How has the proliferation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) affecting the nature of employment in India?

'Information and Communication Technologies' (ICT) created vast number of employment opportunities as well as took away some jobs. In India, ICTs enhanced the economic productivity across region and geographic location. It created new fields such as online banking, cyber security, mobile apps etc.

The proliferation of ICTs brought outsourcing jobs to developing countries, thus benefited Indian economy. In India, Income per capita is increased, and the quality of life is enhanced. As of now, ICT jobs are concentrated in urban areas and has a spill-over effect in rural areas. It will not take much time to bridge this gap between urban and rural areas. Software jobs also created the facility of working from home, diminishing the importance of geographic location.

Share of women employees is higher in ICT jobs than in any other field. Rapid growth of information and communication technologies resulted in the increasing demand for skilled workers. With the advantages of work from home and the better balance between work an home, many women utilized this opportunity of demand for skilled talent. Thereby ICTs also contributed towards gender equality in employment opportunities.

Though ICT jobs are more concentrated in urban areas, technology created vast economic opportunities in rural areas as well. Farmers now have timely access to weather trends, market information and best farming practices. Based on this information, farmers are taking decisions about which crops to plant and where to sell their produce for best prices.

There is a disguised employment in Indian agriculture sector. Technology helped in improving alternative job opportunities. For example, with the elimination of middlemen, many rural people are now selling their handmade products for better prices. Technology enabled the integration of rural areas with urban areas.

However, technology destroyed many jobs, as automation replaced vast number of employees. Labor intensive industries are losing relevance. Though technology created other jobs, many people have no access to these opportunities. There is still a digital divide in India. Many youth have no skills that are required by the new jobs. Hence they are at a disadvantage and are going for low pay jobs.

Technology created more jobs than it destroyed. And it changed the nature of employment from intense physical work to intense intellectual work. The present challenge before government is to bridge the digital gap.

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