In the recent campaign ITEC had organized a seminar on understanding the “Information Economy“. It certainly was an eye-opener to all the 50 participants. Suresh Kodoor and Vasantharaj were the speakers, highly apt for lecturing on the lines of “Information Economy”, moderated by Prof S Chatterjee.
The seminar was arranged at the new Jaaga, on an overcast Sunday afternoon.
The gist of the talk, as I have understood would be as follows:
The transition from a manufacturing and product based economy, which primarily produces tangible products, to now an economy extensively ‘speculative’ in their own jargon has turned out to be more on the lines of selling out information as products, driven by finance capital. This new era (which is at least a few decades old) has brought in a paradigm shift in the businesses of the world.
To understand the contradiction between the two ways, look at the growth rates: The information economy mammoths show 20% + growth on a normal basis, while the veterans of the manufacturing industry still are steady with their 8-10 % growth.
To understand the differences that have been ushered in by the Information economy a brief comparative study in the way these two business models are run was explained by both the speakers. The common contention putforth was the lack of innovation in India, even in terms of self-reliance of software products to cater to our domestic needs. Secondly, the lag in investing in hardware manufacturing for telecom, defense and other critical sectors needs was discussed. The need to resuscitate the dying PSU’s was mentioned as well.
On Sunday, when day the seminar was held is when the news of the S&P downgrading of the US creditability from AAA to AA+ had occured and we were only speculating what else could go wrong. It seems as if most of the talk that proceeded on that day was as if prophesizing the subsequent hours which were to put the financial world at unrest. Once the markets reopened on Monday the symptoms of the second dip recession have surfaced visibly and lot of suppression tactics are being implemented, as I am speaking of it. There’s turmoil and apprehension filling in the air.
And this time, in case a second wave of global recession would hit, India wouldn’t be as immune as it was in 2008! The ‘outsourcing’ menace as naturally seen by the people of the US and other European countries has taken its toll and now stands at the threshold of a breakpoint. Unemployment, public benefits cut down , inflation, taxation and dipping stock market are gelling up to become a dangerous threat to the global stability.
The ITEC seminar did certainly help us to comprehend both sides of the stories, while the speakers convicned us of what could be the solution as well: Self Reliance!