Annan praises India’s digital revolution
United Nations, April 3 (Agencies)

INDIA'S "DIGITAL revolution" has come in for high praise in UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's report prepared for the millennium assembly scheduled for September 6-8.

Noting that no developing country has benefited from digital revolution more than India, the report says it has generated a significant amount of employment and wealth and created a new cadre of high-technology entrepreneurs. Its software industry is expected to increase eight fold to $ 85 billion by 2008.

In this connection, the report mentions Infosys Technologies which has seen ten fold increase in its value since it was listed on the United States NASDAQ stock exchange in March last year. The report attributes India's success to embracing the information revolution which, it says, is directly related to its success in producing a large number of highly qualified technical and science graduates.

"The information networks these graduates are now building have a huge potential for spreading the benefits of education to the less fortunate," it adds.

The software revolution in India, it says, has been accelerated by foreign investment and assisted by economic liberalisation and the creation of government-supported software technology parks. Besides, it has a large number of "globally mobile" software professionals.

Indian companies, it says, have become world leaders in designing portals and web-based applications and they have successfully side-stepped bureaucratic delays and outdated infrastructure by building their own telecommunication systems and beaming their products by satellite around the world.

Access to internet in india is also increasing rapidly, the report says and estimates that about six million people will be using it by 2001 aided by deregulatgion of telecommunication and information technology sectors. But it also notes that India continues to face the challenge of "digital divide". "There remains a huge gap between those who are part of internet revolution and those who are not.
Source : The Hindustan Times. April 4, 2000