, president NASSCOM. This he said in an Indo-Swedish meet. Each year, close to three lakh employees are added to Indian IT services. The mobile phone revolution had only accelerated software and the use and spread of IT.
India did export 12.5 billion dollar last year, India’s share in global market is only 3 per cent. But the mental make-up of young Indians had been dramatically transformed. This is the point educators must convey to the students.
In Karnataka the first step had been taken. Primary schools to be linked to EDUSAT, a satellite dedicated to education launched in Sept. by ISRO. Now, education is to be spread to other ends, about 100 and more universities are to be beamed educational material. There is a growing demand for such an educational technology, as there is a growing deficit for qualified teachers, be it engineering or management, or teachers to teach primary and secondary schools. Time scale is critical, if we are to take “the education for all” goal to realisation. In our lifetime! Much more damaging is the status of our languages. Another language expert, Prof. David Crystal, an author of over 100 books, the latest, Language Revolution was in India. What does he say?
English has become the global language. There had been so many languages. This is the first time there is a global language. What happens to other languages? He says : “Every two weeks, a language dies”. 96 per cent of the world’s languages are spoken by four per cent of the people. One and half billion people speak English, first it was a British dominated language, then it had become the America dominated language and America has only 250 million people speak English. There are more speakers of English in India, says this expert, than there are in Britain and America combined. So, he calls the new English as Hinglish, English as spoken by Indians! Any language aspiring to survive, to reach a global audience must become more and more cosmopolitan language, must borrow and assimilate foreign words and also must face the challenge posed by Internet language!
English borrowed words from 350 other languages over 1000 years!
Written language, spoken language, now computer mediated communication or Netspeak. With the Internet, we have the new medium, a language unlike any other previous language.
Are we ready to take on this technological reality? Educators should ponder.
The message is clear : you can’t turn your back or close your eyes or shut your ears.