Technology or Tricknology?
Is it tricknology?
The beginning of computers in Indian government!
“Information super highway”- This is how the internet was heralded by some prominent IT companies. It was around 20 years ago. India was dillydallying about adopting this technology and slowly some fortune 500 companies started importing computer hardware at exorbitant costs. The beginning was with hesitation. None wanted to dump the Electronic typewriters which were hybrid machines at that time. Most of the government Offices was using typewriters of different brands for office use. Portable typewriters were acquired by many for their personal use. Two years before my retirement during the year 2002, my boss told me that I have to prepare estimates in worksheets through computers. I was just a pre KG so far as computers are concerned at that time. I was comfortable with the old typewriters at the office. But the odd machine with monitor and keyboard literally frightened me. Many youngsters in the office were quick at learning this new technology. I was hesitant even to go near the creature! At that time, all computers were equipped with MS Dos system. Due to the pressure from the administration, I have to toe their line willy-nilly! I tried all my skills in getting acquainted with the bizarre looking machine and I cursed my fate several times.
Scientology or tricknology!
How I feared the computer learning?
Slowly, with the help of my colleagues, I had to key in the estimates in excel format. Of course, it took me around three months to shed my fear and interact with the machine! I was bold to acquire a PC desk top for my practice in home. But only after my retirement, I became a fan to computer technology. Above all, I wanted to browse web sites, though in the office only one connection to the boss is available. Hence during his absence, I tried to visit various web sites and my interest grew in leaps and bounds. I marveled at the technological tool which enables all functions like editing, formatting, inserting and deleting saved documents which were ready for printing. Above all, the internet fascinated me for a long time.
But having learned many new things like online banking and bill payments, I was relieved of venturing out even for small things like telephone bills, electricity bill and income tax payments; I realized the use of internet. After a decade of using the net, I realize that the net has many negative points. I understood frauds and cheating increased in online transactions. Hence one needs to be extremely cautious before accessing personal bank accounts. The use of virtual keyboard has become a handy tool which is really secure compared to open access! While e governance is a great tool for administration of many government transactions, the use is limited to certain segments only. Only recently, the popularity of e governance portals acquired importance in redressing the genuine complaints of common citizen. This is one part of the story!
The growth of mobile technology in India!
Mobile communications have reached the greatest extent after the government liberalized participation of private players. Prior to that, telecommunications was handled by government department only. Thanks to the entry of more than 5 players apart from government run companies, more than 75% of the population is covered by mobile telephone facilities. Initially, the government was interested in the growth of mobile telephony! Slowly, the authorities have realized that there are many loop holes in the security point of view. Government has realized that sim cards have fallen into the hands of many ultra and terrorist organization members. They freely utilize the service for furthering their activities across the borders. Hence it has become an yeoman task to stem the loop holes. Hence at times, the mobile telephone services and internet services in certain forward areas are blocked by the government to avoid the reach of terror network. But, these blocking of services affected ordinary people to a great extent. Mainly ticket booking in trains buses and air lines have become disrupted at such times. Hence the technologies are like cutting edges, which everyone has to use with very much caution. Sometimes, I felt that mobile phones have spoiled the ethics of the country to a great extent. In rural India, prior to advent of communication facilities, there were many restrictions for girls. Their education usually ended with fifth standard! The villagers considered educating the girls further will demoralize the ethos of society. Now, with the unbridled access to phone and net, anyone from any place could contact anybody without the fear of being caught easily. Hence girls and boys in the villages started using cell phones secretly. Hence we often hear or read in the media many cases of immorality even in closely guarded societies..
The urban scenario is really horrible. Not a day passes without cases of rapes, elopement and all such nuisances which were rare before the communication tools were very costly and possessed only by rich people in society. Now there are mobile phones for less than 10 dollars or Rs.500 in Indian currency. Hence we can find that house maids flaunting mobile phones everywhere. Of course, they use it in a restricted manner. But the school going children, in possession of mobile will become easy prey to evil habits and associations. It is not good for the society. How the government, which was responsible for the growth of technology, is going to control the contents is a million dollar question!