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Monday, February 9, 2003

Brain drain: India’s loss is world’s gain
Amritbir Kaur

Sandeep JoshiA woman to her friend: Hello ji, kya haal hai? Beta kya kar raha hai aalkal?
IT kar raha hai.

THIS is an oft-heard piece of conversation in this part of India. And just ask them to expand the term ‘IT,’ they would be point blank. Mouthing IT instead of the lowly ‘computer course’ seems classy to them. Even in such a fast growing technology market like India, the general public is not much awakened towards the real value of technology. It s still caught in the web of uttering IT instead of computer. Information technology or IT actually does not only include computers. There’s much more to it.

The day is not very far when India will fast catch up with countries like the US and Japan, in the list of latest technologies. Imagine the household goods becoming erudite and proficient enough to interact with each other as well as external network. Imagine the display panel of your refrigerator accessing recipes from the Web and updating the weekly stock of eggs and groceries. You might be spotted flaunting a wristwatch-sized computer. Even the sunglasses may provide you with Net access. Fantasyland? No. Anything is possible on the IT front defying time and space.

India is never going to be the same again. The IT industry has been advancing by leaps and bounds. After having conquered the Indian audience from their respective homelands, the Godzillas of the IT came to India in a big way. And why should they not? PC-penetration is increasing in India in top gear. Says Jonathan Epstein, executive vice-president ZD Net International: "Where one per cent of the total population is the size of the entire German population, we are talking of huge numbers and an enormous market. Need we think twice about India?"

Microsoft was one of the first companies to come to India. It was for its own vested interests. With its monopoly broken in the US and its hegemony at risk in Europe, Microsoft planned to strengthen its roots in the developing countries. And given Indianumero uno position in this rapidly expanding market and the comparatively low wages demanded by its highly trained software personnel, Microsoft saw business sense. Now even Intel’s Chairman Andrew S. Grove has observed that India dominated US in the important high technology sectors. To add, it has also been estimated that India’ s booming software industry, which is increasingly doing work for the US companies, is capable of surpassing America in software and technology service sectors by 2010.

The discouraging fact for India is the tendency of brain drain. The flight of imagination in this sector is cut short by this harsh reality. The other countries have been gaining a lot from the Indian software developers. Even Bill Gates couldn’t help commenting: "India is not the cheapest place in the world to do business. It’s just the kind of software skill it offers. This place has the momentum." Had the same potential been utilised for India herself, she would have gone places. It’s already high time we put a stop to this curse of brain drain. The career opportunities here are bound to increase as time goes by. India holds a prestigious position as a market in the eyes of the be-alls of the Net.

Bendazzi critical of Indian animation

THE Indian animation film industry lacked innovation and good production houses that affected growth of this segment in the country, a renowned authority on animation films Giannalberto Bendazzi has said. "Indian animators mostly have pre-conceived idea about what an animation is.

They want to remake what they enjoyed as children," the noted scholar, also the co-founder of the Society for Animation Studies, US, said here.

Bendazzi, who presented a lecture to the students of animation films at Roopkala Kendro, Kolkata, asked the Indian animators to experiment with new styles, techniques and explore new markets and take part in international festivals.

Besides, the absence of ‘good producers’ interested in animation segment, was a hurdle facing the animators here.

"Unfortunately it is not easy to find good producers. There is no school to produce enlightened producers, who will take interest in producing and marketing good animation films in this country," Bendazzi said.

The Italian professor, recipient of a number of international awards for his publications on the subject, said the world cinema has made overwhelming progress in animation, which started its journey in 1928 through a Walt Disney creation, and the Indian animators need to keep up with the progress to match others.

Anita Agnihotri, director and CEO of Roopkala Kendro, an Indo-Italian Institute of Film & Social Communication, said the institute was striving to make its students conversant with the latest techniques in animation filmmaking. — PTI