This article provides information about the contribution of ICT (Information and communications technology) in creating new employment opportunities in India:
ICTs can contribute to employment and income generation and poverty reduction. It enables people and enterprises to capture economic opportunities by increasing process efficiency, promoting participation in expanded economic networks, and creating opportunities for employment.
ICTs enhance the economic productivity across region and geographic location. For instance ICTs can enhance rural productivity. ICTs enables solution sharing between local people and communities, providing access to practical information on small business accounting, weather trends and farming best practices, for example. Timely access to market information via communications networks also helps farmers make appropriate decisions about what crops to plant and where to sell their produce and buy inputs.
In Chile, for example, an Internet network among farmer organisations has dramatically increased farmers’ incomes by providing information about crop status, weather, global market prices and training. ICTs also provide unprecedented access to rural finance service. The financial and information service network provided by Pride Africa offers micro-finance opportunities for local people and small enterprises that previously had no access to flexible financing due to rigid banking regulations and the information monopolies of government and large businesses.
ICTs enable improved business process efficiency and productivity. Businesses can reduce operational costs by decreasing material, procurement and transaction costs, resulting in lower prices for intermediate and finished goods, and they can also use more and better information to improve the value of their output. ICTs, for example provides an e-trading platform to utilities companies, which may help both sellers and buyers by simplifying their procurement processes and thereby reduce costs.
In another example, a number of companies in developing countries are using the Global Technology Network, provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to find comparable small and medium-sized US companies to share business solutions that satisfy their existing technological needs.
ICTs facilitate global connectivity, resulting in new ways of creating and delivering products and services on a global scale. New business models and market configurations enabled by ICTs, including business process outsourcing, value chain integration and disintermediation, provide developing countries with access to new markets and new sources of competitive advantage from which to drive income growth.
Through PEOP Link’s global artisans trading exchange, for example, local crafts people in developing countries are increasing their incomes not only through access to new markets, but also because the wholesaling intermediaries for their produce have effectively been removed. Local craftspeople can now receive up to 95 per cent of the selling price for their produce where previously they received only 10 per cent.
ICTs have lead to massive job generation in some of the OECD countries. For instance in Japan, more than 2 million jobs were created by IT between 1990 and 1999. ICT can contribute to better employment opportunities in developing countries also both through improved labour market facilitation and direct employment. Using electronic job marketplaces, employers and employees can match labour skills and availability to satisfy their demands. For example, TARA haat, a portal designed to serve villages in rural India, provides job opportunity information on local web sites in local languages. In addition, the establishment of local telecenters in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Senegal has created direct employment for thousands of local women and men.