Confirmed speakers include, Mr. Satish Babu – Director, ICFOSS, Prof K N Harilal and Prof K J Joseph, both from Centre for Development Studies (CDS), a premier Economic Research institution, Mr. Joseph C Mathew, CEO Standout IT Solutions & Ex-IT Advisor to Chief Minister, Kerala and many more prominent personalities from the industry are expected to participate.
There will be a Q&A session as well. Seminar is expected to give shape to more thoughts and actions.
Event is scheduled on March 11th Wednesday 5:30 pm ( TODAY) at Travancore Hall, Park Centre, Technopark.
Please see below the subject note prepared by Prathidhwani
Future of IT – Drivers and Detractors
The continuing transformation of the world economy from the realm of ‘matter and energy’ to the sphere of ‘information’ has been tremendous and has been affecting nearly all of the world’s population, creating limitless opportunities and challenges. These ongoing changes in the character and content of the economy around us backed by the great revolution in the information technology have significant political, social and economic implications. Thus, it will be immensely interesting and informative to explore and understand the ways of the new economic order that shapes the dynamics of our life, industry and profession today.
The Indian Information Technology (IT/ITeS) industry has been one of the most successful sectors in recent economic history of our country. This industry has caught the imagination of a whole generation and has given hope to many as a path to progress. Many parents and their children dream of making a successful career and life in the IT industry. This sector encompasses everything from high-end Research and Development and Software application development to IT enabled services like BPO, KPO and even data-entry operations and customer support operations. The Indian IT industry is still largely depending on the outsourcing and stay at the bottom of the food chain. Over the last two decades, the IT industry’s employment has swelled to more than 3 million, with another 7-8 million associated indirectly. The sector is unique as it invariably attracts some of the most highly qualified professionals in India and provides some of the best working conditions. Unfortunately, it is also unique in the way it seeks exemptions from the country’s laws – both labour and corporate taxation laws.
The larger community outside the IT industry, including the political class, is not still very aware of the issues faced by the IT workforce. Widely held perception is that the IT community is a ‘privileged’ class, enjoying a high standard of living and bigger pay-packets, which thus can have no problems whatsoever that worth any mention. While it is true that the IT workers are paid high compared to the other work streams (because of the unique nature of the Information Industry and the knowledge economy), it is not true that the Industry is devoid of problems. On the contrary, IT professionals do face lot of work related problems that cry for attention and resolution from the authorities, corporate, government and of course the political leaders.
Indian IT sector has hitherto been given the privilege of remaining a no-entry zone for any of the labour laws of the land and the IT workers are deprived of any democratic rights to question any wrong-doings. Better regulations and policies will go a long way in making the IT work environment much more healthy and secured for the IT workers. Improvement in the working environment and employee-employer relationship will benefit not only the workers but also the overall industry on a long-term. While the unique nature of information goods has allowed the Information industry to create huge wealth compared to traditional industry, the nature of production has also necessitated the incurrence of significant social cost, including the cost of grooming unique ‘knowledge worker’ labour force. Thus, a social audit of the Industry in terms of the societal return on investment of social cost will be very relevant.
This seminar is an attempt to think aloud on the path the Indian IT industry may likely to traverse in the future and to identify some of the drivers that may determine the course and momentum of this journey. The seminar will also provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas on varying topics like the unique production process in the information industry, opportunities and challenges that the networked information economy offers, changing nature of the labour and the relationships there in, initiatives required to boost the momentum of the IT industry in Kerala in general and the Techno park in particular etc.
The discussions would touch upon some of these high-level areas
- Unique characteristics and drivers of the Knowledge economy
- Is death of Indian outsourcing all that far out?
- Towards moving up the value chain
- For a larger participation of the IT industry in the Indian economic and social growth
- For evolving healthy labour practices and better work environment
- Breaking the glass ceiling for the women workforce
- Taking Kerala IT industry to the next level
- For the growth of the Technopark – opportunities and challenges