India's abundant, high quality and cost effective services and its vast
resource of skilled software human power have made it an attractive location for
global software clients.
There has been a healthy growth in the number of India's IT professionals
over the last decade.
From a base of 6,800 knowledge workers in 1985-86, the number increased to
522,000 software and services professionals by the end of 2001-02. It is
estimated that out of these 522,000 knowledge workers, almost 170,000 are
working in the IT software and services export industry; nearly 106,000 are
working in the IT enabled services and over 220,000 in user organizations.
Indian IT Sector: Knowledge Professionals Employed
Source : Nasscom
|Software exports sector
|Software domestic sector
|Software-captive in user organisations
|IT enabled services
Educational institutions and polytechnics, as well as the prestigious Indian
Institutes of Technology (IITs) are the principal sources of newly qualified
India has more than 250 universities (over 900 colleges) and engineering
colleges providing computer education at the degree/diploma level. The output of
trained human power at the degree / diploma level has been consistently
increasing since 1985 and touched a figure of 130,000 during the 2000. The
formal education system is supplemented and complemented by thousands of private
training institutes across the country, which are providing computer education.
The private training institutes are also doing a great service in providing a
backbone to the computer literacy program.
Degree Level: Engineering Admissions, Professionals
- Ministry of Human Resource Development, Technical Education in India -
Survey of Facilities
- NTMIS, AICTE, Government of India
India's New IT Labor
|IT Professionals from degree & diploma colleges
|Non-IT Professionals from degree & diploma colleges
|IT labour from non-engineering fields
|New IT labor
|Total number of Engineering seats
|IT Professionals from degree & diploma colleges as a
proportion of Engineering seats
|IT graduates as a proportion of Engg. Graduates
Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)
One of the remarkable initiatives undertaken to increase the Information
Technology workforce in India was during 1998. This was the setting up of the
Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT).
IIIT-Hyderabad was the first IIIT involving Government-Industry partnership
commencing its academic session in 1998. It may be recalled that it was in the
50s and 60s that the Government of India had set up five IITs in various parts
of the country. Also, in the 60s, IIMs were set up in the country. All these
institutes of formal education have already emerged as centers of excellence.
The relevance of formal education in developing software/Information Technology
professionals needs no elaboration. The emerging trend is to further increase
the annual output of the IIITs.
Most of the IIITs have begun as a joint initiative between the government and
industry, while some of them - as in Gwalior and Allahabad are solely government
initiatives. The National IT Task Force has recommended that the IIIT should be
given the status of a deemed university.
The aim of the IIIT is to give both computer software-engineering degrees as
well as to conduct short-term courses. In other words, not only will the IIIT
produce the B.Tech/M.Tech/PhD graduates, it will also train professionals as
well as industry-sponsored candidates in courses ranging from six weeks to six
One of the unique concepts under implementation is to allow private sector
companies to affiliate their own schools with the IIITs. IIIT Hyderabad for
instance has affiliated schools of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Satyam and Metamor.
More are expected to join the bandwagon. It is expected that over the next seven
years, the annual output of engineering graduates from the IIITs may increase to
2000 engineering graduates and about 25,000 professionals trained in short-term
While IIIT-Hyderabad has been doing well, IIIT-Bangalore has made
international news, through its global quality infrastructure and faculty. The
software industry of Bangalore is fully supportive of IIIT-Bangalore, both in
terms of hiring professionals as well as getting their employees trained in
In the coming years, the models of IIIT-Hyderabad and IIIT-Bangalore will
emerge as role models of for setting-up of IIITs in other states.
Despite the availability of training manpower, a demand supply gap still
exists in the IT manpower market. If India's IT software and services sector is
to achieve an annual revenue of US$ 70-80 billion in 2008, it will have to
educate at least 2 million additional knowledge workers over the next 8 years.
Though the quantity of workers is important, it is the quality of this knowledge
base that will ultimately play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the IT
industry in India.
India is one of the 5 largest economies in the world, in terms of purchasing
power parity. However, it ranks 128 in the world out of 174 countries on the
Human Development Index (UNDP, 2000). India was placed at the 49th position in
the global competitiveness survey (undertaken in about 60 countries) in 2000.
(Its position in the survey has ranged between 39 and 53 in the last three years
The general perception is that efforts in R&D have not been sufficiently
intensive in creating a globally competitive economy.
Nasscom's Manpower Resources Survey
Focus of the Survey
The Nasscom study in the year 2001-02 on the IT workforce status focused on
the following issues:
- Ascertaining the present quantum of the IT-workforce in the country
- Making projections about IT-manpower requirements of the IT-software and
- Devising a strategy for matching the demand and supply of human resources in
Highlights of the Survey
- The number of employed IT software and services professionals increased to
522,000 by the end of 2001-02 compared to 280,000 employed in the year 1998-99.
This figure includes professionals, who are engaged in software, IT services and
IT-enabled services including professionals engaged in software development
units in user organizations.
- The hiring of new IT professionals was highest in South India at 41 percent
and lowest in the Eastern region at 6 percent.
- The overall median age of software professionals was about 25.6 years.
- 79 percent of software professionals in software companies were men, whereas
21 percent were women. However, this ratio is likely to be 65:35 (male: female)
by the year 2005.
- 44 percent of the software professionals or knowledge workers possessed over
3 years of working experience.
- There was an average of 6 percent rise in basic salary during 2001. (This
was the lowest rise ever recorded since 1990). Most companies are increasingly
adopting the variable pay concept in order to link pay to revenues, and control
- The skills in demand were in the areas of
- Software engineering/programmers/analysts
- Internet and e-commerce applications
- Database administrators
- Network specialists and communication engineers
- Digital media
- Business applications of software development
- Web based applications
- Networking applications
- Data warehousing
- Project management
- Quality assurance & technical writing
- Legacy systems, etc.
In order to maintain India's competitive advantage of technically skilled
knowledge-workers with the right mix of technical, business and functional
skills, the workforce needs to increase by at least 10-fold by 2008. As per the
Nasscom-McKinsey report 1999, India needs to have at least 2.2 million knowledge
workers in IT software and services related areas by 2008.
Some key initiatives which needs to be pursued by the Government are:
1. IIT/IIIT in every state
It was only in 50s and 60s, that the
five IITs were established in India. They have produced world-class
professionals. The sixth IIT was set up at Guwahati in the 90s. Undoubtedly,
more IITs are required whereas the concept of IIIT is just about three years
old. If we want every state of India to progress in IT, then during the 10th
five-year plan that is 2002-2007, India’s aim should be to establish one IIT in
every state of India. Nasscom recommends allocation of at least Rs.15,000 crore
in the 10th five-year Plan, towards this activity.
2.Courses Offered by IIT/IIITs
The courses offered in these IT
institutes should be in areas of Project Management, e-commerce,Java, Software
Engineering and anything else which is the need of the day. In most IIITs, the
industry would help to formulate the syllabus. This will allow dynamic changes
in the courseware.
3. Deemed University status for IIITs
The setting up of the Indian
Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in every state needs to be
implemented with urgency. These IIITs should be given the Deemed University
status without insisting on the mandatory three-year stipulation.
4. More Ph.Ds required
If India needs to create original technology
then more Ph.Ds are required. Moreover, we also need substantial number of
research scholars/professors to meet the requirement of teaching faculty as well
as meet the R&D demands of the Industry. If we do not produce an adequate
number of Ph.Ds, then India may not be able to continue to produce an IT
workforce with a high quality level in the coming years.
5. Train the teachers program
There is an immediate need to launch
a nation wide "Train the Teachers" Program (3T Program). This should be done at
all levels including Faculty of Engineering in colleges, Post and
Under-Graduates courses, Higher Secondary Schools, Secondary Schools as well as
Primary Schools. A combination of physical and virtual training should be
6. Bridge Courses: Reengineering the courses of engineering
To increase manpower supply on an immediate short-term basis,
computer courses need to be introduced in every engineering discipline in the
country. In other words, regardless of the discipline, every course in
engineering should include computer science programs for at least one semester.
These students would be very useful for the software industry, as the industry
requires not only computer science graduates, but also engineering graduates
with skills in various domains such as mechanical, chemical or textile
7. Providing IT Modules to every graduation course
It is proposed
that training in Information technology, i.e. computer related courses should be
made mandatory in every graduate course in the country. In other words, diverse
courses like B.Sc, BCom also should be taught computers. Special IT Modules can
be made available at the state level. The aim of these courses would be to
impart the ability to use computers / IT as productivity-enhancing tool in a
wide range of work situations.
8. Increasing the output of the engineering stream
It is proposed
that the existing institutions like IIT, IISc, RECs and MCA courses should
double or triple the output by suitable restructuring (in the shortest possible
time). This can be achieved at a marginal cost, since the main cost involved
will be hiring of new faculty, while using the existing laboratory and other
infrastructure available within these institutions. This process has already
begun at many institutions.
9. Networking of Educational Institutes
engineering colleges, medical colleges, and other educational institutions in
the states as well as Research and Development Organizations should be networked
for a supplementary program of distance education for improving the quality of
education. This will facilitate the sharing of high quality a faculty an also
provide access to the library resources in all the institutions.
10. Re-training industry experts
The software and related services
industry will increasingly need experts to lead and support IT projects in areas
such as CRM / e-CRM implementation (including front office automation, supply
chain management, customer relationship management, etc.), and to provide ITES
such as finance and accounting, HR, engineering design, etc.
To meet this need for domain and functional experts, industry professionals
with a basic understanding of IT should be provided with the training to build
the necessary expertise. This training would range from areas as CRM / EAS /
packaged software, Internet applications, and legacy/client server maintenance
to better support development, implementation and consultative selling. Some
companies have already implemented programs to fill this capability gap.
To meet the overall requirement, however, private and government educational
institutions will need to develop more re-training programs.
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