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 ,. 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 ~w Pattern Essays 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 I " ·26 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 I I I I I I 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 I . .' . ~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 1 . . . . 6 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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