Monday, August 31, 2009

Talk: India and the Digital Revolution

I delivered a talk on "India and the Digital Revolution" at the Institution of Engineers (India) Dharwad Centre on Aug 21, 2009 and greatly enjoyed interacting with the audience. Below are a couple of reports that appeared in the press and blogs......

Taking a peek into digital field
TNN 29 August 2009,
DHARWAD: India contributed significantly to the digital revolution in the 90s, though it did miss electronic revolution in the 60s, said Shivanand Kanavi, vice-president (special projects), Tata Consultancy Services (Mumbai).
Delivering a special lecture at the Institution of Engineers' local centre here, he narrated the comforts achieved because of digital revolution in the fields of industry, trade, transportation, education, banking sectors, administration, medicine and communication, and others.
"The digital revolution provided global platform for research and development," he said, and highlighted its impact on society through media and entertainment. He made remarks about the contributions of Indians to the digital field.
The lecture was followed by an interaction with audience in which questions of common concern like opportunities for youngsters, future scope in chip technology, etc, were answered.
Local centre chairman Mahesh Hiremath, Prof. Ramesh Chakrasali and honorary secretary prof. Mrityunjaya Kappali were present.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
India and Digital Revolution: A Talk by Mr. Shivanand Kanavi, VP, Special projects, TCS
The Institution of Engineers, India ( IEI), Dharwad Local chapter organized a talk on "India and Digital Revolution" by Mr. Shivanand Kanavi, Vice President, Special Projects, TCS. Mumbai, on 21st August, 2009 at Balekundary, Hall. Mr. Kanavi has an illustrious career which took him to different domains such as research at IIT, teaching, Business Journalism at Business India. He joined TCS in 2004.
The topic of talk " India and Digital Revolution" was a very thoughtful choice and Kanavi did a great justice to it. His talk composed of two parts- first dealing with the technological underpinnings of digital revolution and its impact on India and second part was about Indians who contributed heavily in shaping digital revolution. The impact of digital revolution in India was termed " fall out" by the presenter and he listed the following as the main areas that benefited Indian- people, market, business.
Indian IT
Chip Design
Global Platform for R & D
Centre for Engineering Design
Media and entertainment
The root of all positive impact of digital revolution is due to advancements in telecommunication. The developments made it possible to separate design and fabrication functions and get them done anywhere in the world. The Indian talent took this opportunity very well and now "India strategy" is central theme to any major business in the west.
The chip technology has become ubiquitous in its spread and virtually every tool that we use today contains a number of special purpose chips. For instance, a modern day car has a number of chips for steering control, wheel etc. Companies such as Texas Instruments ( TI) are doing a lot of R & D work and chip design in India a lot of cutting edge work by GE and others is being done in aerospace technologies in India and so on.
Historically India had missed earlier revolutions - Industrial ( due to British rule ) and electronic revolution - however, the telecommunication industry made us to catch up and join the revolution in later stage. 80% of the mobile sets used world wide use DSP technology designed by TI. GE has established a R & D centre in Bangalore that contributes upto 40% research work in aircraft engine design.
The design and development of Ferrari used in Formula -1 is designed by TCS. Tata's Nano project proved that with just one fourth of research budget allocated in the west, one can design and deliver a car from concept to market.The contribution of ISRO towards making India a strong player in world is very great.Starting from its SITE program for distance education in 70's, ISRO has technologically supported Indian march including introduction of nation wide colour broadcasting during ASIAN games in 1982.
The devlopments in digital technology have made a great contribution in changing the way government runs it services. The land record computerization has resulted easing of many services. The use of IT in central government departments such as company affairs has enabled them to handle data of more that 6,00,000 companies very efficiently and in a timely manner. The IT use in passport issuance has greatly simplied the very process and it will be possible to get passport within three days of police clearance.
Similar changes have been planned for judiciary, medical departments. Digital library is planned as solution to reach wider learning audience.
Implementing DEMAT mode of shares and computerized transcations in stock market is another example of IT in action. The NSE in India is one of the busiest stock exchange in the world and its systems have been built using economic hardware and software components. The Role of IT in banking is still more stupendous- SBI with more than 14,000 branches has been successfully using IT to serve its customers in every nook and corner of the nation.
The Indian railways took the path of computerization without resorting to massive lay off in the ‘80s and its success has brought a sea change in the public perception of computerization. In summary IT has been playing a pivotal role in Indian current development context.
The second part of the talk was profiles of some perosnalities that contributed in the making of digital revolution. The list included J C Bose, Amar Bose of Bose System fame, Raj Reddy, Praveen Chaudhary, Arun Netravali, F. C Kohli, Abhay Bhushan and many more.
Shivanand Kanavi's talk was one of the most informative and inspiring talk that I had heard in the recent past. Thanks Sir