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Q. What are the main socio-economic implications arising out of the development of IT industries in major cities of India? (250 words)24 Jan, 2022 GS Paper 1 Geography
- Introduce with some facts or examples the development of IT industries in India, naming major cities where this industry has grown rapidly.
- Discuss the socio-economic implications(positive as well as negative impacts) arising out of the development of this industry.
- Suggest a way forward to correct the issues posed by those implications.
Information technology (IT) is an example of a general purpose technology that has the potential to play an important role in economic growth, as well as other dimensions of economic and social development. The IT industry accounted for around 8% of India's GDP in 2020.
Socio-economic implications of Development of IT industry
- IT plays a key role in each of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, providing the infrastructure needed to achieve them.
- It also enables financial inclusion through m-commerce and allows people to connect with millions instantaneously
- It empowers people to share knowledge and advice instantaneously and set up an online shop or website at a low cost, dramatically lowering the barriers to starting a business.
- IT is also playing a significant role in rural development. Now the services are available to the remotest of people through IT.
- As the labour force participation of?women in quality jobs is comparatively more in major cities, due to development of IT industries, it has led to their financial independence and empowerment.?
- IT infrastructure allows us to connect instantaneously with millions. For social entrepreneurs, this means that their initiatives aren’t just limited to one community; they can easily reach the people they want to empower and spread their message far and wide.
- Uneven development and Economic Disparity: The major cities with large IT hubs are developing faster than the semi urban and Tier I, II cities. Moreover, there is also a?huge wage gap?between IT workers and other workers.
- Accentuating Digital Divide: Lack of infrastructure in rural areas impede the access to essential services, impacting their socio-economic development.
- Increased Migration and Cultural change: The youth migrate from rural areas and small cities to the major IT cities leaving their parents alone and needy for social and emotional support.
- This is leading to breakdown of jointed family culture and more nuclear family culture is emerging in India.
- India’s technology services industry can achieve USD 300-350 billion in annual revenue by 2025 if it can exploit the fast-emerging business potential in cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and other emerging technologies. Thus, we need to invest in such technologies.
- This investment should be evenly distributed and not centred to a few locations. E.g. IT-BPO industries can be established in North East cities and Tier 1 and 2 cities.
- We can only become a knowledge economy if the developments are even and inclusive.
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