The first computer was installed in India at the ISI, Calcutta, in 1955. During 1955 to 1964, only 28 computers were installed in India. All these were imported computers. But during the next 13 years (1964 to 1977) 392 additional computers were installed. Of these, only 25 per cent were indigenous and manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India.
The departure of IBM from India in 1978 acted as a spur to the indigenous industry which in 1978-79 announced over a dozen new models of computers. Since then, the computer industry in India has not looked back. By 1999 more than 170 Indian software companies had acquired international quality certificate. With the announcement of an integrated Computer Policy by the Government of India in March, 1985, computerisation received a new thrust.
This policy was aimed at enabling indigenous manufacture of computers at standard international prices using the latest technology, simplification of existing procedures for import of suitable computers by end-users, promotion and encouragement to application of computers in all fields where development and growth are envisaged.
The Government of India set up a new Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) on 15 October, 1999 to be the nodal institutional mechanism for facilitating all the initiatives in the Central government, the State government, academia and the private sector for all-round growth of Information Technology (IT). To make India a global power in Information Technology is the new IT vision, which translates thus: (i) Creation of Wealth, (ii) Employment Generation and (iii) IT-led Economic Growth.
A National Task Force on IT and Software Development, the PM’s Council on Trade and Industry, and the National Advisory Council on IT have been set up. A target of achieving PC penetration of 20 per thousand, T.V. penetration of 225 per thousand and fixed telephony penetration of 125 per thousand has been set to be achieved by the year 2008.
In India, the use of computers was initially confined to Research Institutions, Defence and Space establishments. Today, with the advent of personal computers, even small establishments are using computers, in their business. Large organisations are pumping in huge investments to use computers in office automation, decision- making, manufacturing, etc. Insurance Companies and Banks have gone in for computerisation in a big way to improve their efficiency. Indian Airlines, Air India and Indian Railways have computerised their reservations. Post Offices have also computerised their services.
The phenomenal growth of the computer industry has opened up new, exciting and lucrative job opportunities. India needs lakhs of persons trained in computers. The existing infrastructure in the country is not sufficient to meet the requirements. The wide gap between demand and supply is likely to generate immense employment opportunities.
The year 2008-09 was marked by unprecedented global economic crisis. In spite of this uncertain global outlook, the Indian Information Technology- Business Process Outsourcing (IT-Bop) industry was able to achieve sustainable growth in the fiscal year 2008-09. The revenue aggregate of IT-Bop industry is expected to grow by over 12 per cent and reach US $ 71.7 billion in 2008-09 as compared to US $ 64 billion in 2007-08.
Industry performance was marked by sustained double-digit revenue growth, steady expansion into newer service-lines and increased geographic penetration. The Indian software and services exports including ITES-Bop exports is estimated at US $ 47 billion in 2008-09, as compared to US $ 40.4 billion in 2007-08, an increase of 16.3 per cent. The IT services exports is estimated to be US $ 26.9 billion on 2008-09 as compared to US $23.1 billion in 2007-08, showing a growth of 16.5 percent in 2008-09, a year -on-year (Y-o-Y) growth of over 17.4 percent.
Through the IT-BPO sector is export-driven, the domestic market is also significant. The revenue from the domestic market (IT Services and ITES-BPO) is also expected to grow to about US $ 12.5 bill 1 ion in the year 2008-09 as compared to US $ 11.7 billion in 2007-08 an anticipated growth of about 6.8 per cent. BP0 demand in the domestic market has witnessed noticeable growth over the past few years.
The total IT Software and Services employment is expected to reach 2.23 million in 2008-09 (excluding employment in hardware sector), as against 2.01 million in 2007-08, a growth of 10.9 per cent Yoyo. This represents a net addition of 226,000 professionals to the industry employee base in 2008-09. The indirect employment attributed to the sector is estimated to be about 8.0 million.
The industry has also set a precedent for talent practices in India. It has created career opportunities for the youth, provided global exposure and offered extensive training and development. Furthermore, the industry has been a front rammer in diversity at the workplace (over 30 per cent of employees are women; over 60 per cent of industry players employ differently baled people).
The IT-Its industry’s contribution to the national GDP is estimated to increase from 5.5. Percent in 2007-08 to 5.8 percent in 2008-09
Thus, starting as a mere calculating device, computers in India have come a long way. They are being used by organizations of all kinds and sizes for their day-to-day operations. Our country is, no doubt, heading towards mass scale computerization. The computer is destined to play a crucial role in India’s future in the 21st century.