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‘The advent of technology: a boon or a bane’ is a controversial and debatable issue in itself, but it is human responsibility to make efficient use of his sensibilities to use technology to his advantage.Indian Technological companies and engineers have spent years focussing on overseas markets and modernising world companies.At the same time we see the government offices i.e. banks, passport offices, transport offices and the like, where ancient Windows 98 computers are kept and used with outdated software and yet abundant files are stacked with leather bound log books which lie ubiquitously.

India is looked at as the Mecca of technology and skill around the world, the paradoxical dichotomy is revealed when we ponder over the idea of our own adoption of technology.

The saying that goes on to convey that no one wishes to dirty their hands in the cleaning of their own backyard, held relevance for long with respect to these companies. It is probably the time when the alarm has rung and the Indian IT has woken up from its slumber of ignorance coupled with short lived dreams of avarice.

To bring about a rapid change within the government for it’s functioning from Stone Age to Digital age, the companies have now begun to take stringent measures to ensure that they are no longer termed ‘technologically challenged’. Well, better late than never is what they say.

The central government has set aside billions of dollars to bring its offices up-to-date in response to the mass public frustration regarding basic civic facilities like getting a passport made or getting a correction done on it or calling an ambulance. In the present global economic scenario which is uncertain, India’s tech companies are less jaded about dealing with the sluggish government bureaucracy.

Satyam Computers Services Ltd. has offered to design a rail system for Hyderabad. Tata Consultancy Services is committed to computerize the country’s passport files and offices throughout; the plan includes transforming the present passports to e-passports which store information in a chip which is attached to the passport. HCL Technologies Ltd. has been hired to digitize the unwieldy paper-based records which will include the innumerable household surveys. The largest project awards so far are a part of national “e-governance” initiative.

The Gujarat police hired Tata to write a software that would link the 483 police stations of the state, as a part of a $35 million renovation project, which would facilitate people in making online complaints and keeping a tab on them. In Jaipur, a response centre under the aegis of the initiative “Dial 108” functions on the same lines as the 911 hotlines.

A positive change of mindset can be seen in the company perspectives, as the companies do not mind waiting through the paper work time that the bureaucrats take to get initiatives regarding technological advancements approved from the respective ministries. The gestation period is seen under the light of better brand name in the future of the nation.

Few Indians have faith in the government run institutions; the fact that taxi cabs and auto rickshaws were used to carry victims to hospitals in the recent bomb blasts shows the level of callousness. Thus, it becomes mandatory for “our” tech companies to assume it to be their responsibility to enlist the existing colossal Technology prowess at home.

Aditya Sinha
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