The dawn of the 21st century is witnessing a computer revolution in which information processing and retrieval are being done reliably at tremendous speed. A computer is a fast and accurate electronic data manipulator. It is designed to store input data, process it according to some predefined instructions and exhibit results. The computer thus performs four basic functions, viz. Input, Storage, Process and Output.
The computer is also referred to as the Central Processing Unit (CPU). In the earlier computers, the electronic components were vacuum tubes, but today thousands of electronic components of the CPU are packed closely together into a single micro-processor chip. The data and the instructions on how to process it are kept in the Storage Unit of the Computer called Memory. The relevant instructions fed into the computer are called “Program”. ‘Fortran’ and ‘Pascal’ languages are suited to mathematical applications, while ‘Cobol’ and ‘Basic’ languages are useful in commercial applications.
In India, the advent of computerisation was marked by apprehension that it would result in the retrenchment of labour force and retard generation of employment opportunities in the country. Trade Unions vehemently opposed the introduction of computers. Nevertheless, a few enlightened managements decided to give computers a fair trial. They assured that the manpower which became surplus as a consequence of computerisation would be absorbed and that no retrenchment was contemplated.
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The first computer was installed in India at the ISI, Calcutta, in 1955. During 1955 to 1964, only 28 computers were installed in India. All these were imported computers. But during the next 13 years (1964 to 1977) 392 additional computers were installed. Of these, only 25 per cent were indigenous and manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India.
The departure of IBM from India in 1978 acted as a spur to the indigenous industry which in 1978-79 announced over a dozen new models of computers. Since then, the computer industry in India has not looked back. By 1999 more than 170 Indian software companies had acquired international quality certificate. With the announcement of an integrated Computer Policy by the Government of India in March, 1985, computerisation received a new thrust.
This policy was aimed at enabling indigenous manufacture of computers at standard international prices using the latest technology, simplification of existing procedures for import of suitable computers by end-users, promotion and encouragement to application of computers in all fields where development and growth are envisaged.
The Government of India set up a new Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) on 15 October, 1999 to be the nodal institutional mechanism for facilitating all the initiatives in the Central government, the State government, academia and the private sector for all-round growth of Information Technology (IT). To make India a global power in Information Technology is the new IT vision, which translates thus: (i) Creation of Wealth, (ii) Employment Generation and (iii) IT-led Economic Growth.
A National Task Force on IT and Software Development, the PM’s Council on Trade and Industry, and the National Advisory Council on IT have been set up. A target of achieving PC penetration of 20 per thousand, T.V. penetration of 225 per thousand and fixed telephony penetration of 125 per thousand has been set to be achieved by the year 2008.
In India, the use of computers was initially confined to Research Institutions, Defence and Space establishments. Today, with the advent of personal computers, even small establishments are using computers, in their business. Large organisations are pumping in huge investments to use computers in office automation, decision- making, manufacturing, etc. Insurance Companies and Banks have gone in for computerisation in a big way to improve their efficiency. Indian Airlines, Air India and Indian Railways have computerised their reservations. Post Offices have also computerised their services.
The phenomenal growth of the computer industry has opened up new, exciting and lucrative job opportunities. India needs lakhs of persons trained in computers. The existing infrastructure in the country is not sufficient to meet the requirements. The wide gap between demand and supply is likely to generate immense employment opportunities.
The year 2008-09 was marked by unprecedented global economic crisis. In spite of this uncertain global outlook, the Indian Information Technology- Business Process Outsourcing (IT-Bop) industry was able to achieve sustainable growth in the fiscal year 2008-09. The revenue aggregate of IT-Bop industry is expected to grow by over 12 per cent and reach US $ 71.7 billion in 2008-09 as compared to US $ 64 billion in 2007-08.
Industry performance was marked by sustained double-digit revenue growth, steady expansion into newer service-lines and increased geographic penetration. The Indian software and services exports including ITES-Bop exports is estimated at US $ 47 billion in 2008-09, as compared to US $ 40.4 billion in 2007-08, an increase of 16.3 per cent. The IT services exports is estimated to be US $ 26.9 billion on 2008-09 as compared to US $23.1 billion in 2007-08, showing a growth of 16.5 percent in 2008-09, a year -on-year (Y-o-Y) growth of over 17.4 percent.
Through the IT-BPO sector is export-driven, the domestic market is also significant. The revenue from the domestic market (IT Services and ITES-BPO) is also expected to grow to about US $ 12.5 bill 1 ion in the year 2008-09 as compared to US $ 11.7 billion in 2007-08 an anticipated growth of about 6.8 per cent. BP0 demand in the domestic market has witnessed noticeable growth over the past few years.
The total IT Software and Services employment is expected to reach 2.23 million in 2008-09 (excluding employment in hardware sector), as against 2.01 million in 2007-08, a growth of 10.9 per cent Yoyo. This represents a net addition of 226,000 professionals to the industry employee base in 2008-09. The indirect employment attributed to the sector is estimated to be about 8.0 million.
The industry has also set a precedent for talent practices in India. It has created career opportunities for the youth, provided global exposure and offered extensive training and development. Furthermore, the industry has been a front rammer in diversity at the workplace (over 30 per cent of employees are women; over 60 per cent of industry players employ differently baled people).
The IT-Its industry’s contribution to the national GDP is estimated to increase from 5.5. Percent in 2007-08 to 5.8 percent in 2008-09
Thus, starting as a mere calculating device, computers in India have come a long way. They are being used by organizations of all kinds and sizes for their day-to-day operations. Our country is, no doubt, heading towards mass scale computerization. The computer is destined to play a crucial role in India’s future in the 21st century.
What is a computer? A computer is an electronic device that receives and processes information to produce the desired results.
It plays an important role in our lives. Our life has become centered around computers and computerized systems.
Various Parts of a Computer: The various parts of a computer includes a system unit, monitor, keyboard, electronic-mouse, printer, speakers, CD drive, etc.
1. System Unit: The system unit is the most important part of the computer. The system unit houses the CPU (microprocessor), hard disk, random access memory (RAM), motherboard, etc.
- The CPU processes the information.
- RAM stores the temporary information while the system is on. It removes the data as soon as the system is switched off.
- Hard Disk stores the saved information is stored on the hard disk.
- The Mother Board connects and allows communication between various units of of the computer.
2. Monitor: It displays the information. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors are very bulky. Liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors are thin and light.
3. Keyboard: Letters and numbers are keyed into the computer system through the keyboard.
4. Mouse: It points the cursor and is used in selecting an icon on the screen.
The other components of a computer system includes speakers, modem, printers, etc.
Computers can quickly process huge amount of data. Computers can complete various tasks more effectively than most human-beings. It has automated complex tasks that were once considered boring and tedious for humans. Hence, Computer has greatly increased our efficiency to do various tasks. The advantages of computer is given below:
- Stores data in digital format: Computers can store millions of pages of information in digital format.
- Huge storage: We can store huge information. The present day hard-disks can store 100s of Gigabytes (GB) of information. Large businesses store their marketing and sales data in their computer systems. Even sensitive data of customers are securely protected in a computerized environment.
- Play games: When it comes to games, the choices are almost unlimited.
- Calculations: Businesses are increasingly using spreadsheets and other software as a tool for performing mathematical calculations.
- Prepare and store official documents: You can use a word processing software to prepare, edit and save any text document. The concept of paperless offices is finally taking its shape. excel- calculations
- Presentations: If your office demands that you prepare presentations, you can prepare it in a PowerPoint.
- Internet: You can connect your computer to Internet and browse through huge data. People use internet for various purposes. Students can use internet to download study materials. A research analyst can do market research over internet. A marketing person can gather relevant data across various geographical boundaries. A prospective customer can find a service provider over internet.
- Multimedia: Computer can also be used as an entertainment device. We can play various multimedia applications such as music, video, etc.
- Prepare books of accounts: With the help of accounting software, we can prepare our books of accounts.
- Reduced cost: The introduction of computer has resulted into a reduction of cost to perform various complicated tasks.
It is true that even computer is not free from defects. The disadvantages of computer is given below:
- Ever changing technology: The technology that is new today, may soon become obsolete. We need to regularly upgrade the hardware and software in a computerized environment. This involves additional time and cost.
- Increased manpower cost: The computer needs to be operated by skilled person. This has led to an increase in manpower cost for organizations. Due to the inherent risks, huge expenditure are made ensure data security.
- Computer stops responding: At times the operating system of the computer may stop responding or functioning. Though this problem is generally solved by restarting the computer, but sometimes you may have to take the support of the technician.
- Viruses: The threat of virus and malware attack always remains in the computerized environment. To cope up with these risks, various anti-virus software are available in the market. If you are using a good antivirus, you are almost sure that your private information and other sensitive data are secured.
- Reduction in employment opportunity: The introduction of computers has negatively impacted the employability of computer illiterate people.
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