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					My Favourite Festival - Dussera                    11

Dussera! The most wonderful festival of all.

When I think of it my heart fills with joy. It is .
celeberated in the memory of Lord Ram's victory
over the evil Ravana. That is why it is also called
'Vijayadashmi'. On this day the good triumphed
over the evil. This fact is symbolised in the burning
of the effigies of Ravana and other demons on
this day.

Dussera is celebrated in October. This is the
season-of autumn when the weather is wonderful. .
Everything in nature is bright and clean. The heat
and the dust have been washed away ~y the rains.
19

The cold winter is still away. In this beautiful
period when it is neither hot nor cold, we celebrate
our Dussera.

The celebrations start about ten days before
Vijayadashmi day. Different localities have their
Ramlila shows for all these days. The whole
'Ramayana' is depicted on the stage for all these
days. Amateur and professional teams participate
in these shows. People assemble in thousands to
see the Ramlila. There is great excitement all
round. The actual performance is usually over- .
dramatic, exaggerated and informal, but it gives
great joy to the people.

In some cities processions are taken out. The
city is marked into different zones. A day is allotted
to 'each zone. The roads and streets are lighted
and decorated. Loud-speakers are fitted at im-
portant points. Music is played. A procession of'
tableaux depicting different' scenes from 'the
Ramayana, other mythological or historical
periods, is taken out. It is headed by a highly-
adornred elephant. On this elephant sit children
made to look as Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman.
The people standing on both sides of the road
have their 'Darshan', bow to them and throw
flowers at them. Seeing the procession is a
marvellous experience. People wait patiently for

.hours to witness the procession. For children all
20




this plus the different things sold there make it
like a fair. They seem to move in a wonderland.
There is something exciting for everybody. At
home prayers are offered. Wonderful dishes are
prepared. Children and ladies are showered with
gifts. Parents are in a very liberal mood and grant
all the wishes of the children. Celebration of
Dussera festival is something which I always await
eagerly.

***
MY Favourite Festival
, Durgapooja

, When I think of the many festivals that India
has I feel myself lucky to be born here. Almost
every season has its own festival. In January we
have, the Pongal, Lohri and the 26th January. /In
March we have 'Holi' followed by Easter and
Baisakhi in April. May brings us Idd. August
comes with 15th August, Raksha Bandhan and
.Janmasthmi, In October we have Dussera and
Durga Pooja. Then comes Deepawali;and finally
comes Christmas on 25th December. Which

country can boast of so many festivals in a year?

Of all these, my favourite is the Durga Pooja,
the festival dedciated to goddess Durga. It comes
at, the time of Dussera when the weather -is .

12

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21

pleasant. The summer heat is over. The rigours
of winter are yet to come.
The Pooja is a festival of five days, from
Shasthi to Dashami. it celebrates the ki~lirig of
cruel Mahishasur ( the buffalo-demon) by the
goddess Durga. Different localities of the city
celebrate the Pooja with great enthusiasm. A huge
'pandal' is set up and on one side the idols of the
different deities are tastefully arranged. In the
centre is goddess Durga, sitting on her steed, the

. lion. Below lies the slain Mahishasur. On one side.
are Laxmi and Ganesh and on the other side are
Kartikeya and Saraswati.
/


Every morning, from Shahthi to Navami,

there is the pooja and then the Anjalli or offering
of flowers. Prasad is distributed. In the evenings
there is the Arti. This is the most remarkable
ceremoney. The priest worships the goddess with'
different things like earthen lamp, joss sticks,
flowers, conch-shell etc. He does it very artisti-
cally and rhythmically. The drummers and young
boys and girls dance ecstatically before the god-
dess. The total effect is hypnotic.

Late in the evenings there are plays and
variety shows presented by different amateur and
'professional troupes.

Men, women and children dress in thier best .
22




clothes. They make rounds of the different Pooja
pandals and pay their homage. Finally, on the
Dashmi day, is the 'Immersion' or 'Visarjan'. The
idols of different 'Barwaris' are carried in trucks
followed by the people of those areas. They go
to the river 'ghat' for the immersion of the idols
in the river. This itself is a grand ceremony when
people dance and sing to the accompaniment of
music.

Lastly comes the sweetest item of all- the
visit to the houses of friends and relatives.
Wherever one goes one is welcomed with special
Bengali sweets like Rosogolla, Sandesh, Kalajam,
Rajbhog, Gopalbhog, Kheerkadam and many
more such delicacies . What a sweet end to the
I'ooja festival!

***
My Favourite Festival -' Deepavali 13

India is a country of festivals. Almost every
week there is some festival or the other. Some
of the important festivals of India are Dussera,
Durgapuja, Holi, Idd, Christmas, Baisakhi, Ganesh
Chaturthi, Onam, Pongal, Saraswatipuja. But, I
believe, the queen of all these festivals is
Dcepavali. It is the most beautiful of festivals.

Deepavali -is generally celebrated around
23




November which is the best month of the, year in
India, the weather is very pleasant. After the sticky
and muddy rains, the bright and cool November
fills the hearts of the people with enthusiasm.
They are in a festive mood. So they celebrate the
victory of good over evil with great zeal. On this
day Lord Rama come back to Ayodhya after his
victory over the evil Ravana. People welcomed
him by lighting the whole Ayodhya with earthen
lamps and decorating their houses. That is how

, it is done even now. It is also believed that Laxmi,
the goddess of wealth, moves about on this night. ,
Her invisible visit to a person's house makes him
rich. These colourful stories add a strange depth
to the festival.

Before the' actual festival there is great
activity among the people. The houses are cleaned
and white-washed. All the dirt, dust of the year

. is removed. The men and the children go out to
make purchases. There is brisk sale of earthen
toys, earthen lamps, candles, roasted rice, toys
made of sugar, sweets. The children press their
parents to purchase large quantities of fire-works.
The women are not behind. They purchase new
.sarees . and ornaments. There is a tradition to
purchase new metal utensils.

On the eve of Deepavali there is the worship
of Laxmi and Ganesh. And then starts the fun.
24

New Pattern Essajs

Every house is lighted with rows upon rows of
earthen lamps or candles or bulbs. The bulbs are
multi- coloured. The individual houses, then the
localities and finally the whole city, become a sea
of light of various colours. It is such marvellous
sight ! After this comes the programme of
fire-works - dazzling, bright lights and terrific
explosions exhilarate all, especially the children.
And finally, people end it all with delicious sweets,
What a wonderful festival Deepavali is !

***

My Favourite Festival- Christmas                 14

Christmas is basically a festival of the Chris-
tians, but today it is celebrated by all in India.
Everybody observes it with gusto. Twentyfifth
December is a holiday in India and the schools
and colleges generally have their Christmas vaca-
tion.

On 25th December Jesus Christ was born in
Bethelhem. He was the son of God. He came to
this earth to free man from the original sin. By
his sacrifice he took all the sins of human beings
on his shoulders. The grateful people celebrate
the birth of the Saviour with great joy.

People start singing of the coming of Christ,
one week before Christmas. Christmas carols, the
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25

. songs about Christ, are sung with great joy. On
'the Christmas eve groups of young men and
women go from house to house singing these
carols. In churches, midnight prayer is held to
welcome the 25th December. There is the family
dinner with the traditional roast-turkey, plum-
pudding, cake and punch. Gifts, decorated on the
Christmas tree in the hall, are given to all. There
is music and mirth and merrry-making.

Children look forward to the coming of Santa
Claus in his red dress and flowing snowy beard.
He comes from the North Pole on his sleigh
driven by reindeers and carrying presents in his
sack. He visits the children while they are asleep
and leaves their desired presents in their rooms.
When. they get up in the morning their joy is
overwhelming.

From the morning of the 25th, it is visit to
the Church and friends and relatives, parties and
cake-eating and gift exchanging and fun and
laughter. People dress in their best clothes and
move about in a holiday mood. For the children
it is a wonderful time as their elders satisfy all
their desires.

Big hotels celebrate the 'Christmas Eve' with
great fanfare. Religious societies organize shows
and plays based on the life of Christ. This blend
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of the religious and the secular, this spirit of hope,
joy and good-feeling and the colourful celebrations
make Christmas my favourite festival.

***
, My Favourite City - Allahabad                     15

Allahabad is my favourite city. When I think .
of very big cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi or
Madras, I feel that they are good only for
sight-seeing. They are like many small cities
thrown together. Life there is too fast. The
distances there are so great that people have to
waste three to four hous in reaching their place
of work and back. The crowds are terrible. People
are so lost in their own business that they have
no time for others. The result of all this is that."
life is very expensive, mechanical, full of tensions
and mad hurry.

Life in small cities is also not very attractive.

They are not yet fully developed to provide all
facilities like medical colleges, corporations, local
bus-system, big educational institutions, employ-
ment avenues etc. One has to run to bigger cities
to get all these facilities. Life also is very slow
and sleepy.

It is medium sized cities like Allahabad -
neither very big nor very small - that are ideal
27

for living. That is why I like Allahabad. It has so
many good points to recommend itself. The

population of Allahabad is around eightlakhs. It
is surrounded on three sides by the two great
rivers - the Ganga and the 1 amuna. They meet at
the 'Sangam'. Nereby is the famous fort built by
Akbar, and now a military establishment. There
are many other worth seeing places in Allahabad
like Anand Bhawan, the sprawling Alfred Park
where Chandrashekhar Azad was shot dead, the
Museum, the beautiful Civil Lines, Planetarium,
Nag Basuki, BharadwajAshram and many impor-
tatn temples. Allahabad is also an important centre
of education with the Engineering College, the
Medical College, Sangit Samiti, Prayag Mahila
Vidyapith (established by the poetess Mahadevi
Verrnaj.the famous Allahabrd University, often

, called the. Oxford of the East. and innumerable
other education institutions. It is a clean city with
wide roads. The bus system is efficient. Allahabad
is well connected with other big cities by railway.

Allahabad is a cultural city. Much cultural
activity is seen here throughout the year. Great
personalities like Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya,
Pt. Motilal Nehru, Pt. lawahar Lal Nehru, Indira
Gandhi, Shastriji, Pant, Nirala, Mahadevi Verma,
Bacchan belonged to Allahabad. All this and much
more makes Allahabad a very fine city and my
great favourite.

***
  My Favourite City ...:.. Bombay                    16

India is not only rich in villages, but in cities
too. There are innumerable cities. Some are very
big cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi or Madras.
Then there are 'medium sized cities like Bangalore,
Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Luck-
now, Allahabad and Chandigarh etc. Then again,
there are plenty of smaller citiies too. They all
have their special qualities and appeal to different
types of people.

, My own favourite city is Bombay. Pr?bably
no other city has so much to offer. When a visitor
goes there he finds that Bombay is almost sur-
rounded by the sea. There are deep harbours and
wonderful beaches like the Juhu Beach, Versova,
Chowpati beach. People gather here for swimming
or just walking and having picnics. The evenings
are like fairs here with Bhel-puri and ice-cream

.. and Nariyal-pani and pony rides and film-unit~
busy shooting on these beaches.

The Gateway of India, a huge stone monu-
ment facing the sea and having the famous Taj
Mahal Hotel as a backdrop, is another very
important and popular place for visitors. Nearby
29

are the docks where the.ocean-going ships come
for loading and unloading. A short distance away
. on the other side is the famous Marine Drive and
the Queen's Necklace which looks beautiful in
the day and absolutely magical in the. night.

The famous Hanging garden on the high hill
with is topiary and the breath-taking view of the
Chowpaty beach and Marine drive in the distance,
the Parsee 'Tower of Silence', Nehru Centre with
its Planetarium, Mahalaxmi race-course,
Taraporewala Aquarium, the Zoo, the Museum
at Kala Ghora, the ElephaIita caves, are some of
the important places to see. Not only this, there
are fabulous markets like Crawford Market, Fort
Market, Dadar market, Linking Road Market etc.
Also, some of the finest educational institutions
of the country are situated here in Bombay. The

'city also boasts of innumerable famous hotels and
fabulous eating places.

The magic world of cinema with its galaxy
of famous stars, producers, directors, music direc-
tors, writers, its studios and shootings is also
situated here. The local electric trains, both W.R.
and C.R. stopping at stations every two kilometers
offer wonderful joyrides. The innumerable buses,
the disciplined crowd and the fast life make
Bombay a fantastic city. Its climate, neither hot
nor cold, makes it still more desirable. Yes, my
30

favburite city is Bombay.

***
New Pettern Essays


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    Mother Teresa                                  17
In the year )910 a girl child was born
to an Albanian builder. She was named
Agnes . Gonxha Bojaxhiu. The father died :
when she was seven. Her mother brought up
her three children with great difficulty. At the
age of 12. the young girl had made up her
mind to become a nun. At 18 she joined
the Loreto Order of nuns. She came to Cali
cutta and became a teacher at Loreto Entally .
School. India became her home.

Gradually she saw the suffering humanity
around her. The destitutes and the disabled
disturbed her soul. She felt suffocated inside
the high walls of the school. She left the con-
vent to help the poor while living' with them.
'Missionaries of Charity' came into existence
and Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu became Teresa.
Mother Teresa , the 'Saint of the Gutters'
started . her work of 'service to her
fellowmen'.

Dressed in a white sari with blue border,
very soft-spoken , fair-looking , she worked
tirelessly to relieve pain, disease and unhap-
piness of the poor, the disabled and the dis-
eased. She worked with love and compassion

.in her heart and faith in God. Gradually
New Pettern Essays

31

others started coming along-with her. She
started alone but today her Order works in
120 countries where it runs 169 educational
establishments, 1,369 clinics and 755 homes.
The moving spirit of Mother Teresa fires the
heart of every worker of her Order. There
is nothing but respect and whole-hearted sup-
port for the workers of Sisters of Charity.

The world has felt and acknowledged her
power of love , service and compassion. She
has been showered with praises, respect,
honours, awards , money and everything.
Books have been written about her. She was

. awarded the Nobel Peace Prize , the Leo-
Tolstoy International Award, the Bharat Ratna
and hundreds of other honours. The great
dignitaries of the world, including the Pope,
showed their appreciation and respect for
Mother Teresa.

On September 5, 1997 Mother Tere·sa
died. But her work and influence continues.
The fire she has lighted goes on. Her fol-
lowers continue to walk along the path
shown by her. Mother Teresa lives in their
heart , inspiring them to make this world a
better place by serving their less fortunate
fellow beings.
32 .




My Favourite Writer            Dickens            18

I have read some writers like Defoe, Swift,
Sir Walter Scott, Dickens and Stevenson. I have,
also read Prem Chand, Tagore, Vrindavan Lal
Verma and Shart Chandra. They all have written
some good novels and stories. I have enjoyed
Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Swift's Gullivers'
Travels, Scott's Ivanhoe and Quentin Durward,
Stevanson's Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Prem
Chand's short stories and Tagore's short stories
are really marvellous. Shart Chandra's novels like
Shrikant or Bindo Ka Lalla, or Vrindavan Lal
Verma's Jhansi Ki Rani 'Garhkundar and
I




'Mrignayani' are very absorbing. However, my

favorite writer is Charles Dickens. This famous>
writer of the last century has brought much
happiness to people through his novels and stories.
I have read his 'David Copperifield' 'Oliver Twist'
'A Tale of Two Cities' 'Great Expectations' 'Little
Dorrit' and 'Pickwick Papers.' His other famous
novels are Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, Hard
Times, Domeby and ,Sons etc. His Christmas
stories too are very popular.

David Copperfield is his own life written in
a story-form. Its most memorable characters are
the humorous JMr. Micawber, Aunt Besty Trot-
wood, Barkis, the ugly and evil Uriah Heep, the
.

33

sweet Agnes. Oliver Twist tells the life and
adventures of an orphan boy Oliver Twist. The
strange and terrible ~agin, cruel Bill Sykes, the
kind Nancy, the lovable Mr. Brownlow and the
funny but cruel Mr. Bumble are some of its famous
characters. In Great Expectations we read the life
I



of Pip, his gentle gaint of a brother-in-law Joe

Gargery, the strange Miss Havisham, the beautiful:
but heartless Stella, the funny Pumblechook and
Wemmick, the unfortunate convict Magwitch and
the angelic Herbert Pocket. A tale of Two Cities
is a powerful historical novel. It tells the story of
. Paris and London during the period of the French
Revolution. Dickens has described the terrible
activities of the French Revolution, the cruelty
of the noblemen, the suffering of Dr. Marinette,
in a very effective manner. Sydney Carton as a
sacrificing lover and Madame Defarge as a silent

. but forceful leader of the revolutionaries are
painted very well. 'Pickwick Papers' presents the
adventures of the funny and lovable Mr. Pickwick
and his companions in a very humorous manner.

Dickens could tell a story in a very gripping
way. He has created a very large number of
unforgettable characters - some terrible, some
strange, some lovable and eccentric, some pure,
simple and child-like. Some characters he painted
in great details and some he merely sketched. But
34,




he made them memorable.

Dickens has painted London in- many of his
books. It is unforgettable. He also took up different
social problems and wrote so powerfully that
public ·opinion was created against them. Oliver
Twist takes up the problem of orphanages and

. Nicholas Nickleby deals with the problem of
. education. He taught the spirit of love and'
fellow-feeling and charity, especially, through his
Christmas stories. People loved his books and I
do the same.

***
 My Favourite Game - Cricket                           19 '

The popular games in India are Football,
Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Badminton and Table-
tennis etc. Of them" I' like cricket the most. It is
definitely the most popular game in India today.
Its players are no less popular than.the film-stars.
No doubt, the other games are very fast and
exciting, but cricket has its own peculiar magic..
It can be very exciting at one time and slow and
leisurely at another. But it is like an addiction.
Once a person is caught by cricket, he is hooked
for ever. The popularity of cricket can be seen
from the commentaries and T.V. telecasts of the
game. No other game has such coverage. During
35

the important matches people all over India listen
to the commentary or watch the T.V. Every child
in India can tell you the names of all the important
Indian players as well as the players from other
countries. They have the records and scores at
their finger tips.

Cricket is a team game. There are two teams
of eleven players. Each team has some batsmen,
some bowlers, some all-rounders and a wicket-
keeper. They are all dressed in white clothes. One
team does the fielding and the two batsmen of
the rival team face their bowlers. They try to score
as many runs as they can. The score goes on being
added till the tenth player gets out. Then the
batting side does the fielding and other side scores
runs. Whichever side scores more runs is the
winner. The fun lies in the battle between the
two teams. The fielding side uses fast bowlers and
spinners and tight and efficient fielding to get the
team out. The batsmen try their best not to get
out and to score large number of runs.

The contests can be five-day test matches or
limited-over one day matches. There are three-day
or four-day league matches, inter- district matches
or inter-state matches. Some of the popular
national cricket matches are the Ranji Trophy
and Duleep Trophy matches. In England there

. are the COUIity matches.
36

.

Nowadays ladies also have started, taking
interest in cricket and there are ladies cricket
matches on national and international level. There
are many countries where cricket is very popular.
England, Australia, West Indies, India, Pakistan,
New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and
Bangladesh are the cricket-playing countries in
the world. The West Indies team is the most

- outstanding cricket team today. The outstanding
players of cricket in the world are Vivian Richards,
George Hadlee, Martin Crowe, Ian Botham, '
Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Kapil Dev, Sachin
Tendulker etc. Their game is sheer magic. I never

. miss an opportunity to see their game.

I like the limited-over mathces more. They
are fast, exciting and there is always a decision.
The mad excitement of these matches has made
cricket the. most popular game in India. I also
belong to the tribe of cricket-lovers.

***
My Favourite Book - The

    Mahabharata                                      20

The Mahabharata is one of the two most
famous epics of India. It is written by Ved Vyas
and tells thestory two related families of the
Kauravas and the Pandavas. They lived in the
37

northern plains of India. There was a struggle for
power between them and ultimately, after much
action, the virtuous Pandavas were victorious. Into
this story are woven many other stories - all very
interesting. All the elements that make 'a story
very gripping are there in the book. Adventure,
fighting, mystery, romance, tragedy, comedy,
sacrifice, treachery, religion, philosophy, extraor-
dinary characters - all are there.

No other book has such a wide variety of
characters. The great Lord Krishna, clever, roman";
tic and realistic, who knows everything, the nobie
Yudhisthira, the brave but unfortunate Kama, the
grand Bhishma, the powerful mace wielders Bhim
and Duryodhana, the great archer Arjuna, the
wily and evil Shakuni, the noble Gandhari &
Kunti, the sacrificing Drapudi are some of the
outstanding characters of the epic. There are
many, many more who make the epic very rich.

The canvas of the story is very large. The
different episodes of the book - the Bhishma-
Pratigya episode, the Eklavya episode, the winning
of Draupadi, the Lakshagih episode, the great
gamble and the insult of Draupudi in the Court
and Lord Krihna's coming to Draupudi's rescue,
the exile of the Pandavas, their remaining tn hiding
for one year disguised as different persons, the
eighteen-day famous war of Kurukshetra, the
38

New PatternEssays

famous sermon of Lord Krishna called the 'Gita',
the ultimate victory of the Pandavas over the
Kauravas - all are so fascinating that one goes
to the Mahabharata again and again.

We learn of the social conditions of India's
past from the Mahabharata. The ways of the
Aryans, their state of development, their ways of
life, thinking and ideals are seen in the book. We
see how evils like polygamy, polyandry, gambling,
feeling against the non-Aryans and mad ambition
etc. existed in the. society. We also see examples
-of nobility in peace as well as in war. The
Mahabharata takes. us to those wonderful days of /

our past when life was full of adventure and
grandeur. Our rich past is brought out in this
great epic. I love to read it again and again.

***
The Ever-Widening Horizon of IT
. Information Technology has come a long way in short period of
t~me. Al~ng the way it has pushed Asia into the limelight time and again.
Information Technology or IT has come to mean a lot more. In the South

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~ast Asian Region, the impact of IT development is more pronounced in

c10untries like Singapore, Malaysia and. Thailand. IT has helped to shape
these societies economically; socially and culturally .. '

I . The Singapore.society as it whole, with real support from the
Government is onto the Internet bandwagon. The government is providing
9-services tothe population, considerably shortening. time to get things
90ne and improving overall efficiency in governing. Filing of tax return

. . has never been so easy with people being encouraged to. file tax over the
Internet and over the. phone. In a grand scale example of knowledge .

     I                        .                    .                                 .


sraring using IT. Moving through immigration is almost a walk, with

. 4lectronically tagged IT cards, showing resident status. No passport
s~amped, no forms filled. All the required data comes via the network
9nto the immigration officers' computer.


I Some schools and teachers use online discussion forums created for
tpat particular class or subject: Even. quiet students seem to get to use
these forums to debate a lot, as opposed to them being quiet in class.
These forums upload multimedia and other contents so that with just a
~C with Internet access, data and information can be' shared and be

  a'vailable to all the students.         .'                                ..
I Mic~osoft windows-based operati.n~ s~ste~s are currently the most
rropu.· lar m the market but the cOnipetltl0n IS stiff, In the handled range,
~lan O.S is being used in by the Palm and Sony range of PDAs. The
.competition is from Compaq and HP handhelds, which use Microsoft
~ocket PC. In the PC market, UNIX based operating systems are garner-

ing a lot of support; on large' servers, Sun'sSolaris is a popular choice,

11ven the MACOS X from Macintosh has a UNIX shell.

The software development scene is no longer seen as a one-stop
solution and a quick way to large profits. It is now considered to be an
~xpenditure that should be watched carefully. The scales have lifted,

11 eople have started realizing the true role of IT in business. Without
i iformation technology solutions, business would be left behind.

In this part of the globe, 'the keen competition between the software
giants Microsoft and Sun: influence the whole environment. Now with
te launch of the NET Programming platform, Microsoft has gained a
valuable foothold into key areas. Hence the battle is all but over. Software
developmen~ efforts have shifted to biotechnology i.n a large way. The
l~rge number crunching capabilities required to bring about success in
Juch projects have paved the way for development of a new era in

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cooperation with computing called grid computing.

Having a private interconnect with large bandwidth, so that all data
could be transferred fast enough for the processors no to lose time wait-
ing for some thing to do, among different parts of the grid. Having grid
engines that allow CPU times on different machines and operating
system configuration to be used. With cost of super computers so low
and reducing, this whole concept could bea thing of the past before it
really gets started.

Hand phones have become smaller but with a lot more features.

Currently hand phones canbe used to make purchases at automatic vending
machines. In places like Korea where 60 % of the population own a hand
phone, they are used in variety of ways from, being used as trains pass to
paying restaurant bills. Short Messaging System (SMS) is one off-shoot
of the mobile phones technology that is very widely used.

_ Though video conferencing began with the promise of bringing .
together people in different continents, they are seldom seen being more

. used than normal telephone conversations. Technology keeps opening up
new.markets and mostly it is just the limit of their imagination that stops
people from finding a new niche. This is still the truth in IT industry.
Using Digital Cameras and low cost printers, the first popular contrap-
tion to hit the market was a photo booth where a person or a small group
went in, inserted a coin and came out with photo stickers of themselves

    in funny or romantic settings.                                              .

The IT industry is moving into so many lateral fields at the same
time, that it will be difficult to say what is next going to make a huge
impact on humancultureor convenience. Some time back in US, the
army was spending a lot on fatigues that would diagnose a wounded
soldier using sensors placed in the fabric. Now the talk is to get these
sensors in to fabrics of ailing or old people so that if vital signs deterio-
rate beyond a certain level, the clothes they wear could call a doctor!
And that is just the beginning. Imagine, phones or PDAs sewn into shirts,
you will not be caught without your phone ever again. And what if these
devices could be powered by the temperature difference between your
body 'and the outside. This technology calledthermogenerator, is already
here and is being improved. Running low on power? Eat more food!

TheHeads of State/Government of the' countries recently met in
Kuala. Lumpur on the .l Sth of December 1997 to bring out the "ASIAN
VISION-2020;'. The-future role of the information technology in the
South-East Asian region is best described by them "We resolve, inter'alia

to undertake to accelerate the development   of
                                              science and technology
including information technology by establishing a regional information

. technology network and centres of excellence for dissemination of and
. easy access to data and. information".
7

4~ Software Sector Contlnuesito Boom
The positive statistics logged by the Indian software and services
sector during 2003-04 have given considerable cause for cheer. Despite
the significant challenges of a difficult global economic situation, static
IT budgets and a "blacklash" against off-shoring, India's software and
services industry has emerged unscathed, and delivered better-than- .
expected results; The Indian domestic software market has moved be-
yond single digit growth to enter the double digit phase over the past two
years. The domestic market, which has traditionally lagged behind the
exports. segment, has shown promising growth in the recent years,
emphasizing need for the software industry to re-look at this marketand
the potential business opportunities it offers.

. In little over a decade, the Indian software industry has astounded its
skeptics.and emerged as an important face on the global software scene.
To be truly beneficial, we need to use the capability of the Indian IT
industry as a lever to solve the more fundamental problems. Though
there is no dearth of the fascinating stories about IT-enabled changes; we
need to aggressively pursue IT applications in manufacturing agriculture-
based industries, and to build. a robust industrial economy that is made
more efficient through IT. Likewise, e-governance is a major and impor-
tant area for IT applications.

At the broader level,' the Indian software and service industry has
emerged as a key growth driver for the Indian economy, creating multi-
plier effects through employment generation, reducing trade deficit and
boosting forex reserves. While the government has taken significant steps
in removing regulatory hurdles and in facilitating development of the
telecom infrastructure, going forward it now needs to playa vital role in

accelerating growth in the industry.                .

The software sector can continue on its robust growth path, provided
it can successfully stave off some of the human resource challenges it
will face as it moves forward. The IT industry will have to address both
internal and, external challenges. The availability and quality of man-
power is going to be crucial element for ongoing growth and success of
this industry.

The government has a vital role in ensuring availability of world
class' software professionals in the country by taking initiatives to step up
IT education and addressing issues related to the up-gradation of faculty
and infrastructure, Looking ahead, it is also necessary to begin at the
primary school level in terms of numbers, 'quality and appropriate curricular.

On the whole, the industry has performed exceedingly well despite
challenges such as squeeze on margins, decline in IT spends in US and
Europe, and appreciation of the rupee. Strong fundamentals. and the core
8

_~alue propositions of the India software and services industry ensure its
ongoing, international competitiveness and with increasing signs of
economics recovery, the industry is in a strong positionto take onthe
global software opportunity and establish India as destination .

. Increased focus on outsourcing of IT and other services has brought
the issue of data security to the fore. Indian companies have raised their
quality standards in recent years to become the international benchmark
for quality. This is due to the fact that the pricing gap between the
various tiers of players has narrowed significantly, suggesting better pric-

 . ing discipline and greater competition' in industry worldwide..             .,

Another important trend witnessed last year was the expansion of
ITES- BPOsector beyond metros to cities like Vizag, Pune, Jaipur, Kochi,
Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, etc. '

Following a somewhat a lean year in 2001-02, the software services
segment witnessed substantial acceleration, with growth rates jumping
from: 15 per cent in 2002-03 to ~5 per centan 2003-04. The growth in the .
software services included trends like an' increase in addressable
markets. New segments like package software installation,' system integra-
tion and consulting opened up.

Weare .beginning to see the emergence of another segment with
strong growth companies, Multi National Companies are doing an
increasing amount of their software development and design work at
their'captive centres in'fiidia. Microsoft, Oracle; Intel, TI, HP and whole
host CJt:; other IT companies are doing such work at their design and
development centres in India. In addition, a number of non-IT Multi
National Com ~have set up centres in India for their software work,

A huge§oim ,"- dity beckons. us in the area of R & D. We have the.
chance to li;~9m£"not just a service or manufacturing hub, but a true
~ thought-leader, Government, industry and academia need to work closely,
together on this so that India becomes the "laboratory of the world".

Software product companies need to continuously upgrade their

. products in order to remain competitive. Companies such as Microsoft,
Oracle and Adobe have setup captive back-end deveiopment centres in,
India. Additionally, outsourcing of certain development functions, such
as testing and maintenance, are also finding favour. As the Indian IT
industry mature, it is climbing up the value' chain in terms' of service
offerings. Clients in US and Europe are beginning to outsource high-end
functions of product development such as requirement specification and
designing to Indian companies. These functions require highly special-

    ized skills sets and domain knowledge of industry verticals.                    .

The Indian software product industry, still in infancy, is primarily
dominated by a few companies. These companies have developed products
for niche markets and have succeeded in selling them to those markets.
9

5. Computers-21st Century
The 21st century is witnessing a technological integration in the
world of computers, communication and electronic gadgets in which
information processing and transfer are done at incredible speeds with
the potential of controlling them from remote desktops. Computers of
yesteryears were analogue and present day are digital machines. Those
converting numbers into 'physical quantities, which can vary continu-
ously within a range were called analog computers, while those using
numbers, which are discrete values, are called digital computers. puter
are called personal computer.

Today computers can be classified as mainframe computers, mini-
computers and micro-computers, Mainframe computers are expensive,
large,centralised computer facilities where a super computer or large   a
computer is connected to several terminals: A multi-user mainframe computer
has a large memory and is capable of speeds. of the order of several
billions of floating-point operations per second. Mini-computers are also
multi-user computers comparatively operating at slower speeds and lesser
memory. Micro-computers are based Oil standard micro-processor marketed
by Intel, Mortola, etc. A micro-processor in a single silicon electronic
chip which contains the ALU and the control unit. Micro-computers are
often called Personal Computersor pes since they were originally
intended to be single user devices either at the office or at home.

The micro-computer industry was revolutionised by the entry of IBM,

            which started marketing PCsin 1980.                         .    .

'T>;:



CPU The System Unit contains the heart of the micro-computer-a

micro-processor, the Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), floppy
disk drives (s)and Zip drive for auxiliary storage, CD ROM drivel
writers for multimedia, a built in speaker and some expansion slots for
system enlargement. Additional dynamic memory boards, chips and
modules can be used to enhance the memory of micro-computer. The
ROM stores permanently programmes esseritial for the operation of the
micro-computer. Multimedia cards with external speakers and a

. MODEM can be added to the system unit to enhance its capabilities such
as for internet access, etc.

A motherboard is designed from chip set up to support a specific .
type of processor and its performance and set of features depends on the
chipset. What makes this component so important is the fact that all the
other components. such as, video card, sound card, hard' drives, CD

-t .    '   ROM drives, and even peripherals like printer, modem, etc., plug into

.. 'and communicate with each other via the.motherboard, The motherboard
act'S as the central part of the 'computer.

Peoplein the computer industry commonly use the term "memory".
10

I refer to Random Access Memory (RAM). A computer uses Ram to
old temporary instructions and data needed to complete the tasks. This
hables the computer's Central Processing Unit, to access instructions
id data stored in memory very quickly. A good example of this is when
e CPU loads an application programme-such as a word processing or
ige- layout programme into memory, It allows the application programme

launch and work faster and efficiently as possible. The term 'memory'
ers to the amount of RAM installed in the computer, whereas the term
torage' refers to the capacity of the computer's hard disk. A bus is a
Ita path in a computer, consisting of various parallel wires to which the
PU, memory, and all input/output devices are connected.

When CPU needs information from memory, it sends out a request
at is managed by the memory controller. The memory controller sends
e request to memory and reports to the CPU when the information will
: available for it to. read. This entire cycle-from CPU· to memory
ntroller.to memory and back to the CPU""':can vary in length accord-
g to memory speed as well as other factors, such as bus speed. Memory

beed is sometimes measured in Megahertz.               .

\. Cache memory is a relatively small amount of high speed memory

at resides very close to the CPU. Cache memory is designed to supply

te CPU   with the most frequently requested data and instructions.
ecause retrieving data from cache takes a fraction of the time that it -
lkes to access it from main memory, having a 'cachememory can save a

t oftime. If the information is not in cache, it still has to be retrieved
'om the Jhain memory, but checking the cache memory takes so little
me, it's worth it. Today, most cache memory is incorporated into the
rocessor chip itself; however, other configuration are possible. In some

ses, a system may have cache located inside the processor, just outside
e processor on the motherboard, and/or it may have a memory cache
cket nearthe CPU, which can contain a cache memory module.

The Operating System of a computer is a group of programmes that
anages or oversees all the operations of the computer, such as CPU,
emory, Keyboard, Floppy Drive, CD Drive, VDU etc. In other words,
erating system typically manages the, Multi-tasking, input and output,
es, Memory, Networks, Security, arid system administration. The
crating system is responsible primarily for managing the files on the'
k and the communication between 'the computer and its peripherals'.
nen power is switched on to the microcomputer, the operating Syst~b1
first loaded and this process is called booting. All operating systems
te in-built commands and small programmes residing on disk, which
en run, behave like commands.

A floppy diskette is a round vinyl magnetic disc enclosed within a .
stic cov\!r. The 3 112" high density diskettes are universal and have .

replaced the 5 114" diskettes.' Depending upon the Operating Systei
under which the microcomputer functions and the nature of FDD, irifoi
marion can be stored' on high density floppy diskette." Magneto Optic;
Disks, CD-ROMs, CD Rewritables, DVDs are the latest storage medium:

Digital Audio Tapes are widely used for archiving purposes.


6. Wireless Ways to the Future
If the personal computer and Internet were the two big technolog
waves of the 1980s and 1990s, Wireless seems to be the next big thing

. the global enablement for the rest of us. Consider these developments
all of which happened within the last 12 months or so. You no-Iong
need to queue up at your neighbourhood cyber cafe to access the Interne
If you have a laptop computer of your own, you can stand outside-ar
go online. In cities like Bangalore and Chennai, Sefi, the Internet arm c
Sat yam, has created hundreds of wireless 'hotspots' around its I-We

 cyber cafes.        .

Theycall it the Phone-Web 'sangam': Today you don't need to carr
two separate devices for your computing and communication needs. Ne
generation mobile phones exploit a. technology called-General Packr
Radio Services (GPRS)-to access the Internet atbroadband speeds, man
times faster than the dial up telephone connections we are used to. We
sites like Yahoo, MSN, Google and India's own Rediff, have create
special 'Iitetversions of their content so that they can be viewed comfon
ably on the small credit card-sized screen of atypical cellularphone.

Untethering mass consumer computing devices from messy wires
and power supply cables-and helping users to wirelessly access th
Internet is already being hailed as the first and so far, most exciting
technology leap to, come in the early years of the new, millennium.

"Today, many people could not imagine daily life without the use f
increasingly sophisticated information and communication technologn
(K'Ts), from television and radio to the mobile telephone and the Interne
Yet for millions of people in the world's poorest countries, there remai
a "digital divide" excluding them from the benefits of K'T", said U
Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his World Telecom Day-2004 messag
Indeed, when the World Summit on the Information Society re-conven
in 2005 in Tunisia, this will be on of the challenges that the develop!
nations will address. Many have already seen in the galloping growth
wireless technology, possibly their best bet to bridge that gap, swiftly, cc
effectively.

The efforts of the people of Malappuram district in Kerala
empower themselves by creating over 600 •• Akshaya" Internet e-kendr
and harnessing these resources to ensure that at leastone member
12.

ery family is e-1iterate-all with their own panchayat funding, has be-
rme a role model for similar initiatives worldwide. Equally pioneering

s been the way these resource centres were networked, drawing on the
(pertise of an Indian company, Thlip IT Services to harness an as-yet
Illscent t~chnology called Wireless Internet Protocol in Local Loop
IVipLL) to bridge the formidable logistic challenges off this hilly district

lith Wireless networking technology.            ,

A similar zeal pervades the efforts behind the "Digital Gangetic Plain"
.u ttar Pradesh, using the expertise of the Indian Institute of Technology
IUjmr and Mumbai-based Media Lab Asia to create a 300 km long
reless corridor between Allahabad, Lucknow to Kanpur, andleapfrog- •
g in 30tkms hops to bridge the distance .. Today, many villages in the

~a are regularly serviced by an " Infothela" -an Internet cafe on a hand
rt which provides Net accesss as well as well as cheap telephone calls
r an hour or two every week.

Another wireless technology which Indian Information Technology

          I                               '.'



ovides are fast exploiting is what is known as RFID~Rad.jo Frequency

entification. Currently being used to track goods rather than people,
e technollogy is similar but vastly superior to the old bar code methods
, tagging books or items on store shelves. Tiny grain sized radio trans-
iitters embedded in the RFID tag' can be monitored from dozens of
:eters . and provides significant efficiencies in managing huge invento-
es, facilitating fast store check-outs and providing personalized service

regular customers. Wipro, one of dozens of Indian companiesprovid-
ig RFID ~ervices, unveiled the technology in a real shopping situation
\ a clothing store at the International Tech Park in Bangalore, soon you
ay find ~FID offering in Shopper "loyalty cards", "frequent flyer"
rds and other customer identity schemes, wirelessly providing that
~ra edge of service.

I Meanwhile in the developed world, you may find your wireless way
the Web, 'via your shirt sleeve or shoe heel. No jokes! The German

Infineon, has already launched the world's first smart jacket, a
i)W anorak, with an MP3 music player arid a wireless communication
ched into the lining so that you can leave your hands free to guide
Ilr downhill skiing even as you listen to your favourite music or make
lhone call, And well-known sports suppliers Adidas, has launched a
~rt shoe ~ith a microchip embedded in the heel, to sense the hardness
he 'road ~urface and adjust the cushioning.


j One thing is certain; the cry oftoday'stechnology ieaders that they
I "Unwire the world" is not some idle boast. It is happening, not just
~ng the young and restless, the bold and beautiful, but in ways that

soon be meaningful to the millions for whom 'roti, kapda and makaan'
asic, more pressing challenge.
·7. Computer Virus
Computer virus is a programme that spreads across computers t
attaching a copy of itself to the files on your computer; When you run t1
infected file the virus gets into action. A virus is usually harmful and cs
corrupt data, overwrite files, or use up system resources, and slows
down in the process. Some may be merely disturbing like asking you
key in certain messages to continue or popping up messages on the scree

.. Viruses are usually written by programmers to cause trouble. The
are many types of computer viruses-(a) viruses which attack certa
area or location, and (b) viruses which attack in a particular manne
The major types identified depending on the area they infect are: Bo
sector viruses infect the boot sector of disks. There's more dangero
virus type which you have to watch out for the Partition Sector virus.
stays in an area called the Master Boot Record (MBR) . which stores tl
information about the partition on your hard drive.

File viruses by far the most infectious kind. File viruses attach
copy of themselves onto the beginning of an executable file. When yc
run the infected file, the virus code gets executed. The more intellige:
viruses then execute the actual file=-so everything appears normal. B
the virus is now in your PC's memory. When another "clean" executab
file is run, the virus attaches itself to that file. It soon infects most of tl
programs on your hard disk. And this increases the chances of your da:
getting corrupted. Multipartite viruses are particularly nasty. They ca
. infect both the boot sector as well as files. So they spread much mot

quickly than other viruses. Fortunately, their occurrence is rare.

A fast infecting virus infects files whenever. they are accessed. S
whenever you read a file, or write or modify it, or just do a directoi
listing, the file gets infected. This makes them easier to detect but thl
can be dangerous too. On most anti-virus products, scanning is usual
divided into Manual and Automatic mode. The Manual mode lets y'
scan the whole system or a particular area, . location, file, etc. The Aut
matic mode relieves you from the need to go through the operation yoi
self-i-youcan schedule scans to run on their own, depending on the VI
you use the computer.

With new viruses being discovered everyday, your protection net
to keep pace with them. All programme developers offer frequent 1
dates fromvarious sources such as their Bulletin Board Service, fk
pies, etc., but Web based updates are most popular. To nail the bugs
your PC, use a good anti-virus software or a virus scanner. A good at
virus software should have two main applications. One is memory n
dent-this lies low in the background and checks all the applications:
run for any signs of virus or virus-like activity. This will alert you if.
14

viru1s tries to infect the system. The other application is a full-scale scan-
ning programme that scans all your floppy disks and hard disks for '
viruses. Your anti-virus programme should also be able to find macro
viruses, hostile Java and ActiveX applets.

If you think there could be a virus on your computer reboot it with a
clean boot disk or anti-virus "rescue disk" in the floppy drive. This
ensures that no boot sector virus will load itself into the PC's memory.
Run your anti-virus software from the CD/floppy drive to find the
infected files and fix them.

If your anti-virus programme detects a virus, it will try to.disinfect
the infected files first. If it fails, it may alternatively place it under
quarantine/vault or re-name the infected file so that it cannot be run

. again. As a last resort, the programme will attempt to delete an infected
file that cannot be cleaned up: The process, depending upon the anti-
virus programme and its settings, will either do it automatically or will
ask you before proceeding. With viruses that infect the master boot record,
it's necessary to "clean" boot from the rescue disks and then run the
anti-virus software on the disk.

Installing an anti-virus programme when your system is already
infected could be a dicey affair-the anti-virus programme itself could
- get infected. Here's how to go about it: Shut down the machine and
. switch the power off. You will need a clean' bootable disk. If you don't
have one, borrow one; but don't try proceedings without this. Some of
the anti-virus programmes are supplied on bootable CDs. If you have an
original CD, you can use this instead of bootable floppy. Start your sys-
tem with the floppy or CD in place. Immediately on start-up, get into the
BIOS setup. As the system starts; a message will be displayed on the
screen telling you which key to press to go to BIOS setup. This is usually
the Del key but may differ on your system. Find the option that says
"Boot sequence" and make sure that system is set to boot from the floppy
disk or CD as appropriate. Save the settings and exit from BIOS. The
computer will proceed to boot but don't expect Windows to start-most
. often you 'II be left at the DOS prompt. Now try to install the anti-virus software.

It is easy to be cautious and protective soon after a virus attack.

Make virus checking a regular task and a way of life. Make sure you have
an updated virus-protection programme installed and that its memory
portion is always running. Never use disks from someone else on your
system without first scanning it for viruses. Do not open any file attached
toan 6-mail unless you know what it is .. Do not open any files attached to
an e-mail if the subject line is questionable or unexpected. Exercise caution
while unloading files from the Internet. Ensure that the source is a legiti-

. mate ~nd reputable one, Back up your files on a regular basis. When in
doubt, do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments.
15


8. Internet
Though our society has not quite resulted to living in space, we have
made life easier with technology. Economic survival has become more
dependent upon information and communications bringing forth new
technology of which was never thought possible. The most incredible
invention, the Internet, is bringing infinite amount of information to your
desktop. In the world of the Internet there exists a world blind to skin
colour and other physical appearances. While seemingly high tech the
Internet concept is rather simple. Computers speak to one another and

. send information. This is accomplished by sending and receiving
electronic impulse, and then decoding them into a message. In order to .
communicate with one another they are linked up in a network.

The race for discovery of such technology raged between the Soviet
Union and The United States of America. Both countries wanted control
of the possibly powerful tool. Then in 1968, The National Physical
Laboratory in Great Britain set up the first test network, which prompted
the Pentagon's ARPA.to fund ~ larger project in the USA. However the
race was not limited to just nations but also companies. By the end of
1969 four host computers were connected together into the initial
ARPANET and the Internet was off the ground. In 1977, electronic mail
was introduced. As the Internet quickly grew, changes were necessary.

In the 1980's, the Internet grew beyond its primarily research roots
to include a broad user community and increased commercial activity. In
present day, it has become a tool for conducting research and finding
information, as well as communications with others. Electronic mail,
amazingly popular, with chat rooms' and discussion groups makes the
Internet a popular place for meeting new people.

In 1992, the Internet had a growth of twenty per cent every month.

A developer of the Internet said, "If the Internet stumbles, it will not be
because we lack for technology, vision; or motivation. It will be because
we cannot set a direction and march collectively into the future". Clearly
the Internet has brought mariy conveniences. Businesses and students
benefit from the technology as well as those who use the Internet for
personal uses. Over 50 million people used the Internet in 1995 and by
the year 2000 the number was over 150 million.

The Internet opens a wider audience to companies providing
customers valuable information via mailing lists. Space on the Internet is

. inexpensive compared topaper, radio and television advertisements, there-
fore companies reach a broader community with little cost. The Internet
is a fair playing field for large and small companies alike. Computer
networks track inventory and consumer demand resulting in increased
profits. Remote video conferencing and Internet phones allow companies
to conduct live chat sessions with clients around the world. Data-bases
ate available for public or private uses. Companies can transfer files,
'blllletinsor e-mail via the Internet:

Students as well as commerce is benefiting from the Internet.

Students need more information than is offered by school libraries. The

     I           ."..                                       ,"

Internet gives students access to resources from around the world. They

are also more willirigtc sit and browse the Internet then to USe the

     1                  '                               ,        ,



library. Information can be found, selected and retrieved faster on the

ldternet. TheInternetalso serves as a preparation tool for the future. The
Jorld is moving towards electronics: in today's market being competitive
"leans knowing how to get information, and more and more, it is travel-
ling by wires. The Internet allows children to get hands on experience,
a6d helps them develop intellectual skills and problem solving,


l   The Internet is a popular place to socialize. Exchanging information
with those far away take only seconds using the Internet. While postal
mail can take days,electronic mail, or e-mail, takes seconds. Many
c~mpanies offer e-mail services for free to those with access to computer
, with a modem. 'Unlike phone system and postal system there are no

1



charges for long distance service or communication with foreign

ceuntries. E-mail and instant messages can be used to send images and
software, Internet technology has gone as far as to allow people to make
nbw friends without any physical contact. One way to meet new people is
td join an Internet discussion group. In such a group people with a
common interest ask and. receive advice and exchange information. An-
other opportunity to meet new people is in Internet chat rooms. In such
rooms one can speak freely to anyone as if they were at a party. America
Online users refer to relations charter through the server as "AOL luv"
Those in discussion groups and chat rooms are not limited to just one, ,

    country but. open to people all around the world.                    ,

The Internet isa world-wide tool filled with many cultures, and
different people. In this world, race is not a factor since there is no'
. physical contact. , Everyone is equal and has the freedom to express one-
sdlf. ' It is an institution that resists institutionalization. It belongs to
everyone and yet no one. '


I With over 50 million users the Internet is rapidly growing and is to
the new millenium what the personal' computer was to the 70's. New
u~age's are springing up everyday, making it impossible to predict the
future of the Internet. One thing certain is that the Internet has
r~volutionized the' computer and communications. "The Internet is. a
world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for collaboration and
interaction between individuals without regard to geographic location."
17


9. Business Process Outsourcing
Last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed an unprecedented

ega phenomenon caned Information Technology. Information about any
levent taking place anywhere in the world, at any time must be available to
any person anywhere in the world at any time-cis the dictum of IT. For
this purpose" the enormous of data being created has' to be properly
logged-and stored in appropriate data warehouses.

The retrieval of this data is so complex that it is often terined as data
mining. This data has to be processed using huge and innumerable
computers ,located at different places such that data is converted into
information. Management of this information and knowledge created out
of this' and making it available to the citizen either on phone or on his' PC,
requires hard toil by a large number of skilled persons. In other words;
basically, 'even if the ocean of information is available, any individual at

, a given time requires only a small drop of this ocean, which is appropri-
ate for that specific event. It enabled services provide navigational tools
for the user to float over the information ocean and reach his/her
destination, where the required drop of information is located. No wonder
that the services of millions of such knowledge workers with appropriate
skill is required for providing the services all over the world. Since thisis
a global phenomenon, there is rio day or, night, nor is there any
geographical distance limitation for this' service. Hence it is called 24
hours and 7 days service. It' has to be very efficient, Quality of Service
(QoS) has to be very high and at the same time they must cost less so that
they are affordable. These processes must lead to higher productivity
gains and sound business practices. Business al] over the world, there-
fore, scout for availability of highly qualified, skilled pool of human
resources, which should also cost less. Certain business processes, which
can be well defined, can be contracted out to outside support providers.
This implies that the human resources required for undertaking the jobs
are obtained from otherorganisations outside the parent company, which
has these processes as part of their business. The business processing
outsourcing (BPO) can, therefore, be defined as long term contracting
out of noncore business process to an outside provider to help achieve
increased value of shareholdings.

Another major activity in BPO sector is the so-called call centres or'
voice centres. Enormous amount of data is being generated through 24X7
hours, per week. For example, flight arrivals and departures at all the
airports in the world, hotel booking, airlines/railway reservations, bank
transactions etc. Information. about these as well a~ e-commerce transac-
tions, e-currency, telemarketing, etc. has tobe made available to those all
over the world, who need to know.
18

Another BPO, deals' with the so-called back office activities, which

, exist in all the organisations. For example" reservation data maintenance
and updating in five star hotels, transaction processing in insurance com-
panies, data generation and upgrading in airlines operations, etc. are the
back office activities. In addition to these routine services, the current
trend is to outsource product development services, R&D services,
marketing research as well as analytical services. The latest to enter the
arena is the KPO~the knowledge process outsourcing. The educational
services are also being outsourced.

India has been doing extremely well in IT software, ITES and BPO
areas. In the 1990's it was the software export, which was ,growing at the '
rate of 50 to 55 %. By the year zoo 1, the software export started dipping ,
down. However the iTES and BPO took over the dominance. India occu-
pies the numero uno position in outsourcing market, representing 55 %
of opportunity of outsourcing destinations. Other players are China,
Ireland, Russia, Philippines, Korea and Vietnam. A Silicon Valley
outsourcing consultancy firm neolT states that India's present position in ,
BPO market-is because of being a low cost destination with abundance of
quality skills. Another reason is the inability of the close rivals to catch
up particularly in the realm of higher technical capability and English
language skills. India is next closely followed by China. Philippines is
on the top. With such a situation it is predicted that India's position at
numero uno will be in jeopardy after 2005.

The biggest impact of BPO in India is that it provides job opportuni-
ties on a very large scale. One typical representative example is that
HCL BPO started operation with 30 person in the year 2000, grew upto '
5,000 in 2005 and is expecting to become 40,000 company by the year
2009. This is because BPO companies have more work than they can
accomplish due to shortage of human resources. As a consequence job
jumping has gone up and every BPO agency has high attrition rate. Wages
are rising and if this trend continues,' India will soon lose its position in

 the market, probably to China:                                              '

BPO is a boon to countries like India in terms of employment
gerieration andforeign exchange earnings. However from technology and
'intellectual level point of view there are minimum challenges in this

              ,           '.'                        (



area. Most of the jobs offered are in categories of data entry assistants,

file clerks, payroll managers, electronic media stenographers, and tele-
phone answering personnel. In order to generate long term sustenance
and development growth, India must get involved in higher level of tech-
nology R&D fields and, innovative product development. Otherwise we
will end up in only providing the pedestrian level workers to the world,
while India is certainly capable of providing the actual knowledge work-
ers and managers at higher level of intellectual starta.
19
21


r 11.   Information Technology Scan .
Ifdio Frequency Identification (RFIO) is an automatic' identifica-
tion method relying on storing and remotely retrieving data with the help

        I                                     .                                      -


?f R~IO ,tags or transporders;. RFIO tag is a sm~ll object that is attached

into ~ product or as human Implants or' on ammals. An RFIO system
consists of a tag which is made up of a microchip with an antenna and a
re~der w~th an ~nte~a. The re~der sends out. electromagnetic waves.
The tag antenna IS turned to receive these waves. There are two types of
tags: lactIve and passive. Active tags require a power source whereas a
passive tag draws power from the field created by the reader and uses it
to por,er the microchip's circuit. The chip then' processes the signal into

digital data.         '                                                          ,

        I                        '



~FID system ~ses different. frequencies: but generall~, the mo~t

common are low, high and ultra-high frequencies or UHF. MIcrowave IS
also ~sed in, some applications. Because radio waves behave differently
at di~fer~nt frequency, oile, has to PiC.k the right frequency for the right

applipatIOn.                              '

. Brodcasting is a way of delivering audio over the Internet. It is
similkr to Internet Radio. The difference is that one can subscribe to a
prodcast, have it downloaded and listen to whenever one would like. The
adva~tage being allowing users to take audio programming away from
the teb and listen to it privately on portable music players.

Yahoo launched a Web audio, search service that will help users not ,
only to find files, hear music but also buy everything from music down-
load+, interviews, prodcast,s and ot~er Web audio contents. In September
OS, It already had 50,000',000 audio files. .'

, ¥.tcroSO!t is conducting the 2006 Imagine Cup a world-wide contest
In India. It IS a yearly contest held to help students across the world


showbase their software development skills. It aims to empower students,

,

'Key Infinity, aMoscow-based company has brought out Optimus, a
Win' ows and Mac, multi-language design keyboard, for those who are
bore~ with the present one. It is USB enabled with a 17x 17 pixel LCO to
Showrthe ch.arac. ter according to the language a.lreadY ,set in the operating
syste , Art Lebedev Studio designers are confident that Optimus can
easil] change from one language to another besides using symbols,
pun ations, musical notations, glyphs, html codes, and mathematical
sign~, without any hassles.

,. .b..pple newly introduced a multi-button innovative mouse. Apple's
next Igeneration mouse's innovative new features, include a Scroll Ball
that lets usersscroll in any direction=vertically, horizontally and even
· 22

diagonally. Mighty Mouse is the first multi-button mouse that retains the
siinplicity ofa single-button mouse, featuring a seamless enclosure with
programmable' touch sensors that act as primary or secondary buttons.

The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to
develop a $100 laptop. This technology can revolutionise how we educate
the world's children according to Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman
and co-founder; He announced the project of One Laptop Per Child at
tlj6 World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, in January 2005.

The total number of telephones (cellular + fixed land + WILL) in
India crossed the 110 million mark in December 2005. 'India has become
the 5th largest in the world in terins of the number of telephones after
C~ina, USA, Japan and Germany. India's teledensity is9 .13 % compared'
to China's 55% and more than 100% in case of USA, Japan and
Germany.

MP3 is a standard technology and format for compressing a sound
sequence into a very small file while preserving the original level of
sqund quality when it is played. MP3 files are available on CDs and·
websites.

India's Woodcrest, Conroe arid Merom are three chips codenamed
to carter the. three arenas-servers, desktops and mobile platforms. The
d~al core combined with 64 bit computing is transforming both professionals
and lay users alike. It offers significant performance gains while using
rhe same power and cooling. fan as in single processors. It promise a big
leap forward towards multi-tasking, 16-way parallel processing and
backward processing like running anti virus or complex computation of
housekeeping job while actively addressing customer's core operation.
To utilise a dual core processor, the operating system must be able to
recognise multi-threading and the software must have simultaneous multi
threading technology written into its code.

Sun Microsystems, in 2005 announced the DreaM-open media
commons initiative aimed at creating' an open source, royalty free digital
right standards to protect copyrighted digital content. DRM has spurned
few plans to protect content ranging from standards. for mobile phones,
digital music players, CDs, DVDs and other media available from'
Inter'Irust, Microsoft, Apple Computers, Sony and others. Different
standards had only multiplied the confusion. Therefore, the call is for
cross-industry collaboration in developing what is called an Open and
Business-friendly approach to the free-creation, duplication and
distribution of digital content.

Having sold 28 million iPod ever since its launch in 2001, Apple
Computers has come out with a revolutionary idea-il'od Video. This new
player can play video music. and television program~e. iPodvideo 30
GB version stores 75 hours of video.

				
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