Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Reality

India Shining...Large no. of engineers earning a lot (Def. of Success acc. to them)....But reality is India is still a very poor country ( Large part of it's population still lives below poverty line)....IT revolution for the country is good....no doubt about it...But how will it help a person in a village living without proper electricity, water, health,sanitation and education...Where has the vision and planning gone....   

Indian
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Start by getting rid of the caste system and the bureacracy that gets in the way of Indian entrepreneurs.

Full name
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Trickle-down economics, my friend.
I have cousins working for Frito Lay and GE in the Delhi area (gurgaon). They are doing very welll. They both complain that servents have become MUCH more expensive in the last couple of years.
Meanwhile, the Delhi labor market is becoming so expensive that multinationals are considering setting up shop in smaller cities, where it is cheaper.
Development and progress are coming to India's small cities and towns. It will take a few years, but it's an unstoppable trend.

j b
Thursday, January 15, 2004

"...But how will it help a person in a village living without proper electricity, water, health,sanitation and education...Where has the vision and planning gone....    "

What, you expect a country the size of India to go from extreme poverty to international powerhouse in a matter of few years??

First, you're always going to have portions of India that are absolutely dirt poor. America is no different. Go visit parts of Appalachia.

Secondly, India's caste system is a severe detriment to her economic growth. When you have a system that says "These people must always be poor" then you are always going to have a large amount of economic imbalance.

Thirdly, it takes time. The IT explosion in India will change her dramatically, but it will take years and years to see major change across the country.

I Hate Whiners
Thursday, January 15, 2004

India is going to have some fun disruptions going on.  I'm personally looking forward to them, myself.

Castes won't be gone.  Social classes in the UK haven't gone, nor have some of the social class issues of the US gone away.  The problem is that their entire system is currently set up so that classes maintain their current position and nothing is allowed to change.

The upper classes in India, like the upper classes everywhere else, are going to like this the least.  It'll be interesting to see how that works out..... from a distance.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, January 15, 2004

The problem many people have here is that they believe the hype that software development and Call centre outsourcing is going to have a significant effect on the Indian economy.

The truth is that the amounts of money involved are so small (and of course the number of people receiving them so small) that they will have little effect either for good or evil on the Indian economy.

The trickle down effect is exactly that; a trickle. And whilst it does not do any harm, and can do a limited amount of good, the beneficial effects are small compared to those that can result from an ill-considered decision elsewhere.

Ecological disasters caused by ill-though out cotton farming schemes, or the emptying of water tables by the demands of coca-cola bottling plants or the disruption caused by local tile industries digging massive clay pits, can all easlity counterbalance the trickle down effect. And the savings to the government caused by the privatization of water supply can easly be offset by the addtional costs of water born diseases.

There seems in all of South Asia to be an exaggeration of the effects of opening up markets. It is neither the wholesale selling out of the country's land and culture the nationalists make it out to be, nor the wholesale panacea the reformists pretend. If it is accepted as a useful policy that increases efficiency and encourages investment, but will do littlle or nothing to cure the poverty of vast swathes of the population, then much idle debate would be saved.

As for the people who keep harping on about the caste system, perhaps they could detail here their experiences of the intricaties of the Indian caste system, and how who cleans the latrines in a village without water is going to affect industrialization and software development.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I Hate Whiners,

That's a good point.  I think a lot of people believe there is no poverty in the US.  That certainly isn't true.  Drive out into the middle of the NV desert sometime, and tell me those people aren't living in poverty. 

With some social (ie getting over the caste system) and economic reform there is no doubt India will be a powerhouse. 

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Before India can become wealthier, they also have to implement actual capitalism, founded on the notion of property.  Check out a chapter from this book, "The Birth of Capital".  http://print.google.com/print/doc?isbn=0465016146

A. Capitalist
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I've checked out the chapter; his pretension that people cannot raise capital from their possessions because of lack of a legal framework

--"They have houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation. It is the unavailability of these essential representations that explains why people who have adapted every other Western invention, from the paper clip to the nuclear reactor, have not been able to produce sufficient capital to make their domestic capitalism work. "----

is not true of India. Indeed the problem with India is more like endless litigation over land titles.

To give a personal example, I was pleased to get an email from my attorney in Sri Lanka just two days ago to say that they had finished registering the deed to my land at the land registry. When we did the title search in July we found deeds and surveys going back to 1953, and no doubt before had we been interested. Everybody I know in Sri Lanka either has a deed and title to their land, or doesn't because they are squatters on the land. The third category are peasants who were granted state land on lease; there is the possibility they will be given the "right" to alientate the land under new legislation inspired by World Bank pressure based on ill-advised generalizations like De Sotos, but the matter is held up at present in the Supreme Court and hopefully saner voices will prevail.

Incidentally there are at least a couple of million poor Bangladeshis, Indians and Sri Lankans working in the Gulf, all of whom have managed, despite what DeSoto says, to get loans to pay the bribes to middlemen necessary to secure their jobs, from the property they or their family members own. The interest rates they are paying is another matter.

De Soto's claim that capitalism only exists inside the Bell Jar of the West is disproven by Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and to a lesser extent Malayasia and Thailand. China is coming along apace and the laws there hardly favour the absolute ownership of private property.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 15, 2004

It's all about basics -- if you have to spend the entire day to scrounge up enough food just for dinner (forget lunch), you have no time for anything else like finding a job, starting a business, or attending school.

These countries need to kickstart their people... spend a few years giving away free food and essentials in return for jobs with the government building highways, bridges, power and telephone infrastructure. This worked for the U.S. in the 30's, after all.

Ron
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Private industry is doing an incredible job of empowering ordinary Indians with communications technology.
It used to take 5 years to get a phone line. Now an N billion dollar cell phone infrastructure has been rolled out seemingly overnight and every rickshaw-wallah has a cell phone.
You want to talk about bringing internet techology to remote villages? It's not the government doing it, but the Imperial Tobacco Company (how't that for an evil-sounding name?).
http://www.echoupal.com

j b
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Now compare all that with China, where 137 million people have internet access, which is many more than have a phone in India.

And what is going to happen to the mobile phone networks in India when they have to make money? At present they are running up immense losses so as not to lose market share.

Mobile phones have taken off in a big way in India because the telecommunications network was so awful before. For ciomputer literacy you need land phone lines at the very least, and they are not there.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 15, 2004

re:phone lines
A potential solution to this issue (warning:product placement) is Reliance Infocomm's IndiaPhone.
http://www.rediff.com/money/2003/sep/09betterlife.htm
It's a cell phone for your house that also can be used to provide 115kbps internet access for your computer.

re:losing money to roll out infrastructure
Sounds like the way the railroads were rolled out in the US (or the cable system, for that matter).

j b
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I hate Whiners:
We always try to project as if there  is no problem with India...One should be ready to accept it's weaknesses and problems...and then try to remove it...I know it takes time...But is Govt. working in this direction??...Sorry,I refuse to compare bad of my country with another's...The population getting benifited by IT is extremely small. What about the rest of the population who can't affort one time meal...I know it will take time but atleast steps should be taken in that direction ...which is not.... Government is reducing fees of IIT and IIM to Rs 6000 for a year...now what is this....One should have focussed on primary education at this point of time...This what I wanted to state....no one is against IT industry...but atleast address  other problems....   

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

It is good to be optimistic,But not to an extend when you start expecting results without proper efforts.

Truth is, 433 million Indians, in a country of one billion people, still live in absolute poverty; some 400 million don't know how to read and write; 95 out of every 1,000 children born in this country die before the age of five; and more than a third of India's 200 million school-age children are not in school.

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

Indian:
Do you actually live here (in India)?

This is a big country. And believe me, most people have NO clue as to the number of initiatives going on at any given point in time here. I have worked with various state governments from time to time, and in spite of the politics, the red tape, the corruption, some very good work IS being done. It's not anywhere near enough, but our administrators are not goofing off.

Take primary education. While the HRD Ministry's efforts with the top B-schools is receiving a lot of media attention nowadays, there are several initiatives to promote primary education happenning in the rural areas. I'm sure you would have heard of the mid-day meal scheme, among others.

The immediate beneficiaries of these "booms" (IT, BPO etc.) are the top and middle rungs of society. But it does trickle down eventually to the so-called "needy" people. And it doesn't take years either. Case in point, the number of cell phone purchases in deeply rural areas. Look this one up.

You need to be more active yourself, just to ensure that you can build a more accurate opinion. Try working with both Goverment bodies, and NGOs. They would welcome your help. And you will be able to see for yourself that good things are happenning.

A quick vote of thanks here for our much-maligned politicians and beaureaucrats. In spite of everything bad that happens, a lot of good is happenning too, because these people are doing it. Maybe in between taking bribes, indulging themselves, and playing power politics, but they are doing things for people and the country. More than can be said of most of the educated, empowered general public. (My non-Indian friends might want to consider this thought about their own administrators).

The world shines today. India shines with it. As always, IMO.

For the gentleman who mentioned the caste system, you are generalizing. The caste system is only one form of "us vs. them" syndrome in India. Several such forms exist, in all parts of the world, and will continue to exist until the basic genetic nature of packs and territories is bred out of us.

Raj Chaudhuri
Friday, January 16, 2004

Indian
  I agree with you that yes a lot of people are underprivileged in India .. but does this mean that we do not even celebrate our successes .. like Raj said.. a lot of initiative has been taken by the Govt. and NGO's to get things going at the grassroots level ... India is not a small country like Singapore nor is it a totalitarian country like China where things get done overnight  .... even in China, the benefits of liberalisation are restricted to the urban areas ...  I agree that we have a long way to go ... but once in a while you should also look back in satisfaction at what has been achieved rather than always whining about what has to be done ... as for the "India Shining" campaign .. hey its election year in India and this is the  current goverments campaign slogan ... dude this is democracy at work ... so live with it

Indian Programmer in Indian Company in India
Friday, January 16, 2004

Read this .. a nice perspective on the Indian economy ..
http://www.businessworldindia.com/jan1904/indepth01.asp

Indian Programmer in Indian Company in India
Friday, January 16, 2004

"Trickle-down economics, my friend."

Is that like Dubya was talking abou? Reduce taxes on the rich corporate heads and then they outsource their employees' jobs to some other country? Is that not what he said?


Friday, January 16, 2004

Yes Sir,I am actually living in India.

Yes,Indeed India has done a lot of progress...No doubt about it...But at the same time...
What about the basic things like....
To change Law & Justice System....formed during British Rule... How much time it needs to be changed and upgraded ....Already 50 years have passed...How many more?????

If you kill a person...in a drunken state...by a car accident ....no need to worry you can get a bail with in one day by paying Rs 500 (may be less) ....Does this law doesn't need change.

Bureaucratic system by Britishers...How much time is needed to get rid of it.

Keep police force away from reach/hands of Politicians ....How much time is needed to do it ????

When will the attitude of people change that instead of using power to harm weaker section of the society use it for their welfare and upliftment.

I know everything takes time...But India is taking too much of it...For all this U need political will (Please don't make it a political issue). Yes,India is indeed shining in IT sector...but at the same time I would not justify any wrong just because I am an Indian and many other good things are taking place around. 

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

I am only expressing my opinion and thoughts....Please,I am not targeting any particular party...but a very intelligent creatures "POLITICIANS", who are having the power to change the face of this country if they want...
If all this happens which I stated earlier....
Then believe me I would be the first person to say
" SEE INDIA IS SHINING ,THIS TIME MUCH, MUCH ,MUCH BRIGHTER"
Oh!!! I can't even see it with my naked eyes.....;-0

Better Late than Never!!!!

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

Raj,
      Nobody is denying that good work is being done in India (and the fact that the  road system is being revampled almost for the first time since independence will guarrnantee the PM's place in history even if he doesn't make peace with Pakistan).

    However much of that work is just chipping away, and the dangerous thing is that the people at the top appear to think that measures that have marginal effect on most Indians are the only way to go, and exonerate them from other action. The IT and call centre boom is one example; apart from the fact that many of the Call centre jobs are set to disappear whe customers in the client states get used to working with the internet, and that it is the nature of IT work to make itself redundant, there is the fact that there is only a limited number of higly educated English speakers to go round.

    Just next door in Sri Lanka the government and international organizations have published a blueprint to reduce poverty called "Saving Sri Lanka". The proposed plan is simply a recipe for economic liberalization. Now in most cases this is necessary and will benefit a fair proportion of the economy but with regard to its avowed purpose of poverty reduction it will be a best neutral, or positively harmful, if its more extreme proposals are accepted, such as permitting the alienation of state lands held on lease by peasants (read repossession by large financial institutions collectiing on bad loans) and the substitution of the Samurdai system of food subsidies for the poor with "training" (read more jobs for the boys on the aid budget)

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

Dear Indian,
                    If people like you keep harping on about how all the ills of India go back to the British, then you will be another 500, not 50 years, doing nothing.

                    I am sure that you could bribe the police in the times of the Raj, but the present system where the police force view any criminal investigation as an opportunity to collect payoffs from as many parties as possible has been refined since independence. Equally the bureaucratic hurdles to starting a business owe much more to the socialist/nationalist policies of Nehru and the Congress Party than to any British regulations.

                  The question of liabiilty after car accidents rubs both ways as well. I met a Dutch guy and his girlfriend in Trincomalee who had driven down from North India. In Tamil Nadu they had to swerve off the road and hit a bush, behind which a local was having a shit. The guy was more shocked than damaged, and my acquaintances put him in the car and took him to the nearest clinic, where the doctor said there was nothing wrong with him and that the bill for the clinic was about 50 rupees. The Dutch guy was about to pay the doctor and offer the other guy five hundred rupees as compensation for the fright but a crowd had gather ed round by that time, took the "injured" guy to one side, and explained to him that there was a foreigner, and big money involved, and what he should do was hold out. So off everybody went to the police station where, emboldended by his supporters, the "hapless victim" demanded twenty thousand rupees to drop charges. The Dutch guy refused to pay, so charges were filed to be heard in court at a later date, and when the other guy had gone off with his supporters, the Dutch guy promised the policeman he would come back for the trial, slipped him a thousand rupees and went on his way to Chennai and the plane to Sri Lanka.

            There were no doubt many unsavoury characters under the British Raj, and in the early days downright criminals such as Robert Clive or Warren Hastings, but the present symbiosis between gangsters and politicians, let alone when  they are the same people, is a purely native phenomenum. In California you get to be governor for the number of people you've killed on film, not in real life.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

---"Now an N billion dollar cell phone infrastructure has been rolled out seemingly overnight and every rickshaw-wallah has a cell phone. "-----

This link gives the claimed cellphone coverage for all networks in India. As you can see it is less than 105 of the total land surface.

http://www.cellular-news.com/coverage/india.shtml

It would be a great day for the rickshaw wallah when had a rickshaw never mind a cell phone. Most rickshaw drivers rent out the rickshaws from the "capitalist" owners on a daily basis. In Calcutta about fifteen years ago the Benal government tried to ban the non-cylce rickshaws (that is to say the rickshaws where the rickshaw wallah pulls the yokes of the rickshaw like a draught animal). They had to backtrack becasue the rickshaw drivers claimed they didn't have the money to pay the rent on a cycle rickshaw.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

less than 105 should be less than 10%

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

Stephen

You make some very astute observations. My counterpoint is that yes, a lot of piecemeal efforts are being lauded, and nothing further is expected of the people who make these piecemeal efforts. However, quite a lot of grassroot activity is also going on. It just doesn't get as much publicity. Believe me, nobody is letting up on the people at the top just because of the call centres. The farmers, mill workers, taximen, small business owners are all there, lobbying for theirs.
I have a somewhat controversial view for your second point. People do tend to (as we say here) "eat" a lot of the largesse meant for subsidies. If some way could be found to legitimately compensate the people who are responsible for the logistics of the subsidies, they would not need to resort to such tricks. In other words, if the "boys" could somehow benefit from the aid budget being spent the way it should be, things would go much more smoothly. It's easy to think of government as a neutral, benevolent, selfless body which needs to work only for the greater good, but it consists of real people. People who hate to have to disburse Rs. 200 Crores (2000000000 Indian rupees) while getting a measly salary Rs. 5500 per month. But this problem, too, will be solved. We will find a way.
One thing I wish would happen is the regular people get more interested in governace. A lot of young Indians are content to bemoan the state of affair, or (equally bad) thump their chests and declare their patriotic pride. But they wouldn't do anything to improve the situation.
The reason I laud our politicians is that they at least take the trouble to do something. I am certainly not saying they can't or should not do more.
I believe I can make a difference. And I believe I am making one. As an IT professional, and as a responsible citizen. As anywhere else in the world, if enough people do this, at the top AND at the bottom, things will get better.

Raj Chaudhuri
Friday, January 16, 2004

Stephens Jones:
You just post your opinion and thoughts.
Don't comment on any individual....First make the thoughts clear what actually you want to write...While discussing try to keep your words and language little bit humble and modest...Here,there is no fight going on....Respect other's opinion...Chill Out man!!!!! Never mind,it seems you have some attitude problem.

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

Read carefully,
I talked here about Drunken Driving.....and killing a person ( A HUMAN LIFE)....And what example are you giving. The incident you wrote is unfortunate and I am not justifying it in any way.

I have got every right to speak against the ills of my country because I want them to be removed...whether it is given to us by Britishers or anybody else.

And about bribing police, One can find out from the kind of writing and the level of wisdom as to who is likely to bribe people. Sorry,I don't do these sort of things.

Anyway,I don't like explaining and talking to people who lack respect for others.
Last reply to people like you.
You know my parents have taught me to talk to, and to be in contact of wise and sane people, because you learn good things from them.

Anyway whoever you are,Best of luck for your future.
 
 

Indian
Friday, January 16, 2004

Dear Raj,
              My objection to "training" is that it ends up with most of the aid budget spend on the trainers. Many of these are of course western employees of the NGO's, and there is a large amount of corruption going on there also.

              What I do see as dangerous is the attempt to pretend that a thin veneer of modernity is the real thing. Now, it is true that in Indai you have vastly different social and economic systems co-existing - indeed some would say you have a real world time machine - but the fact remains that the amount of work taken from the developed world in outsourcing is less than that taken from Indian manufacturing industries by the Chinese.

            And the tendency in India to educate and train a small elite is a long-standing one (probably inherited from the British). It's seen in the over-supply of doctors and the undersupply of nurses, in the underfunding of primary education (though that may be changing).

          I may add it is a nice change to the stereotype to actually find an Indian who supports his politicians :)

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

Dear Stephen

I agree that stopping at the thin veneer of modernity is a dangerous practice. But the fact remains that work is going on beneath that veneer too. It is difficult for me to quote sources for this work, as most of it does not make it to popular media. But it is happenning. You can find out about this grassroots work if you study public records at state and local body levels.

I also agree with your point about educating the elite. I think THAT phenomenon is older than the British. But, as you pointed out, this practice is changing. Actually, it has been changing for a while now.

I tend to be somewhat more optimistic that others. It makes me feel good, and keeps me motivated to do (and ask for) more and more things. The final goal is far from achieved, but I like to think that we are making progress.

You are remarkably well informed, sir. A pleasure debating with you.

Raj Chaudhuri
Friday, January 16, 2004

re:rickshaw wallahs and mobile phones
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3256516.stm

j b
Friday, January 16, 2004

Yea, I read the article when it came out; 200 mobile phone call centres on rickshaws working in the state  capital ard around. A fabulous increase in connectivity for a country with a billion people.

Read the statistics again; 70 million people with access to a landline, and an estimated 23 million with access to a moble. Leaving 950 million with no access at all, and as mobile coverage appears to be limited to 10% of the country, without much chance of it either.

Compare that ot China, never mnd Korea or Malayasia.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

Stephen,
You keep on comparing to China, Korea or Malaysia. True enough, India lags behind.

But whats remarkable is that such things are happening in India for the first time. It is mostly small number but you begin to see patterns if you follow the work of enough groups (NGO', Govt. Organizations, Corporations, individuals, small entrepreuners etc. etc.) There is a tremendous amount of innovation in India in bringing technology and communication capabilities to rural settings and to the disadvantaged.

This is new. THis was not true in the 70's, 80's, or even so much in the early 90's.

Also, what is remarkable is the change in the mood and general optimism. And my experiences are more in small town India (northern India which is backward and poor). When you hear students talk about getting education in Java, and learning HTML rather than give Indian Civil Services, then that is sea change happening.

Does not mean that things have changed overnight. But that there is a discernible trend for the better. As regards cell phone coverage: Its the trend thats important, not the absolute numbers. If India had been at 10% phone coverage 5 years ago, and the number had not changed that would be one thing. But  a dramatic increase in the last five years ago, and a feverish increase in number of connections and drop in prices every month is hard to trivialize.

Talk to some of the people who have phones for the first time. See how it has changed their lives. Its pretty damn wonderful.

rs
Friday, January 16, 2004

The average IQ in India is 86. In China it is 112. Chinese are bright programmers, Indians on average are average. Yet India gets more software contracts and more customer service phone contracts and more transcrption contracts than China. Why? Because the Indians read English fluently and speak English decently.

Why is this? Why does Inddia speak English and not China? Because they were a British colony for many years. India100% owes all its modern success to Britain. Without having been forced to learn English by their so-called "oppressors" India would today have no high tech industry and no outsourcing services other than unskilled manufacturing jobs.

Ed the Millwright
Friday, January 16, 2004

Dear Ed,
            Rubbish. The reason for the prevalence of English in India has a lot more to do with the fact that the South refuses to accept Hindi as a national language than anything else, and the lack of programmers in China has a lot to do with the education system.

            And why is it that we donl't outsource everything to Nigeria, where the standard of English is better, and everybody under thirty and his dog is on a computer keyboard sending us mail. At least we could ask them to program in case insensitive languages.

            The Indian Insititutes of Technology, which are most responsible for the boom in Indian programming were set up by Nehru, well after the British had left.

            There are plenty of computer programmers in Romania and Russia and Latvia just to name three countries that didn't have the "benefits" of being colonized by the English.

            rs, considering the unemployment that there is at present among computer programmars the fact that all these Indians are trying to become Java experts bodes disappointment more than anything else. Perhaps they ought to copy the Nigerians and start sendihg usr 419 spam.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

I don't understand your comment re:computer programmers and unemployment.  You're talking about England/USA, not India, right?
Being a software engineer in India is a licence to print money right now. There's no reason to think that this is a bad thing for India, or a trend that will go away anytime soon (though salaries will surely stabalize: 14% a year increases are clearly unsustainable). 

j b
Friday, January 16, 2004

Being a software engineer, or simply knowing a couple of HTML tags was a license to print money until about 2001 in the US and UK.

I don't see the present pace of outsourcing as being sustainable. For a start a lot of the companies outsourcing without proper planning are going to either go broke, or bring the work badck onshore. Secondly a self taught Java programmer with no experience is more of a liabiltiy to a company than an asset, and as Indian companies find their labour costs rising they are going to think twice about the policy of hiring all they can.

Also in my experience the majority of Indian programmers are not completely comfortable in English. This effects their ability to learn quickly, to understand requriements, to communicat with clients, and probably most important of all to ask the right questions on the web.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

"in my experience the majority of Indian programmers "

Bold statement. So how many Indian programmers in India have you personally interacted with. I know at least a few Indian programmers who interact on the web and do not identify themselves as Indian. Then I know others who do ever ask questions on the web. So extrapolating from a few questions on a few web groups is probably not valid.

There are a lot of excellent technical institutes in India, and then a lot of mediocere ones. I think the probability of self-taught engineers is probably less frequent in India than in the US. Partly that is due to the rigidity of the education system. (I am not referring to HTML skills. Plenty of self-taught people with that everywhere.) But someone who knows JAVA has at least taken a few courses at some of the mediocre institutes such as NIIT etc. I have seen a much higher frequency of self-taught programmers in the US. By the way, many self-taught programmers are extremely good.

And yes, the present pace of outsourcing is probably not sustainable (partly because jobs are going to move to a place where labor costs are lower). But it is giving a good boost to products being wholly developed in India. Yes, it is beginning to happen, on a small scale, with small products, often for only the local market initially. But the signs are clear. You have to pay close attention to notice it.

As for comfort with English, this is something that is overcome pretty easily. Also, the same "still have some problems with English" holds true for engineers from many other parts of the world. Give them a few years. If you know the basics of a language it is relatively easy to become better at it.

rs
Friday, January 16, 2004

re:language skills, sustainability.
If you think the jobs are coming back to the US or UK, you're dreaming.  They will leave India for cheaper locations, not more expensive ones. The fact of the matter is that digital work is eminantly exportable, and much of it will end up being exported. India has to worry about competition from China and Eastern Europe, not the US.

Your comments about language skills I find a little biased:  I know plenty of uncommunicative American engineers, and plenty of very communicative Indian ones.  Indians who program have typically gone to English medium schools are are quite fluent in English.

And amateur programmers would have a really tough time getting a job in India: South Asians are a lot more strict about qualifications, and career paths are set a lot earlier than in UK/US.  Right now (peak of the outsourcing boom) some duds are surely slipping into their work force, but it's hard to be too critical given the lax standards for entry into hi-tec work in the US and England.

j b
Friday, January 16, 2004

"And why is it that we donl't outsource everything to Nigeria"

Stephen, the average IQ in Nigeria is the same as in Papuaa New Guinea. They are the two countries with the lowest IQs world wide - 68 average, which is 2 points below what is considered to be mentally retarded. Since IQ is distributed across a population on a bell curve this means that there are simply not enough people in some places like Nigeria to do any technical work. Programming requires at least an IQ of 80 to do at all. A high IQ doesn't guarantee one can program, but a low IQ does mean that someone can not program.

As far as you are saying that the reason India speaks English has nothing to do with them being a former English colony ("Rubbish!" you cried), that is an extremely uninformed, some might say delusional,  statement.

Ed the Millwright
Friday, January 16, 2004

Dear Ed,
              Can you please tell us where you get these average IQ figures from. You may think about telling us where you are from as well, since somebody who believes figures such as the ones you are giving us mean anything, must surely affect the IQ figures for his country.

              To give you an idea of IQ's reliability may I mention that it has gone up something like 10-15 points in the States in the last thirty or forty years. Nobody seems to have noticed :)

Stephen Jones
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Hi all,
I am not from engineer background, so would not be in position to comment on any tech. related queries or any section of people working in IT industry. I was searching for a topic on net when I landed up here. As a responsible citizen of the country,it hurts when you see your fellow countrymen living in real bad state.   

It's really unfortunate,
If you speak against ill and wrong prevailing in your country, you are termed as Whiner or asked to go to the British.
I am a 20 year old Guy , and I have been tought to "Speak against wrong and injustice,If you don't then you are part of it" 

If Government is taking five wrong and five right decisions, don't criticise the Government for 5 wrong decisions, because see,at the same time it is taking 5 right decisions also. A great logic.....What about people who are affected by wrong decisions?

Hundred's of people are dying by malnutrition but still people want you to celebrate success of IT and India.

What I fear is the gap between poor and rich is widenning day by day. You need to act  quickly and properly in a planned manner to improve the condition of poor of the country ,otherwise it would be really fatal. Oh!! Sorry!!! I need to show some optimism....

On one thing I can comment, learning english language, it is not impossible. It needs  dedication , practice,and will to learn.This is what I am doing now a days,learning how to speak and write english properly ;-) (In this case I am optimist, that one day I will be able to write and good english as I am making efforts for it, Although it will take some time...)

I hope this forum is not restricted to people with engineering background. If "YES" please do let me know. But one thing is for sure, I have learned a lot about IT and other related Topics :-) Thank You.

Indian
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Hi Ed,
Convent schools and colleges are preferred by almost everyone, irrespective of which religion they belong.

Best colleges in India in the field of Arts and Science fields are all convent colleges. And believe me everyone wants to study in them- because they emphasis on the real education ( Not literacy).

Regional Engineering Colleges, Indian Institute of Technology have contributed the most in IT sector.

Yes, India do have one of the highest english speaking population- here yes, convent schools has contributed a lot........But you can't say that they have contributed 100% ....there are many english speaking schools.

But yes, in the field of education max.contribution by any particular religion in India is that of Christianity .

I am myself a hindu and felt really blessed after getting admission in one of the best convent college...If you want to have good education (not literacy) with basic moral values than this is the place. 

Last year, many Christian Missionary people met our HRD Minister to get permission to start professional courses like engineering and Medicine. I think this would be a good step for future.
       

Indian
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Here are few good things about my country:

Secular Nature : In hearts and minds of  common people this feeling of oneness is very strong. All, Hindu, Muslim ,Sikh, Christian believes in living with peace and harmony. And they indeed are. Again, wrong doings of some dirty people brings bad name and shame to whole country.

Citizens like Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa

For Our Culture, Tradition and Family Values.
..........
Except the kind of dirty politics:

Congress/Nehru party divided India on Caste Basis.

BJP/ VHP/ RSS believes in dividing India on Religion Basis.

And ofcourse we are having few good regional parties like CPI/M for example in Calcutta...Secular in nature....Ruling West Bengal for more than 20 years........They are doing pretty good job.
............

My Holidays are finished ,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views.
I really liked them.
Best of luck for your future,all.
Take care.
Bye.

Indian
Saturday, January 17, 2004

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