Archive for January, 2008

2008 Padma Awards for IT Professionals

January 31, 2008

The 2008 Padma Award (Civilian Awards in India) had Mr N R Narayana Murthy (Chairman & Founder, Infosys) and Mr. Shiv Nadar (Chairman & Founder, HCL); it is heartening to note that IT industry continues to contribute to the country, and in turn the country recognizes such contributions.

Interestingly, Wikipedia site had all the information (in fact better classified than Government of India site) almost within 24 hours – the power of co-operation and the spirit of volunteerism.

Ashok Leyland launches Intelligent Bus

January 17, 2008

Ashok Leyland, the Chennai-based $ 2 billion commercial vehicles major launched iBus (Intelligent Bus) in AutoExpo 2008. Designed by a team of “young turks”, it is an innovative bus that plans to provide

  • convenience,
  • comfort, and
  • connectivity 

for the Internet generation. The costs are Indian, but the features are international; a bold attempt from the company that is considered “laid back” and making products with “pedastrian features”. It will be interesting to see such bases changing the face of Indian public transportation.

Standards and the Indian IT industry

January 15, 2008

As the industries evolve, the emphasis shifts from “carrier” to “content” and then to “control”. For example, in the early days of railroads, those who made the “rails” were the kings; after 3, 4 decades no one talked about the “rail road builders” (carrier); emphasis shifted to trains and logistics (content); later, to the “gauges”, “standards” and “signaling” (control). The same extends to airlines, roads and even to newspapers. Vendors controlling paper production and printing machinery (carrier) gave way to newspapers (content), and finally to editors (control). It is not that carrier and content will go away; it is just the shift of the emphasis. IT industry is going to be the same; computers (carriers) will give way to content; Google and Yahoo represent the shift already. But the real power will be with standards (control); with Indian IT industry slowly taking a leadership role globally, they should start putting emphasis on “control”, which in IT would be very much related to standards. Somehow standards are NOT the “in thing” among the professionals in the Indian IT industry. Even our students do not think much about the standards; I tell them that they cannot IM (Instant Message) so easily to their friends (on different networks and using a variety of handsets), but for standardization; SMS is no different. Amongst colleagues, while being on the Conference Committee of a prestigious conference is something they value, the same cannot be said of membership of some technical committees of standards making bodies. May be, we should make such memberships of significant value. ISO and the Indian arm BSI should look into this aspect. The first ever visit of the Secretary General of ISO to Bangalore should be a landmark event in the history of standards and their renewed importance amongst IT industry professionals in India (Remarks given during the Reception to ISO (International Standards Organization) Secretary General Alan Bryden in Bangalore on December 7, 2007)