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|February 2, 1999||
Pitroda sells 'IT for socioeconomic transformation'Eminent communications expert Sam Pitroda has appealed to the people and government to "internalise" the fact that only by putting information technology to the maximum use in daily life could India undergo a radical socioeconomic transformation.
Delivering a keynote address at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ahmedabad on Monday, he said information technology has already transformed lives of billions of people the world over about which many are not even aware.
Pointing out that the number of telephones in any society seem to be directly proportional to its prosperity, Pitroda said that Tokyo has the maximum number of telephones in the world which reflects the fact that the increased use of IT brought about prosperity to Japan.
Pointing out that telecommunications is the backbone of information technology structure, Pitroda said the Internet has changed the telecom scene totally.
In information technology, there are no barriers now. Giving examples, he said the very fact that $1 trillion are transferred just on telephone lines every day proves the worth of IT in the banking sector.
This has totally changed the concept of money and its exchange.
He said telecommunications has brought about openness in all lifestyles the world over. The government and the people must be open to developments and ideas and change their mindset accordingly so as to bring about far-reaching socioeconomic transformation in India.
Information technology, he said, has made it unnecessary for students and patients to be physically present at a place in order to receive education or medication there.
Advocating the need to put the entire government functioning on Internet, Pitroda praised Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for their leads in hi-tech areas. He said IT enables the people to challenge existing norms and systems by changing their distribution systems in all aspects of life.
Regretting that primary education in many parts of the world has not changed for the last four centuries, he said increased use of IT would enable the people to question everything that existed, to create new systems of work and values.
Only by changing our minds could we change the world, he added.
Pitroda, who belongs to Gujarat, said this western state has lagged behind in information technology area. It could, however, harness its people's legendary acumen in trade and business and introduce electronic commerce in a big way.
''Leave software development to Bangalore, for which Gujarat has lost the opportunity, and concentrate on a one-point programme of electronic commerce,'' he exhorted, adding it required a lot of efforts and courage, open-mindedness, manpower, vision and the government's enthusiastic but optimum participation.
The entire edifice of information technology, he said, could be built up on a sound electronic commerce networking. It requires a lot of courage from a large number of people to take risk for a better tomorrow.
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