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Febrauary 11, 1998


MAIT is wooing Indian designers in the US

Email this story to a friend. The Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology is wooing the best computer hardware design talent among non-resident Indians in America to help make India a cost-effective global design centre.

"Today one of our most ambitious programmes is aimed to turn India into the number one global platform for hardware design," MAIT President Manu Parpia has said.

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He said MAIT is collaborating with Jaya Kumar, a Harvard management professor, and Narayan Vaghul, chairman of the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, to bring home the best hardware design talent and investors of Indian origin from the US.

"We are setting up a permanent committee that would provide the linkages between American NRIs and India to make the country a global design centre for hardware," Parpia said.

"Our objective is to make India the world's number one hardware design centre by the 2005. This would help the Indian IT industry move up the value chain," he explained.

The MAIT programme is designed to encourage NRI entrepreneurs in the IT sector to invest in India, set up joint ventures and transfer technology. "They can leverage the country's competitive advantage in hardware design, including software embedded IT products," Parpia said.

MAIT's other major programme is to enlarge the penetration of personal computers and widen the reach of Internet and networking PCs using Indian languages, which it hopes, would reduce corruption.

Parpia says the immediate impact of widespread diffusion of information technology would be the emergence of transparent and corruption-free governance in the country.

MAIT, which has reported a 50 per cent surge in PC sales this year, believes widespread use of information technology will cut away layers of ambiguity in government rules that perpetuate corrupt practices.

MAIT is projecting PC sales to touch three million in the next two years from the current 800,000 units and forecasts that the entry of private Internet service providers would quicken the spread of Internet and PC penetration.

"Corruption-free governance would be the greatest benefit that Indians are set to gain out of IT," Parpia claimed. When the usage of computers becomes widespread due to increased regional language application in IT, the country can also expect to have quicker economic growth, he felt.

Computer penetration in India is, at present, less than 1 per 1,000 as against the world average of 25. However, analysts console that the growth in PC use will be faster than that of telephones. India has 1.2 telephones for every 100 people.

IT usage would lead to a drastic drop in corruption that thrives on policy inconsistency, a lack of transparency and the high leeway enjoyed by bureaucracy because of discretion in the absence of precise information, Parpia argues.

The Global Competitiveness Report by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum has placed India at the bottom of its ranking India was placed at 45 among 53 nations which it studied for their economic competitiveness.

One of the major reasons attributed to the lower ranking is corruption because bribery increase the cost of doing business and drag down economic growth.

Parpia said the Internet has changed the way people do business elsewhere in the world. "In India this will help pull down the hierarchical structure in bureaucracy and provide better access to information. This would ensure availability of knowledge even at the lower levels of government."

- Compiled from the Indian media

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