|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
India, an economic miracle in the making
February 03, 2004 10:58 IST
India has huge potential to provide information technology and engineering services to the world but also has weaknesses that have to be overcome, Vijay Bhatkar, Advisory Chair of the International Information Technology Institute in Pune, said in Washington.
Through the centuries India has acquired a vast knowledge heritage and is moving towards a modern knowledge society, Bhatkar, who is also chairman of the Board of DishnetDSL, India, told a conference on education in developing countries organized by the International Financial Corporation.
"A nation of a billion people, it not only has a billion mouths to be fed but also a billion minds to be unleashed. It is already the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity and its GDP is expected to grow at a rate of 7 per cent-plus in 2003-04," he said.
"India, in fact, is an economic miracle in the making," he said.
Education, Bhatkar pointed out, was the No.1 priority for Indian parents. Enrolments at Higher Education level have been growing at 7 per cent-plus for the last few decades.
India's IT industry target for 2008 (software, IT services, software products, e-business and so on) is $87 billion, of which the export target is $50 billion, according to an MIT study team.
India's software manpower in 2008 is put at 2.20 million by NASSCOM/McKinsey and 2.37 million by MIT.
Growth in the higher education segment, he said, is stupendous.
The number of UGC-recognised universities increased from 27 in 1950-51 to 272 in 2001-02; colleges from 580 to 11,100 in the same period.
Graduate and post-graduate enrolment in 2001 was eight million. The number of engineering colleges has trebled in the last decade, from 400 to 1,200, though a number of new entrants has not been able to match up to the quality benchmarks of publicly funded premier institutes.
Among the weaknesses Bhatkar listed are: rigid and outdated course curricula; inability to adapt course curricula to dynamic industry requirements; poor lab infrastructures; limited exposure to latest tools and techniques and limited exposure to industry problems.