(via TOI) and Subroto Bagchi’s column Times of Mind which is not available on the web. He talks about the impact of IT on rural India. For the first time in India, their socio econmic background will not come in their way as they to enter the most exciting part of their lives. Information technology is an industry that has a very high number of people who have been children of significant economic and social disadvantages.
In a batch of 100 fresh engineers that joined MindTree Consulting, anonymous feedback was taken on various demographic indices. An overwhelming 33% came from rural agricultural background. This was followed by a good 20% who were children of small business folks. The rest came from salaried class amongst those were 4% of teachers and 2% of priests. This research was repeated at Philips India and Sasken. The spread pretty much mapped to the MindTree data but went one step further. It showed that 12% pf people came not only from rural but also poor background. In this case only one parent was graduate or less, had studied in a vernacular medium government school in a small town. In white goods the best they had was a transistor and aa bicycle.
I request Deve Gowda, our own fumble farmer, one who is humble and fumbles, studies these reports in detail and stops positioning IT as elitist. It will then occurr to him that is not about feeling for the poor or feeding them fish but teaching them to fish the right fish that has a good price in the market. He needs to get busy with developing infrastructure, implementing policies that will reduce the information gap between our small towns, districts, state capitals and metros. Its not a digital divide my friends but a political divide.